ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

Home    ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more) 

Google
 

She came home the first night of the revival and I asked her if the church wished her happy birthday.

She said no. Did Florence? I asked No. Did Sistuh? No. the next day I called Florence and Sistuh

to reason with them. Both told me that the church had a policy against wishing members happy birthday.

 

 

Letters of an Abiding Faith:

Legacy of a Slave's GrandDaughter to her Son

written by Ella Lewis to her Son (Rudolph Lewis)

*   *   *   *   *

Letter 38

 

March 6, 1986

 

Dear Doc,

How are you Fine I hope as for me OK. And the rest of the Family OK. How is the weather down there. We have warm days Cold nights. Every Body like the Book.* Thank it So interesting. They love to read it. Just riten to send you Sister address

Mrs. Va Rivers**

R 1, Box 34

Yale Va 23867

Von got him a new Car 1986. Much love please keep in touch.

Love you

Mother

*   *   *   *   *

Commentary

*The "book" to which Mama refers was a copy, I believe, of Lee Grue’s The New Laurel Review, for which I had written several articles and help to edit a couple of issues. Or maybe it was another issue of CRICKET

**The summer after returned home, in 1987, Cary Wyche, my supposed paternal grandmother, died. I went to the wake but not to her funeral. I helped, however, to dig her grave in the church cemetery. At the wake, Pat made a sorry statement. She claimed that because I did not have a gap in my front teeth that I could not be a Wyche. To his credit, Edler, my purported father, attempted to convince others at the wake that there was a facial resemblance between him and me. But none seemed to see it but him.

Later that summer of 1987, I also got into an argument with Florence Stith and Sistuh, Mama’s oldest daughter, during the August revival. Mama’s birthday is August 11 and the revival by tradition was the second week of August, so the two events overlapped. She came home the first night of the revival and I asked her if the church wished her happy birthday. She said no. Did Florence? I asked No. Did Sistuh? No. the next day I called Florence and Sistuh to reason with them. Both told me that the church had a policy against wishing members happy birthday. For, they pointed out, if you did it for one, you had to do it for all. So what? I asked. You only have fifty active members. What time would that take?

When Mama returned the next night I got the same answers. I was quite disturbed by this insult to Mama. I sat down that night and wrote out a statement. That summer I read the Koran, cover to cover, and also read much of the Old Testament and I was filled with a considerable amount of bombast and fury, and maybe a bit of the righteousness of the spirit. So I decided I would fix this injustice and lack of consideration for a woman who had been a member of the church for over a half century. I told Susie my intentions and she informed a number of people by phone what I intended to do, namely, to confront the church that night about this insult to Mama. 

That night, before the main sermon, I read my little sermon and had the church stand and sing happy birthday. My cousin Charlie "Nature Boy" Lewis, the grandson of Mary Lewis and the son of Irvin Lewis, was there. I believe that was the last time I saw him before he spent an extended period hospitalized and then died. Though I did not attend his funeral, I wrote a poem to honor him.

*   *   *   *   *

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

*   *   *   *   *

Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All

By Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons knows firsthand that wealth is rooted in much more than the stock  market. True wealth has more to do with what's in your heart than what's in your wallet. Using this knowledge, Simmons became one of America's shrewdest entrepreneurs, achieving a level of success that most investors only dream about. No matter how much material gain he accumulated, he never stopped lending a hand to those less fortunate. In Super Rich, Simmons uses his rare blend of spiritual savvy and street-smart wisdom to offer a new definition of wealth-and share timeless principles for developing an unshakable sense of self that can weather any financial storm. As Simmons says, "Happy can make you money, but money can't make you happy."

*   *   *   *   *

The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama's political success and Oprah Winfrey's financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today... than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don't know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

*   *   *   *   *

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)

*   *   *   *   *

Ancient African Nations

*   *   *   *   *

If you like this page consider making a donation

online through PayPal

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues


1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        

Enjoy!

*   *   *   *   *

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

*   *   *   *   *

The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

*   *   *   *   *

*   *   *   *   *

ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)

 

 

update 31 December 2011

 

 

 

Home   AFLTable   Rudy's Page