Books by Uche Nworah
The Long Harmattan Season
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King And His Mighty Libido
By Uche Nworah
The story of the mighty
libido King Mswati 111 of Swaziland
may just be the last evidence we need to show that maybe we are
being a bit too harsh on our leaders in Nigeria, you know who
they are, the ones that lord it over us, the ones of which we
are supposed to say how high your Excellency whenever they say
Our supposed leaders come
in different shapes and sizes, they also come with different
tastes, expectations and fantasies as regards their choice of
women ranging from ikebe, lekpa, American specs,
European specs, double- action, sweet sixteen, Big mama etc,
some of them though, in all fairness have remained in the
‘past’, staying loyal to their wives and ensuring that their
trousers or shokoto
remain zipped or roped up always. But for the rest of them, they
may have finally found their match in the 37 year old King
Mswati 111 who is only still married to 13 wives, not any where
near his late father’s 70 wives record.
For some of our profligate
leaders the king may just be their most influential role model
yet, and to think that my late grand father Nze Nkaonadi Nworah
Okeke who only managed a ‘lowly’ and ‘pitiable’ 3 wives
went about town like a warrior and conqueror when his mates were
marrying tens of wives, I wonder what he would have said if he
was here today to hear the king’s story.
The brother rules over
Swaziland, a poor and impoverished land in Southern Africa with
a population of about 1.1 million, his people live mostly in
huts and survive on just the equivalent of 50 American cents a
day but that is the least of his worries. He appears bent on
breaking both his father’s and King Solomon’s record of the
king with the most concubines and wives. He is surely on his way
though. Still in his 30s, he already has 2 fiancées, 13 wives
and has ‘only’ managed to father 23 children till date.
Now I understand why
majority of Germans were angry with Americans during the Monica
Lewinsky affair, they couldn’t understand the fuss over
Monica, cowboy Bill and his famous cigar. Such malfeasance in
Germany is actually a way of life and a positive sign of
manhood, a man like Bill Clinton in Germany will be applauded
and given a loud ovation, a sure sign that men are still alive
and that the
feminization of man that Rudolf Okonkwo wrote about is yet
to show up on their shores.
In Germany Bill would have
been considered a saint, especially when you consider that
Gerhard Schroeder (their former Chancellor) is currently
trialling his fourth marriage with Doris Kopf. To the average
German, all that Bill did wrong was to stay married to one woman
– Hillary plus that ‘one off’ indulgence with Monica, an
act that is not anywhere near the heroics of the true greats.
Anyway, back to the great
one of Swaziland. As a man, just be honest, do you envy him?
Would you wish to swap places with him for a day? Especially
during the occasion of the annual reed
dance when over 20,000 young virgins and maidens strut out
half-naked in the village square and expose their goods and
wares to the king, pleading, waiting and hoping to be selected
as wife number X.
Surely the king is
stretching his customer (or is it suitor?) rights to the limits,
inspecting the goods first before buying.
I am still surprised
though that in all their foreign travels, none of our leaders
have yet been reported to have visited Swaziland. They choose
rather to hunt and fish in local and nearby colleges and
universities and also in London and America where their several
mistresses get paid to look after government treasury on their
behalf, although with the recent happenings and plights of the
likes of Joshua Dariye of Plateau state, and D.S.P
Alamieyeseigha (I hope I got the spelling right). London and
America may no longer be ideal for such executive past times. If
only King Mswati 111 knew of the affinity he has with some of
our leaders, and the passion they share together. I am sure he
would be glad to have willing allies in them.
After seeing the photos
from the annual kingly wife selection event, it would be
interesting to see if any of our leaders would undertake to
visit the king as special guests of honour (a privilege our
excellencies cherish so much), if tomorrow the king extends any
such invitations to them and they indeed accept, at least you
know why they have accepted the invitations.
The king apparently is a
smart man, already thinking of the chastity of his future wives,
just like his late father King Sobhuza
11, he once banned teenage sex in his country,
a ban which he broke and eventually revoked when he married a 17
year old school girl and paid a fine of a cow as a result, some
people have life easy you may say.
This ban, a protectionist
policy and measure was borne not out of love for his country nor
to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS which currently afflict over 40%
of his kinsmen and women, but rather to ensure that no other man
touches the young girls, as any of them could still potentially
be one of his wives in the future.
