ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

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Some with the big oversized pants / No belt, no shape at all / It's time to get it on the ball!

 

 

 

Youth of Today

 

By Beverly R. Henry

 

The youth of today need to get this straight

We put the ball in their court and the problems on their plate

 

Some with the big oversized pants

No belt, no shape at all

It's time to get it on the ball!

 

The Afro's looking matted, it ain't gonna work

Put some shape to it, wash it, don't be a jerk

Follow your dream for goodness sake

Stop following the losers that you think are great  

Beverly R. Henry is a creative Baltimore City Public Schools' elementary school teacher who loves to write, create beautiful crafts, and teach life lessons to the children she encounters including her three children. She earned her degree from Coppin State College. In addition, she studied at Baltimore City Community College, Johns Hopkins University, and Notre Dame. Ms. Henry has been writing poetry and short stories since elementary school. One of her specialties is writing for people about special friends or loved ones. She is currently writing a short story about a family.

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Harriet Tubman

By LIWI68

 

14 February 2011   

Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross; c. 1820 – March 10, 1913) was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the American Civil War.

After escaping from slavery, into which she was born, she made 19 missions to Maryland to rescue over 300 people using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. If anyone ever wanted to change his or her mind during the journey to freedom and return, Tubman pulled out her revolver and said, “You’ll be free or you’ll die a slave!”

The petite Tubman knew that if anyone turned back, it would put her and the other escaping slaves in danger of discovery, capture or even death. She became so well known for leading slaves to freedom that Tubman became known as the “Moses of Her People.” Many slaves dreaming of freedom sang the spiritual “Go Down Moses.”

Slaves hoped a savior would deliver them from slavery just as Moses had delivered the Israelites from slavery. During these dangerous journeys she helped rescue members of her own family, including her 70-year-old parents. At one point, rewards for Tubman’s capture was a combined total of $40,000. Yet, she was never captured and never failed to deliver her “passengers” to safety. As Tubman herself said, “On my Underground Railroad I [never] run my train off [the] track [and] I never [lost] a passenger.”

One day, when she was an adolescent, Tubman was sent to a dry-goods store for some supplies. There, she encountered a slave owned by a different family, who had left the fields without permission. His overseer, furious, demanded that Tubman help restrain the young man. She refused, and as the slave ran away, the overseer threw a two-pound weight from the store’s counter. It missed and struck Tubman instead, which she said “broke my skull.” She later explained her belief that her hair—which “had never been combed and . . . stood out like a bushel basket”—might have saved her life.

Bleeding and unconscious, Tubman was returned to her owner’s house and laid on the seat of a loom, where she remained without medical care for two days. She was immediately sent back into the fields, “with blood and sweat rolling down my face until I couldn’t see.” Her boss said she was “not worth a sixpence” and returned her to Brodess, who tried unsuccessfully to sell her. She began having seizures and would seemingly fall unconscious, although she claimed to be aware of her surroundings even though she appeared to be asleep. 

These episodes were alarming to her family who were unable to wake her when she fell asleep suddenly and without warning. This condition remained with Tubman for the rest of her life; Larson suggests she may have suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy as a result of the injury. This severe head wound occurred at a time in her life when Tubman was becoming deeply religious. As an illiterate child, she had been told Bible stories by her mother.

The particular variety of her early Christian belief remains unclear, but Tubman acquired a passionate faith in God. She rejected white interpretations of scripture urging slaves to be obedient, finding guidance in the Old Testament tales of deliverance. After her brain trauma, Tubman began experiencing visions and potent dreams, which she considered signs from the divine. This religious perspective instructed her throughout her life.

She later helped John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry, and in the post-war era she retired to the family home in Auburn, NY (sold to her by the abolitionist and US Senator, William H. Seward for $1,200) and worked for women’s suffrage.Liwi68

Books on Tubman

Kate Larson. Bound For The Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero
George Sullivan. In Their Own Words: Harriet Tubman. 
Kate McMullan. The Story of Harriet Tubman : Conductor of the Underground Railroad 
Catherine Clinton. Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom 
Ann Petry. Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad
Ann McGovern. Wanted Dead or Alive: The True Story of Harriet Tubman 
Earl Conrad. General Tubman.

