Introduction by Muhajir

Introduction by Muhajir


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



If you want pure and holy, he says, read the Quran and the Bible, because Marvin

 is talking about “the low down dirty truth.” For all that, the poetry of Marvin X

is like prayer, beauty-full of reverence and honor for Truth. “It is. it is. it is.”



Marvin X: A Critical Look at the Father  

of Muslim American Literature  

Edited by El Muhajir (Marvin X)



Bismillah-r-Rahman-r-Rahim If it is true that I am the father of modern Islamic literature in America, as Dr. Mohja Kahf proclaims, I would like to delineate my lineage. As a spiritual descendant of West African Muslims, I begin my literary biography in the Mali Empire, among those scholar/poet/social activists of Timbuktu: Ahmed Baba, Muhammad El-Mrili, Ahmed Ibn Said, Muhammad Al Wangari, and the later Sufi poet/warriors of Senegal and Hausaland, Ahmedu Bamba and Uthman dan Fodio. In America, this literary tradition continued under the wretched conditions of slavery with the English/Arabic narratives of Ayub Suleimon Diallo, Ibrahima Abdulrahman Jallo, Bilali Mohammad, Salih Bilali, Umar Ibn Said and others who told how they got ovah, how they survived the worst terrorist regime in the history of mankind.  Their narratives are thus the origin of Muslim literature in America, an integral part of the beginning of American and African American literature in general. There is some suspicion that David Walker, Frederick Douglas, Booker T. Washington and Benjamin Baneker may have also been descendants of Muslims.

Certainly they share the Islamic spirit of creative resistance (any means necessary), and we must acknowledge this spirit in the Islamic and Pan African writings of Edward Wilmot Blyden, the greatest African intellectual of the late 19th century. See his Islam, Christianity and the Negro Race, 1887. While Marcus Garvey was in London,1912, being taught  One God, One Aim, One Destiny, African For the Africans, Those At Home and Those Abroad, by his Egyptian Muslim mentor Duse Muhammad Ali, Noble Drew Ali,1913, established his Moorish Science Temple in Newark, New Jersey, later Chicago,  and created his Seven Circle Koran, a synthesis of Qur’anic, Masonic, mystical and esoteric writings.

And most importantly, Master Fard Muhammad arrived in Detroit, 1930, to deliver his Supreme Wisdom, mythological Sufi teachings, to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, later summarized in Elijah’s primers of mystical Islamic theology and black nationalism, Message To The Black Man and The Theology of Time. The next major work is Malcolm X’s Autobiography , with the assistance of Alex Haley. This neo-slave narrative bridged ancient and modern Islamic literature in America. Let us also include Louis Farakhan’s off Broadway drama Organa and his classic song A White Man’s Heaven is The Black Man’s Hell, anthem of the Black revolution of the 60s. Amiri Baraka utilized the Muslim myth of Yacub in his play A Black Mass, one of his most powerful works, an examination of the cloning of the white man, not such a fantastic idea today since the white man has begun cloning himself.

Askia Muhammad Toure must be credited for his Islamic writings, along with poetess Sonia Sanchez  (Laila Mannan) who served a brief tenure in the Nation of Islam. Yusef Rahman and Yusef Iman created powerful Islamic poetry as well. Now we may safely proceed into an examination of “Marvin’s World.” Enter at your own risk. The following articles, essays, reviews and interviews give a good summary of opinion about the writer known as Marvin X, aka El Muhajir, Nazzam Al Fitnah, Nazzam Al Sudan, Maalik El Muhajir, Marvin Ellis Jackmon. Kalamu ya Salaam called me the sledgehammer. Sister poet MC Melody said I am the human earthquake. Suzzette Celeste said I am a tsunami, but I am that I am, so let the critics have their say, after all, they may know more about me than I do. What do I know about myself? I’m just now figuring out who I am. Editing this collection is a birthday (May 29) present to myself. I hope you enjoy it as well. As-Salaam-Alaikum El Muhajir (Marvin X)

posted 19 May 2005

Preface  of father o f Muslim American Literature     Introduction    Dedication Contents The Contributors   Bibliography of Marvin X

*   *   *   *   *’s 25 Best Selling Books



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Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All

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Russell Simmons knows firsthand that wealth is rooted in much more than the stock  market. True wealth has more to do with what’s in your heart than what’s in your wallet. Using this knowledge, Simmons became one of America’s shrewdest entrepreneurs, achieving a level of success that most investors only dream about. No matter how much material gain he accumulated, he never stopped lending a hand to those less fortunate. In Super Rich, Simmons uses his rare blend of spiritual savvy and street-smart wisdom to offer a new definition of wealth-and share timeless principles for developing an unshakable sense of self that can weather any financial storm. As Simmons says, “Happy can make you money, but money can’t make you happy.”

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The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama’s political success and Oprah Winfrey’s financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today… than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don’t know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as “the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field ‘cut their teeth’.”

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The White Masters of the World

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By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery /

George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

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update 20 December 2011




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