I still think that
Nigerians should be ashamed of themselves for their criticisms
of our leaders and their ways, especially with women. We are
being unfair to them because they haven’t even gone any where
near a third of King Mswati’s bootylicious exploits yet, the king and his country do not have the
type of resources that our leaders have at their disposals and
see how many women the king controls. This means that our
leaders deserve more. They are not yet up there in the rankings;
if they were, Jonathan
Elendu and Omoyele
Sowore would have longed exposed the brand and quantity of
condoms they use per week (if any) , as well as the names and
addresses of the shops where they are bought. Do we still
require any further evidence to show that our leaders are still
playing in the minor league?
We should just leave them
alone to indulge before they change their minds and go into
exile to Swaziland where their soul mate is beckoning, and then
we won’t benefit anymore from their great leadership and
wisdom. Such a situation will definitely cause great uproar and
turmoil in the land, especially amongst the female folks (the
beneficiaries of government contracts and other pecks from the
largesse of our leaders’ kindness).
We don’t want to put
these women out of work and then swell the ranks of the
unemployed in our land, do we?
* * * *
Uche Nworah is a
freelance writer and lives in London. email@example.com
* * * *
of Swazi Virgins
Rudy: I am stewing in an editorial
dilemma. I believe in a free press. But I suspect like many
Americans (and Muslims, too), I am when the superficialities of
civilization are scraped away not at heart the savage and
heathen I purport to be, but that I am rather a puritan, and
little more. I received from my Nigerian brother Uche an article
in which he sets up an analogy between the King of Swaziland
with his many wives and the leaders of his home country Nigeria
with their European mansions and their American bureaus and
their relationship to women. The African who is a superficial
Christian and the African man with many wives, concubines, and
other kinds of sexual partners are viewed as the norm for what
There is nothing wrong here. Such an
intellectual discussion I can manage. Along with
this expose of African sexual morality (of the well-heeled and
powerful), Uche sent also photos of King Mwaiti in which
he summoned 20,000 virgins to
present themselves so that he could make his selection of X wife in addition to
his present thirteen wives, two fiancées, and other numerous
concubines. These Swazi virgins (of all complexions and
dimensions) are beautifully and wonderfully arrayed in
"traditional" dress--exposing legs, stomach, and
breasts, carrying either reeds or swords.
I was at once horrified and delighted. Here's
where my puritanism kicked in. Richard Wright tried to write
about his unsettled sensibility in his Ghana tour. I averted my
eyes when I was in the village of Luberizi when a native woman
appeared thus exposed with a jug of water on her head. She was
as natural as if she were a nun or a Muslim woman fully robed
from head to toe. How could such innocence be? But these Swazi
women also look like American black women and many from their
countenance were very much apart of the modern world.
These Swazi virgins are not the women
one grows up seeing in National Geographic. But still one
does not note sexual self-consciousness or even an air
of immodesty one usually expects in Western women of whatever
complexion. Nor is there that seductive nakedness that one finds
in Playboy or lower levels of Western pornography.
These photos are not what one even might view as erotica,
which now has middle-class respectability, at least in
literature, if not in image or film. They appear as if they are
taking part in an actual African tradition before the royal
personages of king and court.
This situation is also unsettling on another
level. I am decidedly American in my sensibility. I am a
democrat in an Age of Afrocentricity and the worship of things
African. Pride in African kings and queens, and other
exalted figures is the favorite pastime of both the educated and
the "aware" Negro. As a
pure American, I have no love for kings and queens. I know there are many blacks who feel sentimental
toward the English court, who are most of the time heavily
clothed. So I welcome Uche's denunciation of the romanticization
of things African. Still I am troubled whether to post or censor
these photos of the royal abuse of Swazi women.
Miriam: Since I haven't seen the
photos, it's hard for me to say. Are the women presented
in seductive, salacious poses that would offend African American
women? Are the photographs absolutely essential in conveying the
message of the written text? A lot depends on the
readership of ChickenBones as well as on other types
of images that you've depicted. I view the journal as a
serious publication that deals with significant issues in a very
professional way. if there's any chance that the photos
would offend or demean people, then I'd err on the side of not
including them. It's really not a matter of censorship but
of what fits into the context of your publication. I
wouldn't have a problem with the images privately, but once
they're put out in the public domain, that's another matter.
Someone could take the images out of context and use them
for other purposes.
