ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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 The Claude-McKay—Romare Bearden

Literature & Arts Index

  About Romare Bearden   The Negro Artist and Modern Art

The Black Experience in America is Unique  /   The Fact of Blackness (1952) By Frantz Fanon  / Election Day Returns  / Emerge & See by Tony Medina

Send contributions to: ChickenBones: A Journal /  2005 Arabian Drive / Finksburg, MD 21048  -- I became aware of Rudy Lewis’ labor of love a few short months ago during a visit to Kalamu ya Salaam’s e-drum listserv. As soon as I saw the title of the journal I knew it was about Black folks, and the power of the written word.  A quick click took me into a journal that’s long on creativity, highlighting well-known, little known, and a little known writers, and commitment to the empowerment of Black folks. I contacted Rudy to ask if he’d consider publishing some of my work. His response was immediate, and a couple of days after I’d forwarded some poems to him—they were part of ChickenBones. What I didn’t know was that this journal has been surviving for the last five years with very little outside financial support. . .  If we want journals like this to “thrive” we need to support them with more than our website hits, praise, and submissions for publication consideration.

—Peace, Mary E. Weems (January 2007)                     

Presidential Medal of Freedom Ceremony

29 May 2012—East Room

Toni Morrison—she is used to a little distraction.  As a single mother working at a publishing company by day, she would carve out a little time in the evening to write, often with her two sons pulling on her hair and tugging at her earrings.  Once, a baby spit up on her tablet so she wrote around it.  Circumstances may not have been ideal, but the words that came out were magical.  Toni Morrison's prose brings us that kind of moral and emotional intensity that few writers ever attempt.  From Song of Solomon to Beloved, Toni reaches us deeply, using a tone that is lyrical, precise, distinct, and inclusive.  She believes that language “arcs toward the place where meaning might lie.”  The rest of us are lucky to be following along for the ride. . . . I remember reading Song of Solomon when I was a kid and not just trying to figure out how to write, but also how to be and how to think. (Obama) . . . . The first African American woman to win a Nobel Prize, Toni Morrison is one of our nation's most distinguished storytellers.  She has captivated readers through lyrical prose that depicts the complexities of a people and challenges our concepts of race and gender.  Her works are hallmarks of the American literary tradition, and the United States proudly honors her for her nursing of souls and strengthening the character of our union. (Medal presented.)whitehouse / Books by Toni Morrison

Basil Davidson's  "Africa Series":  Different But Equal  /  Mastering A Continent  /  Caravans of Gold  / The King and the City / The Bible and The Gun

The Mask of Art: Breaking the Aesthetic Contract - Film and Literature  (Clyde R. Taylor)

Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics

By Steven J. Ross

In Hollywood Left and Right, Steven J. Ross tells a story that has escaped public attention: the emergence of Hollywood as a vital center of political life and the important role that movie stars have played in shaping the course of American politics. Ever since the film industry relocated to Hollywood early in the twentieth century, it has had an outsized influence on American politics. Through compelling larger-than-life figures in American cinema—Charlie Chaplin, Louis B. Mayer, Edward G. Robinson, George Murphy, Ronald Reagan, Harry Belafonte, Jane Fonda, Charlton Heston, Warren Beatty, and Arnold Schwarzenegger—Hollywood Left and Right reveals how the film industry's engagement in politics has been longer, deeper, and more varied than most people would imagine. As shown in alternating chapters, the Left and the Right each gained ascendancy in Tinseltown at different times. From Chaplin, whose movies almost always displayed his leftist convictions, to Schwarzenegger's nearly seamless transition from action blockbusters to the California governor's mansion, Steven J. Ross traces the intersection of Hollywood and political activism from the early twentieth century to the present. Hollywood Left and Right challenges the commonly held belief that Hollywood has always been a bastion of liberalism.

Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as "the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field 'cut their teeth'."