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 Harriet Tubman: The Life and the Life Stories

By Jean McMahon Humez

Reviews

Conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, Harriet Tubman famously boasted that she could say what most conductors couldn't: "I never run my train off the track and I never lost a passenger." The quote fits with the popular image of Tubman as the courageous, inspired "Moses of Her People," yet Humez, a professor of women's studies and scholar of African-American spiritual autobiography, argues that the edifice of Tubman iconography has concealed the woman herself. Humez has assembled a trove of primary source documents-letters, diaries, memorials, speeches, articles, meeting minutes and testimonies-that create a more intimate portrait of Tubman. But instead of interpreting the rich materials she has collected, Humez offers a biography of Tubman and then includes a scholarly article asserting that since Tubman was illiterate, and her stories and correspondence have been recorded by others, "such texts cannot be read at face value" and must be understood to have undergone at least minimal changes from the author's original statements.

Although Humez's prose lacks narrative flair, she aptly places Tubman in a broad historical context, documenting her relations to John Brown, Sojourner Truth, Abraham Lincoln, Frederic Douglass, Northern abolitionists and the nascent women's movement. The book is at its best in the last two primary-source sections. Through Tubman's documented words and the observations of others, "Aunt Harriet" emerges as an even more charismatic figure than American history has allowed: profoundly spiritual, irreverent, witty, wise, impoverished and ultimately neglected by the Union she defended. —Publishers Weekly

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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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Time's Unfading Garden: Anne Spencer's Life and Poetry

By J. Lee Greene

This biography about the life of lesser-known Harlem Renaissance poet Anne Spencer, reveals details about the Harlem Renaissance that helps to link people, places and events together. Mrs. Spencer's garden home was an important nexus between the North and the South for many of the Black intelligentsia during that time. Her biography shares her friendships with James Weldon Johnson, W. E. B. Du Bois and others; giving us a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the lives of these great figures of African American history.  We also receive the gift of learning about Mrs. Spencer's literary contribution to the Harlem Renaissance, with a healthy collection of her poems placed in an appendix in the back of the book. "Time's Unfading Garden" would be a wonderful addition to any Harlem Renaissance collection. It is a rare item today, but if you can find it, it is worth the investment.

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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . .

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Let Freedom Ring:  A Collection of Documents

from the Movements to Free U.S. Political Prisoners

By Adolfo Perez Esquivel and Matt Meyer

Within every society there are people who, at great personal risk and sacrifice, stand up and fight for the most marginalized among us. We call these people of courage, spirit and love, our heroes and heroines. This book is the story of the ones in our midst. It is the story of the best we are.—Asha Bandele, poet and author of The Prisoner's Wife

As a convicted felon, I have been prevented from visiting many people in prison today. But none of us should be stopped from the vital work of prison abolition and freeing the many who the U.S. holds for political reasons. Let Freedom Ring helps make their voices heard, and presents strategies to help win their release.—
Daniel Berrigan SJ, former Plowshares political prisoner and member of the FBI Top Ten Wanted List.

Contributors include Mumia Abu-Jamal, Dan Berger, Dhoruba Bin-Wahad, Bob Lederer, Terry Bisson, Laura Whitehorn, Safiya Bukhari, The San Francisco 8, Angela Davis, Bo Brown, Bill Dunne, Jalil Muntaqim, Susie Day, Luis Nieves Falcon, Ninotchka Rosca, Meg Starr, Assata Shakur, Jill Soffiyah Elijah, Jan Susler, Chrystos, Jose Lopez, Leonard Peltier, Marilyn Buck, and many more.

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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 1 June 2012

 

 

 

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