ChickenBones: A Journal

for  Literary & Artistic African-American  Themes

   

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I've struggled to find my true identity as a Black male in this society. . . .

 it is only through dialogue and exchanging ideas that change is produced

and I am a firm believer that we are all in need of a change

 

 

Books by Thomas Long

Reflections of My Soul  Papa Don't Preach / A Thug's Life  / Cash Rules / Around the Way Girls

DVD:  4 Life ( a film based on the novel A Thug's Life)

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Reflections of My Soul 

By Thomas Long

Introduction

This book of poems was compiled over the last three years of my life. It is a reflection of my inner most personal thoughts, opinions, and life experiences. For me, writing this book was a form of liberation from the frustration and turmoil I was experiencing in my life at the time. It also addresses some of my personal tragedies and triumphs as I've struggled to find my true identity as a Black male in this society. I hope that reading my work may stimulate thought and conversation in an intelligent environment. I say this because it is only through dialogue and exchanging ideas that change is produced and I am a firm believer that we are all in need of a change in our standard of living, both personally and socially,, as a community.

In Part I, entitled "Sign of the Times," I attempt to express some of my personal views on a wide array of social issues, such as racism. AIDS, child neglect, abortion, and police brutality. In addition, some of the poems attempt to uncover my views on spirituality and the role it plays in the individual's self-perception as he relates to the larger world community.

The second collection of my poetry, entitled "Dedication," is my way of showing appreciation to the many individuals who have played a vital part in my growth as a human being. It is a tribute to my heroes and family members as well as significant events such as the Million Man march that have impacted my life.

Part III, "Do Relationships Exist?" is an effort on my part to analyze the concept of male/female relationships from my personal experiences as well as those of my closest associates. This set of poems allows the reader a chance to view my intimate, personal journey to find that ultimate "Soul Mate" and some of the many adventures I've encountered along the way. I hope that it may spark some productive dialogue about redefining our views of the vital components that are necessary to foster healthy male/female intimate relationships.

The final section is called "Thug Life" because this group of poems is directed specifically to the young Black male attempting to define his place in the American society. I have personally witnessed the demise of some of my closest comrades at the hands of the debilitating street culture of drugs, crime, and violence. I hope that we, as Black men, begin to reassess our perceived notion of what constitutes manhood and begin to gain a deeper understanding of how our actions not only affect us, but a whole community.

In summing up, I hope that my poetry may touch the lives of individuals who have seen or experienced similar thoughts or events as I have in y travels. It is my opinion that one is not prepared to survive in the American society if he has not experienced some form of hardship that has required him to do an in depth self evaluation to address the situation. I don't claim to be the perfect human being, but I do believe that I have acquired a wealth of useful wisdom that I desire to pass on to others.

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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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Negro Digest / Black World

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Enjoy!

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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

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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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posted 4/21/04

 

 

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