Mackie: Some will chuckle or guffaw at
my words, but – though we can discuss this topic according to
the spirit of the matter without the photos, we can't explore
the subject according to the letter of the matter without them. We
understand your meaning but can't be guilty or innocent of
prurient interests without the actual photos. I
assume that these pictures were not taken for prurient reasons;
so we ought to be able to be bigger than our suspicions about
Rudy: I do not think they are
salacious or prurient. Reeds (sticks) and swords they carry
undermine such thoughts. Such implements rather deflate physical
excitement. There's no titillation as was found in the
congressional sanctioning of Janet Jackson.
Uche: The women are young girls from swaziland
participating in the annual reed dance in swaziland, an occasion
that King Mswati III uses to select his wives, the photos are
sourced from private sources, from a Kenyan colleague actually
who asked that I do a write up on the King's excesses. I have
appropriately captioned the photos.
Ben: The aberration in morality is
that you had to avert your eyes when presented with God's gift
to man, the sight of a beautiful woman, moreover, a black woman.
How sad. In a way as we grow up we are trained to "avert
our eyes" and Playboy is hid under the bed. Yes, 20,000
virgins is a bit much, but it comes a great deal closer to our
fantasy than it does to our reality.
Jerry: Post the photographs with Mr.
Uche's article. As you describe the photographs, they are
somewhat "anthropological" and a useful bit of visual
evidence. You may add critical citations that express your
uneasiness with them (a la Mr. Wright who did take similar
photographs in Ghana; I looked at the whole collection of
photographs at Yale this summer), but please do not censor
what Mr. Uche very likely considers to be historical evidence.
Often we do not like what people value or
tolerate in cultures other than our own. Our dislike,
disgust, shame or whatever the case may be do not justify our
hiding available evidence. Let your readers and viewers
see for themselves and render the judgments they must.
Joyce: I don't think the Internet
provides a suitable venue for the complexity of this
information. What is the brother's point in offering this
information? It is too easily "abused." If
I were you I wouldn't publish either the article or the photos.
What purpose does it serve? These cultural practices require
more context, historical and cultural interpretation than is
possible in a brief essay.
Moreover, some comparative information about
cultural practices in various societies historically and today
is needed to avoid the rampant stereotyping in the western mind
that would be further entrenched by this information. People can
find this stuff all over the place. The "royal abuse
of Swazi women" (certainly not THEIR perspective) has
its counterpart in the western media/mindset's abuse of any and
Send your query to Runoko Rashidi who travels
widely throughout Africa and get his opinion. Runoko Rashidi firstname.lastname@example.org
Wilson: A lot of my brothers and
sisters don't want to accept criticism of themselves or other
black people. They want to ignore their own faults
and those of other black folk. They hide behind the
excuse that we shouldn't air dirty linen. Their real
concern is that they don't want to change their ways or accept
ugly facts. It is a truly base awkward people who hide
behind the excuse that we can't give them “too easily
abused” information. White people already know
everything we think or do. Let's not kid ourselves.
Jerry: I do respect the point that Dr.
Joyce King makes about proper contextualization and thorough,
rigorous inquiry with regard to Mr. Uche Nworah's materials.
That is what I believe the dedicated scholars among us should
and will do. I do not agree, however, with the notion that
we can successfully retard the western mind's rampant
stereotyping of things. Neither the Western mind nor any
other geographically/culturally identified abstraction called
"mind" will cease its habitual activities until human
beings no longer exist on this planet.
Ben: There is no more enticing pit than the sexual
abyss. A few priests, rabbis, and reverends would tell us that a
hundred million years of design is somehow wrong, and men and
women's sexual desires and conduct can be regulated. Hah!
Rudy, I can certainly understand Joyce's point and I agree
that the text & photos could be misused on the internet.
But I also believe that we have to "air our dirty
laundry," so to speak, or the actions of these
despots—whether political, economic, or social (as this one
is)—will continue. We African Americans have to speak
out not only against Apartheid and genocide but also against
corruption, genital mutilation, the militarization of children,
and cultural practices that spread HIV/AIDS throughout the
I can certainly understand
Joyce's point and I agree that the text & photos could be
misused on the internet. But I also believe that we have
to "air our dirty laundry," so to speak, or the
actions of these despots—whether political, economic, or
social (as this one is)—will continue. We African
Americans have to speak out not only against Apartheid and
genocide but also against corruption, genital mutilation, the
militarization of children, and cultural practices that spread
HIV/AIDS throughout the continent.
Jerry: Miriam, I agree with the point
you are making wholeheartedly. We African Americans have to
abandon "silence" and speak out in ways that can be
at once passionate and thoroughly informed about all the
interrelated issues of our vast African Diaspora. Smashing
silence with people from various African nations; North,
Central, and South America and the Caribbean, and certain
areas of the Pacific.
