ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

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

Google
 

 

Letters from the

Archives of Marcus Bruce Christian

From & To Friends, Colleagues, & Wife

 

 

 

Books by Marcus Bruce Christian

Song of the Black Valiants: Marching Tempo / High Ground: A Collection of Poems  / Negro soldiers in the Battle of New Orleans

I am New Orleans: A Poem / Negro Iron Workers of Louisiana: 1718-1900 /  The Liberty Monument

*   *   *   *   *

Letter 36

Christian Makes Note of Crisis 

 Plans Resignation from Dillard

 

September 6, 1945

 

Dear Ruth: 

Quite a few things have prevented me from answering your kind letter of August 14. Of course there were times when I was in a letter writing mood and had sufficient time to dash off a 'note' to you, but your repeated admonition against my writing of notes caused me to question the wisdom of such a move.

I have tried for some time to steel myself for the task of printing THE COMMON PEOPLES' MANIFESTO OF WORLD WAR II, and it has caused me to be a little preoccupied. In addition to this, there are other things which are demanding a bit of my attention.

You complained in your last letter that I had not answered your many questions. To tell the truth, I had not been aware of the fact that many of the topics that you had touched upon were really questions. I shall try here to confirm myself to doing this very thing. I feel sort of queer when you suggest that I 'have a bone to pick with you'. Perhaps I am not aware of it. I don't know. Life seems to be a little confused at times and very difficult of being straightened out.

I was very glad to hear that you were in the midst of an enjoyable vacation when you wrote me last. Your description of everything sounds very interesting. Thanks for the invitation to come up on half fare. I may be able to take you up on it when the time arrives, but I cannot make any definite promises now because I am planning -- as of today -- to offer my resignation to the university.

I have done little writing since I have been out there and so I may ask for a leave of absence for a year or two in order to complete the Louisiana manuscript, or resign altogether. I plan to write the letter within a few days, predate it for December, and give it in then so that I shall be clear for the coming year. It may not be a wise move -- and Doctor Quarles has counselled me against it -- but it seems to be the best thing for me at present.

The university has just released a statement to the effect that Dean Moses has taken sabbatical leave and that a Board of Deanship -- or something like that -- is taking over during Dean Moses absence. Despite Quarles' fellowship, he has been appointed chairman of this board -- the members of which are to be announced later. This makes Quarles practically Acting Dean for the time being. You remember how I always said if anything happened to Moses, Quarles would probably get the post? Of course, this gives me no advantage because of our friendship. In the end, it may not give any special advantage to Quarles himself.

I have seen Doctor Dailey a few times, but have not asked him about your scrapbooks as yet. I shall, however, and that soon. If it is all right with you, I'd prefer that you get the story about Willie from Sister when you write her. She has left, of course, and in the course of leaving, made some scathing remarks concerning the family in general. She even included me and my treatment of you in her general denunciations. I do not hold it against her. I am beginning to see so clearly that all of us are the sum total of our past experiences.

Man is in California, planning to go to Honolulu, I believe. Samuel has returned and his so-called "madam" is the mother of a baby who looks more like Man's than Samuel's child. Samuel's hair is almost -- or is kinky. The baby's hair, despite its mother's darkness, has straight hair and pronounced Indian features like Man.

I hope that you will continue to have the thrill of making your own money and of buying the things that you want. I have been doing that sort of thing so long that I had forgotten about it -- or had never received any thrill in the beginning. I scarcely know which. Thanks a lot for the clippings. I found them very interesting.

I think that I have answered all of the questions asked in your letter. If there are any more, let me know and I shall be glad to reply to them. I am mailing the book that Bontemps sent us. I have been carrying it back and forth for two weeks now, trying to get a chance to wrap it up and mail it. I'll try and mail it tomorrow. Yes, the war is over now and you and I shall be able to say that we have lived through one of the greatest periods in human history. Everybody says hello.

Take good care of yourself, 

Marcus Christian

<<---Previous    Next--37->>

*   *   *   *   *

Selected Letters  Selected Diary Notes

Memories of Marcus B. Christian (CainsChristian's BioBibliographical Record    Introduction to I AM NEW ORLEANS 

A Theory of a Black Aesthetic   Magpies, Goddesses, & Black Male Identity

Activist Works on Next Level of Change   Intro to I Am New Orleans   Letter from Dillard University

A Labor of Genuine Love  Letter of Gift of Photos   Letters from LSU and Skip Gates

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Iron Workers of Louisiana: 1718-1900

By Marcus Bruce Christian

 

Study of the blacksmith tradition and New Orleans famous lace balconies and fences.

Acclaimed during his life as the unofficial poet laureate of the New Orleans African-American community, Marcus Christian recorded a distinguished career as historian, journalist, and literary scholar. He was a contributor to Pelican's Gumbo Ya Ya, and also wrote many articles that appeared in numerous newspapers, journals, and general-interest publications.

*   *   *   *   *

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

*   *   *   *   *

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.

*   *   *   *   *

A Wreath for Emmett Till

By Marilyn Nelson; Illustrated by Philippe Lardy

This memorial to the lynched teen is in the Homeric tradition of poet-as-historian. It is a heroic crown of sonnets in Petrarchan rhyme scheme and, as such, is quite formal not only in form but in language. There are 15 poems in the cycle, the last line of one being the first line of the next, and each of the first lines makes up the entirety of the 15th. This chosen formality brings distance and reflection to readers, but also calls attention to the horrifically ugly events. The language is highly figurative in one sonnet, cruelly graphic in the next. The illustrations echo the representative nature of the poetry, using images from nature and taking advantage of the emotional quality of color. There is an introduction by the author, a page about Emmett Till, and literary and poetical footnotes to the sonnets. The artist also gives detailed reasoning behind his choices. This underpinning information makes this a full experience, eminently teachable from several aspects, including historical and literary—School Library Journal

*   *   *   *   *

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 7 January 2012

 

 

 

Home     Marcus Bruce Christian  Selected Letters  Selected Diary Notes    I Am New Orleans Table (Poems)   Fifty Influential Figures