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After the disaster that was my marriage, under the encouragement of a movement buddy Lee Uhuru, I joined Nicheren Shoshu and began chanting "Nam Yo Ho Renge Kho." (I still have my scroll.) By coincidence we ran into Dr. Wilson on Park Avenue near his home in Bolton Hill, an upper middle-class section of central Baltimore.

 

 

Letters of an Abiding Faith:

Legacy of a Slave's GrandDaughter to her Son

written by Ella Lewis to her Son (Rudolph Lewis)

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Letter 15

January 5, 1981 

 

Dear Son,

Just a line to let you hear From me. I am not so well But able to Be up and around. Hope This may Fine you OK.

Listen you do have peoples. Look like you could drop a Xmas Card. Diden let me know how you was. You sure did disappoint me. I was looking For you to Come home For Xmas.

It no excuse at all. For I know you was out of school.* Well how was your Xmas. Fine I guess. Well Bunk is Sick with the Flew. Every body is under complaint. I wish you would take time and rite to me. You know I worries about you. The weather is Some Cold down here. I got your Xmas present. I save it until you come home. So Bye for now. I rite more next time. Just want you know how disappointed I was So Bye.

From Mother

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Commentary

*Mama makes reference to the break between the Fall and Spring semesters. I did not go home for Christmas. I was still working on my master’s thesis and probably trying to find a place to live.

At the writing of this letter, I was at the end of five years of study at College Park. This Spring semester was my last in the English Department. I was near completion of my thesis on the writings of Martin Delany, which was entitled "The Ethnographic Image of Americans in Black and White: An Exploration of the Ethnic Writings of Martin R. Delany (1812-1885)." This thesis was presented April 1981 and defended before Drs. Donna Hamilton, Eugene Hammond, and Lewis Lawson.

These professors, however, did not lead me in this study and examination of racial ideology and propaganda. Dr. Max Wilson, now passed on to glory, must be given that credit. He was an Haitain exile and professor of philosophy at Morgan State and later chair of the philosophy department at Howard University. He took me under his wing. For I was lost, a refugee from a broken marriage, dashed hopes in the black consciousness and labor movements. He believed that Americans suffered from three unreconciled strivings--race, religion ,and sexuality.

After the disaster that was my marriage, under the encouragement of a movement buddy Lee Uhuru, I joined Nicheren Shoshu and began chanting "Nam Yo Ho Renge Kho." (I still have my scroll.) By coincidence we ran into Dr. Wilson on Park Avenue near his home in Bolton Hill, an upper middle-class section of central Baltimore. I had studied with Dr. Wilson as a sophomore in 1966-1967 at Morgan. We renewed our acquaintance. He was quite interested in what I was doing and he asked me to keep in touch. I did and we became quite good friends. He invited me into his home and treated me almost as a son.

In 1974, under the umbrella of Morgan State’s University Without Walls, we began a study entitled "A Search for Self." He wanted to provide me a classical education. I studied the history, literature, art, music, and then the philosophical works of the major European countries and then the United States. He encouraged me to go to museums in New York, to opera and ballet programs. I read Proust, Joyce, Lawrence, Miller, Mann, Gide, Tolstoy, Heminway, Freud, Jung, and other modernists.

By the time I began my graduate program at Maryland, I was ready to reexamine the race question. Maryland’s graduate library had the whole Arno Press reprint series of black writings. And I devoured it. It was in that library that I discovered Martin Delany and his relationship to Frederick Douglass.

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.” Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake. She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.—WashingtonPost

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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

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

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Enjoy!

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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 31 December 2011

 

 

 

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