If my sense of what you are proposing is
accurate, your ideas about international Diasporic discourse is
consonant with what the Association for the Study of the
Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD) has been promoting to a large
degree. One organization, however, cannot carry all the
Articulate people inside and outside of
academic circles must participate in the work of gathering and
analyzing evidence, entering debates, and constructing
policies that champion human rights. As you have suggested
in other comments, words are often not enough. Real labor
in crisis sites is required. Thanks for your efforts to
open minds and enlarge our options for action.
Masauko: Rudy, the Swazi king is an
outdated fool. Don't run the photos unless you plan to expose
him as a fraud. All of these kings in Southern Africa can be
seen one day driving through Rosebank mall in benzes where they
have Woolworths and McDonalds. They only turn on this archaic
king jive when they want to feed on more young women.
We have a running joke is Southern Africa:
you never leave your girl anywhere you can't see her in
Swaziland because she could end up in the kings line up. There
is a bit of truth in every joke or it ain't funny.
The only reason to run these photos is to do
it in conjunction with a really strong article where someone can
get an interview with various people from Swaziland and ask what
all this means to them. I think you'll be surprised that most
people there are pissed off about it.
Rudy: An interview with a Swazi is
impractical at this time. Uche's satirical style does not
countenance the marital practices of the Swazi king, although
his interests lie in Nigeria and the sexual exploits of the
well-to-do businessmen and politicians. Still I'd be interested
in what the average Swazi has to say including fathers and
mothers. Of course, we'd be more than happy to post such an
interview article if someone manages the feat.
Ditti: OOOOOaaay! Don't know that I can answer
your question. I'm not familiar with ChickenBones beyond
it's a publication of some sort; therefore, I don't know its
readers. Would the article & photos be a change from
the usual materials published therein?
The photos are absolutely beautiful; might be difficult for some
to handle but it is reality. Is the 1st picture really
from Africa or are these USA gals dressed as such? I got
that feeling immediately, perhaps because of the western type
influences, mod shades, mod earrings, makeup, etc. that
are not visible in the others photos. There just seems to
be a sense of dignity (comfort maybe?) in the other photos among
the women that I don't see in the first one. Read the
article and learned a great deal from it.
Anita: Rudy, Uche's 'Bootylicious'!
HA! I really laughed when I read that word! Is that BEN (The
Egalitarian 'apples and oranges guy'?) Tell him guys don't hide
the sex magazines any more! They keep collections on their
shelves in their parents homes and they watch R rated movies at
their buddy's house.
Well, my first reaction of the photos before I read comments:
I thought ..hmm, gosh, what pretty young African girls in
bright colorful cute mini skirts with nothing on their boobs. To
me, nothing shocking or offensive of any kind. (I wish my
boobs looked half that good!) oops sorry!
Now, to the point: Without these photos,
people might visualize the worst in their mind while reading the
text. (Girls being physically and emotionally abused). So in
that regard it helps to display them. They don't looked happy,
more like they were waiting for their turn or something.
Young girls don't know about men! But we Mother's do!! HOWEVER,
I do understand how African American or ANY culture of women
would have a problem with this King! I wouldn't want my
daughter picked out to be one of the Kings next 'crops'. You
notice Masauko's comment about 'the running joke'. What mother would want that for her daughter?
This is hardly comparative to what Bill Clinton or some of the
others did! here in the USA. That King isn't hiding anything if
everybody's making jokes about it. Still by our standards it's
horrible and against the law to do that here.
But an American President who is sneakin'
around with a young White House Intern is shameful to his
highest position, his wife and family and becomes a clown in
people's minds. Poor decision making policy, there Bill!
And to the man who made a comment on what
white people already think and know about know African
Americans? HA!, it's opposite of that, which is why there are
problems . . .
Thank you so much for the wonderful links.
I'm learning so much. I really am!
Rudy: Anita, I think that you are
right--the photos (in themselves) are neither offensive nor
seductive. I have tried to look in the souls of these girls to
discover what is going on there, and suspect that the thinking
going on in their minds is much more complex than we can
imagine. For I suspect that they have also been Western educated
I got some of the impressions you
described: "They don't look happy, more like they were
waiting for their turn or something." I suspect that
something is amiss here.
But I'm not sure what it is. Nevertheless, I
felt like you these are: "pretty young African girls
in bright colorful cute mini skirts with nothing on their
boobs." They look like American girls I've seen. I also
agree just reading an article about such events, that
people "might visualize the worst in their mind." Some
of the fears (of exposure and shame) are indeed irrational. I
understand the source of the attitude.
