Item #39743 MANUSCRIPTS. A group of four original typed manuscripts by Michael X.
MANUSCRIPTS. A group of four original typed manuscripts by Michael X.


MANUSCRIPTS. A group of four original typed manuscripts by Michael X.

Five quarto size sheets, undated (c. 1969).

i) The first manuscript (312 words), titled “Nigel”, concerns Michael X’s benefactor, Nigel Samuel, and describes their first meeting (at the Arts Lab), talking together about their dreams, and subsequent location of “a place with the dimensions to fulfill one of the dreams” (the Black House on Holloway Road): “This is the legacy of an association with one long haired ‘white’ cat.”

ii) The second manuscript (283 words) features Michael’s notes for a documentary film (with Nigel Samuel) on the Black House, a basic mise-en-scené for interior shots of the supermarket, restaurant and offices: “one shot of Nigel’s office with Nigel sitting in IT - story by me of him & his involvement in project/one shot of my office from back taking in office - story on posters - difference in taste from psychedelic posters - also Beatles, Ray Charles”.

iii) The third manuscript (2pp., 384 words.), titled “Holloway Road Project”, appears to outline the proposed contents for a book (probably “The Black House”, written by the Black South African journalist, Lionel Morrison, and published by RAAS in 1969): “The prime object of the building is to service the needs of the black populace and it is centred on a cultural centre where work of all natures can proceed unmolested.”

iv) The fourth manuscript (264 words), titled “Supermarket”, concerns one of the Black House project’s central ideas (the supermarket’s anticipated profits were intended to fund the cultural, educational and information centre in the same building): “The creation of this place is in itself one of the strongest developments to happen in the white western world in the latter half of this decade. Building or creating permanent structures in a predominantly black community by black people, at a time when the world of blacks and whites are busy promoting a physical confrontation is such a rare phenomena”; and in contrast to existing supermarkets: “on the fruit drink stands, a wider range of tropical juices exist than in any other supermarket in Europe, and as one peruses along the shelves strange fruits and delicacies from the Carribbean and Africa present themselves to the onlookers.”

A rare group of unpublished, previously unseen Michael X manuscripts, revealing his hopes and ambitions for the Holloway Road community centre, “a chance for the Englishman to observe and enjoy another culture.”

Some light edge and corner creasing, o/w Very Good plus.