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Black Mentors Gather at Oakland Marriott

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Mentors Meet at Marriott

Mentors Meet at Oakland Marriott

Last night black mentors gathered at the Marriott in Oakland, under the
leadership of Susan Tayor, formerly of Essence Magazine. Ms Taylor said
she got a vision for her mentoring project after reading stories of
black trauma and grief in her magazine. Finally she got enough, finding
her work with Essence totally exhausting. Welcome to the real world,
Susan Taylor. I shared her exhaustion this week at my mentoring project,
Academy of da Corner, 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland. I was
promoting the release of my latest book, Notes on the Wisdom of Action
or How to Jump Out of the Box, when a student/teacher arrived, and after
seeing my new title, said he wanted me to hurry up and get all the
nigguhs out the box so he could get in. Yes, the more we try to get up
the mountain in the Sisyphusian tradition, the more we must descend the
mountain with the rock in hand, only to begin again. Well, Susan
declared we may be on the rough side of the mountain but we can get to
the other side. It is not as difficult as it appears. After all, she
noted, we are not on the slave ships, in the cotton fields, tarred and
lynched for being uppity, hands chopped off for trying to read.

So her mission, in the words of ancestor Marvin Gaye, is to save the
children. I had the same mission in mind until I was corrected at a book
reading in Philly. As I concluded my reading, the great revolutionary
Muhammad Ahmed (Max Stanford), came forward to tell me, "Marvin, we must
not only save the children but the adults as well. We gotta save

And so my focus at Academy of da Corner is children and adults. I talk with weary mothers and fathers as well as discarded,
homeless, rejected and despised children. Sometimes I talk with both,
giving them advice and direction. Yes, many of the children who pass my
Academy are in foster care, and many adults are in recovery, so they
all need attention, a kind word, advice on how to handle a critical
situation. Even professionals come by asking how to handle a job
related issue before they go postal. Of course, a persistent problem is
male/female relations. Youth and adults can be heard passing by or
standing on the corner talking on the cell phone to a mate or to a
friend about a mate they are ready to kill for some sexual or other
impropriety. See my book for healing male/female relations The Mythology
of Pussy and Dick, toward Healthy Psychosocial Sexuality, Black Bird
Press, Berkeley, 416 pages, $49.95. You can obtain it at the Academy of
da Corner, 14th and Broadway.

Academy of da Corner is a free speech zone, a sacred space for children, youth and adults suffering
stress, trauma and unresolved grief. Sometimes when I am exhausted
hearing their problems, I must persist because they look me in the eyes
with a look that says simply listen to me for a moment, let me vent,
please brother! A brother came up to me the other day and said the
following, "Fuck the peckerwood, fuck the peckerwood, fuck the
peckerwood." Then went on down the street.

Thus we must congratulate Susan Taylor and her brain trust of of educators,
intellectuals and spiritual workers. As I write, they are in retreat in
Monterrey , training a new group for mentoring. The leaders included
Michael Eric Dyson, Dr. Wade Nobles, Joyce E. King, Rev. Andriette Earl,
Asha Bandele, Dr. Na'im Akbar, George Fraser, Arnold Perkins, Louis
Gossett, Jr., et al. Congresswoman Barbara Lee was honored for helping
fund the project called CARES Mentoring Movement, subtitle: Healing
What's Hurting Black America.

I shall continue mentoring at Academy of da Corner, since I am comfortable there. I have freedom of
speech, although this week my life was threatened because of my mouth.
My primary work is my writing so I am not going to stray too far from
that. The Academy of da Corner gives me a chance to leave the world of
my imagination to encounter reality up close and personal.

Persons interested in mentoring should contact Oakland CARES, otherwise you can
come downtown and give me a hand with your children and friends. I've
written a manual How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy, a
Pan African 12-Step Model to assist your own recovery so we can work
with our people. Dr. Nathan Hare wrote the foreword, Ptah Allah El wrote
the afterword. Peace!
--Marvin X

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