The photos, I believe, help us to judge more
objectively what's going on here/there. I do not think it is
just the King that is the problem. But there is also the
co-conspiracy of 20,000 mothers and fathers and a people who
have been bamboozled by a "tradition" not examined in
light of today's reality. They need a revolution. The way
that such practices will change is not by hiding them and
praying that gradually such persons will come to their senses.
If we are a global community, we should have I say based on
I have no regrets publishing either the article
or the photos.
Joyce: Well, this [publication] should
generate a lot of response. I'm still not convinced that a
worthy purpose is served.
well, I'm pleased you're still speaking with me. Yes, there was
considerable response. But I'd preferred more response from my
killing off the Black Church--Death of the Black Church.
Of course, there is a lot of fear among us, that is, in speaking
one's mind. I suspect that most people do not know what they
think and thus say nothing. They wait to see which way the wind
blows and then join in. It has always been that way. I admire
you in that you are willing to speak your mind. Personally, I
have been one who questioned from my earliest days as a child.
And I have been opposed to concealment of "family
secrets," especially when they stand in the way of
development. I admire what Uche and other Nigerian journalists
do with respect to
attacking the excesses of Nigerian leadership.
Joyce: I'm not a "fair
weather" friend, Rudy. I don't see this issue as
"dirty laundry." It's an educational matter from my
perspective. What is the best way to become educated and
informed in order to be effective in our criticism.
"Expose" (expose-say) is not education but
distraction. We also get "used" on this side of the
family in "family wars" over there that we don't know
too much about. They also have no clue about the damage these
so-called criticisms do to the African family because of the way
all of us are regarded with respect to sexuality, etc., etc.
But then I'm neither a poet, journalist or
griot. Just a teacher.
Rudy: Such black united fronts never work for more than a
moment. They become a cover for knaves, opportunists,
scoundrels, and demagogues. My first exposure to African
sexuality and nudity was via the National Geographic, even with
its anthropological (scientific) pretensions, which is a
thousand times worse than our "exposure" of the
excesses of the African king of Swaziland, which I do not
include in my family or even among my friends or among those
I admire. This clown is not deserving of our respect.
I, however, am interested in what you would
do with such information as an educator, when asked by a student
to explain such "African behavior"? There is certainly
no modern justification for this swazi fete.
Joyce: I accept the challenge. There
are all manner of anachronistic practices among every people on
earth that "deserve" to be critiqued and helped toward
extinction--from the damaging rap videos here to the "Swazi
fete." My comments are intended to reject the
"ex-po-say" (I don't have the accent on the
"e" to fix this word) approach per se. I am
questioning the good that can come out of this way of informing
the broader public about the King and his concubines,
wives, virgins, etc.
Your choice of the word "exposure"
is interesting—as in "pulling the covers off"
something that is otherwise hidden or should be brought out (and
again I ask: for what purpose?) If the purpose is the bring an
end to the oppression of women in that context, then, like the
sisters here who PARTICIPATE in the rap video industry, we ought
to understand better what is going on with them as well as the
brothers and the King.
I'm prepared to argue that we are
dealing with cultural matters as well as other factors that
need to be understood not excused or hidden. My goal as an
educator is understanding and human growth in the fight for
justice. I also intend to do all that I can to strengthen the
family bonds that I value among African people. That doesn't
mean that I excuse any roguish behavior anywhere--here or wherever African people
are. My comments are not intended to imply that
this practice or the practioners (the King and the women so
engaged) "deserve" our respect. But I don't believe we
ought to unwittingly be doing the work of the system of
Whether we (you or I or any Black person)
chooses to include any of these folks here and there in our
"family"--the reality is that white supremacy racism
does that for us. I will share this dialogue that we are
having with some of the teachers I am working with on curriculum
matters. It may not be possible to tackle this issue directly in
a curriculum for young people, but I'll see what we can come up
with and I'll get back to you.
I've done some educational programs for
adults and this discussion suggests to me that we need to extend
our work beyond the classroom to teacher (adult) education.
Other issues that come to mind are "female
circumcision". It'll take a couple of months but I will
definitely get back to you.
Rudy: That sounds great. I indeed
would like to know what the swazi girls themselves think and
what some of the swazi parents think about such
"traditions." I suspect that many thought they had no
real choice or options were limited. . . .
