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While in Bukavu, I passed through Rwanda to get to the village of Luberizi. I stayed there several days.

I saw a giant tractor left by Communist China. Their intent was to create rice farming in the area

by damming the river named after the village. But according to reports the Chief of the village

misplaced funds and the project came to nothing.

 

 

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 17

January 15, 1982*

 

Dear Son,

Just a line to let you hear from me. I doing fair. Hope this may Find you doing OK. I receive your Card. I really did Enjoy you all home for Xmas. It made me Feel so good. And Every Body was happy. I cant tell you how much I preshate you all act so nice. It add 5 years to my life. I never For get the beautiful Present you gave me. I will all ways Cherish it. It so nice. I prayed to the good Lord let all of us meet and Be a happy Family. So we were. I was sick But I just Enjoyed you all Been here. So much For that.

We had 7 inches of Snow the 14 of the month. It still on the ground and still cold, so you take care of your self. I going keep praying For you. And you pray For me. All here is doing OK. And send their love. So you take all mistake for love Bad hand riten for Kisses.

Bye From Mother

Keep in Touch

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Commentary

*In May 1981, I received my master’s degree in English from the University of Maryland, College Park. A year later still impoverished, I was teaching composition and literature to freshmen and sophomores on an adjunct basis at the University of the District of Columbia, Connecticut Avenue campus. I was making preparation to go to Africa with the Peace Corps. During this period, I was living in the basement of Cecelia Fleming, a sometime girlfriend.

The following summer, I spent ten weeks in Zaire. I flew from Philadelphia to New York, from there to Paris Airport, then to Lagos, and then to Kinshasha. We changed planes. Air Zaire flew us to Bujumbura in Burundi; then a small plane took us back into Zaire, to an air field (Goma) near Bukavu. It was the longest air trip I had ever taken before or since, about twenty hours. I do not like flying and I was exhausted. Most of my time was spent in Bukavu, by Lake Kivu. This was the area in which Rwanda refugees retreated after the holocaust conducted by Hutus against the Tutsi people in the 1990s.

While in Bukavu, I passed through Rwanda to get to the village of Luberizi. I stayed there several days. I saw a giant tractor left by Communist China. Their intent was to create rice farming in the area by damming the river named after the village. But according to reports the Chief of the village misplaced funds and the project came to nothing. The village was exceedingly poor and bare-breasted women carried water on their heads from about a half-mile away.

In Bukavu, I was often mistaken for a Tutsi because I was tall with a high forehead. At a checkpoint between Rwanda and Zaire, I had to insist that I was an America. The response was "Incroyable!"

That August, I returned to Virginia with malaria still in my body. I delayed in taking the Aralen and my glands began to swell. On going to the doctor in small-town Jarratt, this physician, who thought because of my recently acquired accent that I was an African, frightened me with a pre-diagnosis of Hodgkins disease. I decided for myself that he didn't know what he was talking about, calmed down, and decided to take the Aralen as instructed. After I took the pills eight days in a row, the swellings disappeared and I have not been troubled since. The only residue of my trip is continual sinusitis, which came originally from the red dust of Zaire. After I recuperated from my trip I returned to Washington and stayed for awhile with Cecelia and then moved to a room in Northeast Washington. My housemates included a fellow from Senegal and one from Chicago. I taught a class in the English departments of the universities of Maryland and the District of Columbia.

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

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#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

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

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

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#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

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

Non-fiction

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#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
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#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

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#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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Sex at the Margins

Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry

By Laura María Agustín

This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. "Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality."—Lisa Adkins, University of London

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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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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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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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