Books by Marvin X
Love and War: Poems /
In the Crazy House Called America /
Woman: Man's Best Friend /
Beyond Religion Toward Spirituality
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Education of Jah Amiel
Jah Amiel went
out the backdoor of his house and knocked on his
grandpa's door. Grandpa was lying down proofreading
but got up when he heard his grandson at the door.
He had to get up for the little savior of the world,
as his grandson told him he was going to be.
He opened the door and Jah Amiel came in on a
mission as he nears his third year on earth, May 31.
"I want to see the American," he told his grandpa
I want to see
the American! His grandpa had no idea what he was
talking about, until Jah Amiel pointed to the large
poster of Langston Hughes on the wall.
Oh, Langston Hughes?
Yeah. On the computer.
Oh, you want to see Langston Hughes read “I, Too, Am
Youtube and found the site with Langston Hughes
reading his classic poem. Meantime Jahmiel found a
tape dispenser and pulled off a piece. Gonna tape my
mouth. Not now, Jah Amiel, you gonna read with
Langston. Ok. He stopped for a moment to read along
|I, too, sing America
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes.
But I laugh
And eat well.
And grow strong.
I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Say to me
"Eat in the kitchen,"
They'll see how beautiful we are
And be ashamed—
I, too, am American.
After reading the poem once, he told his grandpa to
play it again and he again recited with Langston,
then he put the tape over his mouth.
Lately, Jah Amiel doesn't accompany his grandpa
downtown to his Academy of Da Corner. The people ask
grandpa where's Jah Amiel? But his mother put him in
Montessori school. She told her dad Jah Amiel could
come to his school on the weekends.
After he went to school, his grandpa asked him what
How to play in the sand box.
about it. He figured this might be an important
lesson, since many people never learn how to play in
the sand box without throwing sand in other people's
face and eyes throughout their life.
What did you do today at school, Jah Amiel?
I been working at school and I'm tired.
What kind of work did you do?
I worked. I'm tired.
Well, you better go home to yo mama.
Ok. See you later alligator!
His grandpa replied, after while, crocodile!
20 April 2010
The Education of Jah Amiel
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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.—
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Hopes and Prospects
By Noam Chomsky
In this urgent new book, Noam Chomsky
surveys the dangers and prospects of our
early twenty-first century. Exploring
challenges such as the growing gap
between North and South, American
exceptionalism (including under
President Barack Obama), the fiascos of
Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S.-Israeli
assault on Gaza, and the recent
financial bailouts, he also sees hope
for the future and a way to move
forward—in the democratic wave in Latin
America and in the global solidarity
movements that suggest "real progress
toward freedom and justice." Hopes and
Prospects is essential reading for
anyone who is concerned about the
primary challenges still facing the
human race. "This is a classic Chomsky
work: a bonfire of myths and lies,
sophistries and delusions. Noam Chomsky
is an enduring inspiration all over the
world—to millions, I suspect—for the
simple reason that he is a truth-teller
on an epic scale. I salute him." —John
In dissecting the rhetoric and logic of
American empire and class domination, at
home and abroad, Chomsky continues a
longstanding and crucial work of
elucidation and activism . . .the
writing remains unswervingly rational
and principled throughout, and lends
bracing impetus to the real alternatives
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posted 20 April 2010