I feel just as inadequate in judging the
sister that was the author of Memoir of a Video Ho. There
was an article about her in the NYTimes (an organ of the
"system of white supremacy"?). The book itself is a
bestseller among young African American women. This situation is
worse in that her specialty is caught up in, not so much the
sexual act, but rather personal greed and avarice and she
has put a pretty face on, literally. She sees nothing wrong in
what she has done, no apology or remorse whatsoever. She is
proud of her accomplishments and has placed a trademark on the
word "Superhead," her given nickname in the rap
industry. I understand there is a film option on the book.
I do not know how an educator would explain
this black American phenomena. In a manner it is worse then the
"swazi fete" or "female circumcision." What
we have here is capitalist enterprise being recommended to our
your women And I've heard no feminist criticism
whatsoever about this book or its author. In America, I suppose
it is not the sexual act itself that is the problem but the
gender involved in the unethical act.
Uche Nworah is freelance writer, lecturer and brand
strategist. He studied communications arts at the
University of Uyo, Nigeria and graduated with a second
class honours degree (upper division). He also holds an
M.Sc degree in marketing from the University of Nigeria,
Enugu campus and obtained his PGCE (post-graduate
certificate in education) from the University of
Greenwich where he is currently enrolled as a doctoral
candidate. His articles have been published by several
websites and leading Nigerian newspapers. He received
the ChickenBones Journalist of the Year award in 2006.
Uche can be contacted through
posted 17 October 2005
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Sex at the Margins
Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry
By Laura María Agustín
This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. "
Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between
migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals
the utter complexity of the contemporary sex
industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in
the study of sexuality."—Lisa Adkins, University of London
* * * * *
Life on Mars
By Tracy K. Smith
Tracy K. Smith, author of Life on Mars has been selected as the winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. In its review of the book, Publishers Weekly noted the collection's "lyric brilliance" and "political impulses [that] never falter." A New York Times review stated, "Smith is quick to suggest that the important thing is not to discover whether or not we're alone in the universe; it's to accept—or at least endure—the universe's mystery. . . . Religion, science, art: we turn to them for answers, but the questions persist, especially in times of grief. Smith's pairing of the philosophically minded poems in the book’s first section with the long elegy for her father in the second is brilliant." Life on Mars follows Smith's 2007 collection, Duende, which won the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, the only award for poetry in the United States given to support a poet's second book, and the first Essence Literary Award for poetry, which recognizes the literary achievements of African Americans. The Body’s Question (2003) was her first published collection.
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The Gardens of Democracy: A New American Story
of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government
By Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer
American democracy is informed by the 18th century’s most cutting edge thinking on society, economics, and government. We’ve learned some things in the intervening 230 years about self interest, social behaviors, and how the world works. Now, authors Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer argue that some fundamental assumptions about citizenship, society, economics, and government need updating. For many years the dominant metaphor for understanding markets and government has been the machine. Liu and Hanauer view democracy not as a machine, but as a garden. A successful garden functions according to the inexorable tendencies of nature, but it also requires goals, regular tending, and an understanding of connected ecosystems. The latest ideas from science, social science, and economics—the cutting-edge ideas of today—generate these simple but revolutionary ideas: (The economy is not an efficient machine. It’s an effective garden that need tending. Freedom is responsibility. Government should be about the big what and the little how. True self interest is mutual interest.
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To the Mountaintop
My Journey Through the Civil Rights Movement
A personal history of the civil
rights movement from activist and acclaimed journalist
Charlayne Hunter-Gault. On January 20, 2009, 1.8
million people crowded the grounds of the Capitol to
witness the inauguration of Barack Obama. Among the
masses was Charlayne Hunter-Gault. She had flown from
South Africa for the occasion, to witness what was for
many the culmination of the long struggle for civil
rights in the United States. In this compelling personal
history, she uses the event to look back on her own
involvement in the civil rights movement, as one of two
black students who forced the University of Georgia to
integrate, and to relate the pivotal events that swept
the South as the movement gathered momentum through the
early 1960s. With poignant black-and-white photos,
original articles from the New York Times, and a unique
personal viewpoint, this is a moving tribute to the men
and women on whose shoulders Obama stood.
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The White Masters of the
The World and Africa, 1965
By W. E. B. Du Bois
W. E. B. Du Bois’
Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization
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Ancient African Nations
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If you like this page consider making a donation
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Negro Digest /
Browse all issues
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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
George Jackson /
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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg
Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804
January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of
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(Books, DVDs, Music, and more)
update 10 July 2012