ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

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In the Islamic world, according to Baeck, liberal and progressive intellectuals have been searching

in their own cultural and religious traditions for a way of thinking that would guide them

towards a more democratic and humane modernity.

 

 

Books by James Boggs and Grace Lee Boggs

 

Revolution and Evolution in the Twentieth Century  / The American Revolution: Pages from a Negro Worker's Notebook

 

Living for Change: An Autobiography Conversations in Maine: Exploring Our Nation's Future 

 

Manifesto for a Black Revolutionary Party   / Racism and the Class Struggle 

 

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The Islamic Struggle and Ours 
By Grace Lee Boggs 

 

In my mind’s eye throughout the holidays has been the image of three million white-robed Muslims peacefully praying and picnicking on their pilgrimage to Mecca in December. At the same time I have been reflecting on “Islamic Views On Globalization” by Louis Baeck, Professor of International Economics and Development at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. PlanetAgora
 
Prior to reading Baeck’s article, like most Americans, I had not paid sufficient attention to the fact that during the last few decades people all over the Third World have been engaged in a search for alternate roads to modernity because the modernity forced upon them by  western colonization and corporate globalization has been so traumatic and also because the unrestrained economic development of western societies has had such catastrophic consequences for our planet and for our relationships with one another. 
 
In the Islamic world, according to Baeck, liberal and progressive intellectuals have been searching in their own cultural and religious traditions for a way of thinking that would guide them towards a more democratic and humane modernity. They hope and believe that Islam, unlike western secularism, can provide them with a philosophy that puts morals and ethics, or right conduct, in command of economics and thus a way of thinking that will safeguard their societies from the consumerism and commercialization of all our human relationships which has become the norm in the West, and especially in the United States. 
 
In the Islamic world the 1979 revolution in Iran, which overthrew the U.S-sponsored Shah and empowered the Ayatollahs, is viewed as an expression of this cultural revival. 
 
Since the U. S. military incursions into oil rich- Saudi Arabia and Iraq and the increasingly blatant support by the U.S. of Israel’s occupation of Palestine, this search by Islamic progressives for a non-western road to modernity has been overshadowed by the fundamentalists led by Osama bin Laden. But the search continues and we have a responsibility to explore the possibilities it offers for building relationships of solidarity that can replace the immobilizing fears and suspicions created by 911 and perpetuated since then by the Bush administration and the media. 
 
The Islamic search reminds me of MLKs’s call for a radical revolution in values against the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism as he grappled in the last three years of his life with the crises of the urban rebellions and the violence of American culture at home and abroad. 
 
“The war in Vietnam,” King said, “is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit. We have come to value things more than people. Our technological development has outrun our spiritual development. We have lost our sense of community, of interconnection and participation.” 
 
“Our society has made material growth and technological advance an end in itself, robbing people of participation, so that human beings become smaller while their works become bigger.” 
 
“Instead of pursuing economic productivity,” King urged, “we need to expand our uniquely human powers, especially our capacity for Agape which is the Love that is ready to go to any length to restore community.” 
 
I also see similarities between the Islamic struggle for more democratic and humane roads to modernity and our Detroit City of Hope campaign. Because we have suffered and are suffering the devastation which is the result of putting economics in command, we are making community-building rather than economics the key to the reconstruction of all our institutions from the ground up. 

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Baeck’s article www.planetagora.org/english/theme1_suj5_note.html was brought to my attention by Hatto Fischer, an old friend who lives in Athens and keeps abreast of our struggles in Detroit. After reading this article, I discovered "The Mediterranean trajectory of Aristotle's economic canon," an article in which Baeck explains the connection between Aristotle’s views on citizenship and his insistence that economics be subordinate to ethics and politics and also reminds us that Islamic philosophers like Ibn Rushd (Averroes) 1126-1198 continued in the Aristotelian tradition. 

Source: Michigan Citizen, January 6-12. 2008 

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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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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."

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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

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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 / 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 16 December 2011

 

 

 

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