The Marvin X Papers document the life and work of playwright, poet, essayist, and activist Marvin X during the nineties and
the first decade of the 21st Century. The papers include correspondence; Marvin X's writings; materials related to the Recovery
Theatre; works by his children and colleagues; and resource files. Correspondence includes letters, cards, and e-mails; correspondents
include Amiri Baraka and other prominent African-American intellectuals. Marvin X's writings include notebooks, drafts, and
manuscripts of poetry, novels, plays, essays, and planned anthologies. Documents from the Recovery Theatre include organizational
and financial records and promotional material. Writings by others include essays, scripts, and academic papers by his three
daughters. Resource files include academic articles, e-mails, flyers, news clippings and programs that contextualize and
document Marvin X's involvement as an activist, intellectual, and literary figure in the African American community in the
Bay Area in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Photographs include snapshots of family, friends, colleagues, and productions
at the Recovery Theatre.
Poet, playwright and essayist Marvin X was born Marvin E. Jackmon on May 29, 1944 in Fowler, California. He grew up in Fresno
and Oakland, in an activist household. X attended Oakland City College (Merritt College), where he was introduced to Black
Nationalism and became friends with future Black Panther founders Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. X earned a B.A. and M.A.
in English from San Francisco State University and emerged as an important voice in the Black Arts Movement (BAM), the artistic
arm of the Black Power movement, in the mid-to-late Sixties. X wrote for many of the BAM's key journals. He also co-founded,
with playwright Ed Bullins and others, two of BAM's premier West Coast headquarters and venues - Oakland's Black House and
San Francisco's Black Arts/West Theatre. In 1967, X joined the Nation of Islam and became known as El Muhajir. In the eighties,
he organized the Melvin Black Forum on Human Rights and the first Annual All Black Men's Conference. He also served as an
aide to former Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver and attempted to create the Marvin X Center for the Study of World Religions.
In 1999, X founded San Francisco's Recovery Theatre. His production of "One Day in the Life," the play he wrote about his
drug addiction and recovery, became the longest-running African-American drama in Northern California. In 2004, in celebration
of Black History Month, X produced the San Francisco Tenderloin Book Fair (also known as the San Francisco Black Radical Book
Fair) and University of Poetry. X has taught Black Studies, drama, creative writing, journalism, English and Arabic at a
variety of California universities and colleges. He continues to work as an activist, educator, writer, and producer.
Number of containers: 8 cartons, 1 box
Linear feet: 10.2
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of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94270-6000. Consent is given on behalf of The
Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright
owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html.
Collection is open for research.