Cornel West and the fight against injustice  /  Cornel West Calls Out Barack Obama  /  Worldwide Information Forum  / Living large in an Apocalypse Bunker

Miriam DeCosta-Willis

Hopkins first African-American PhD 

 By Keith Parent

Looking Toward Arbutus (Miriam DeCosta-Willis)

I am because we are and since we are therefore I am (The Soho of South Africa ) / The society made up of brothers and sisters provides strength. (Igbo of Nigeria)

The Cost of Lies -- America With Its Pants Down    The Dark Side of Obedience    Locked Up   A Lie Unravels the World  Lies Truth and Unwaged Housework  

 God Parent of Hip Hop Nikki Giovanni   /  Gil Scott-Heron "Blue Collar" 

Quilting the Black Eyed Pea  /  Blues as Secularized Spirituals 

Who Will Revere the Black Woman? (Abbey Lincoln)

Divas on Screen Black Women in American Film

By Mia Mask Book Review by Kam Williams


Rape: A Radical Analysis from an African-American Perspective

By Kalamu ya Salaam

Bibliophiles and Collectors  of African Americana (Charles L. Blockson)

Ode to a Magic City  & Didn't He Ramble  by Rudolph Lewis

Buddy Bolden in New Orleans / buddy bolden's blues legacy  (Kalamu ya Salaam)

The Importance of an African Centered Education  /  HBCUs Table  / The Return of the Nigger Breakers (interview Reed and Nelson)

The Anthology of Rap

Edited by Adam Bradley and Adam Bradley

Black Consciousness in Brazil

By Italo Ramos

*   *   *  *   *

Richard Wright Print Resources 

On Richard Wright and Our Contemporary Situation   

The Weight and Substance of A Father's Law

Essays by Jerry W. Ward

Khalil Gibran Muhammad

Great-Grandson of NOI Leader Elijah Muhammad

Chosen New Director of Schomburg Center

Margaret Burroughs DuSable Museum

(Co-Founder) at 93 Joins the Ancestors

Many Say Well Done, a Sad Farewell

November 28, 2010 and Richard Wright (Jerry W. Ward, Jr

Parable of the San Francisco Negro (2)  Marvin X

Madiba: The Life and Times of Nelson Mandela  / Terry Callier—TimePeace / Introduction to Haiti (1942) / Haitian and Guadeloupe Revolutions 1791

Larry Neal Speaks  / The Negro as Author  /  I Tried to Be a Communist  / César Vallejo  / C K Williams   / Clarence Major


Create Dangerously

A Lecture by Albert Camus

December 14, 1957 at the University of Uppsala in Sweden

Create Dangerously

The Immigrant Artist at Work (Edwidge Danticat)

Review and Interview by Kam Williams

Education and the Cataclysm in Haiti (Rea Dol)  /  Suffocating the poor: a modern parable (Johann Hari)  /  Create Dangerously (Albert Camus)

Johnny Cash—Cocaine Blues  /  Sam Chatmon Interview  / Sam Chatmon—Sittin' on top of the World  / Sam Chatmon—Aint Gone Kick It No More

Snoop Dogg ft Dr DRE & D'Angelo—ImagineTrinity Roots—New Zealand  /  Bicycle Corps: America's Black Army on Wheels  /  A Different Kind of Blue

Towards a Black Aesthetic

By Hoyt W. Fuller

What’s Going On: Black Studies and the Arts

Historically, Black artists and scholars have used their work to investigate and articulate the heart of the global Black experience. We seek work that addresses innovative ways visual art, music, poetry, literature, dance and other art forms critique, illuminate and/or bear witness to problems and solutions to critical issues in k-12 and postsecondary education. These issues include but are not limited to use of the arts as an integral part of the curriculum, to critique or explore the achievement gap, to report on the consequences of No Child Left Behind, use of the arts in Teacher Education programs, and the experiences of Black artist scholars in academia. We are interested in author's doing qualitative research using interpretive methods including auto/ethnography, ethnography, poetic inquiry, narrative, and ethnodrama; as well as interview and focus groups. What's Going On welcomes work from all educational disciplines and will also consider collaborative book projects on the cutting edge of crucial issues facing Black people today pertinent to the field.

Help me spread the word about Peter Lang's, Black Studies and Critical Thinking (BSCT) series and contact me at  or  with questions about What's Going On or to suggest folks who might be interested in submitting proposals. Also, note the other series editors and their areas below.

Peace, Mary E. Weems, Series Editor, Black Studies and Critical Thinking, Peter Lang Publishing

Other Series Editors

Marsha Darling, History

E. Patrick Johnson, LGBT  

Judy Alston, Black Leadership 

Judson L. Jeffries, Political Science

 Ernest Morrell, Youth & Childhood Culture

Mitchell Rice, Public Policy & Administration

 R. Deborah Davis, Education

Sandra Jackson, Black Women and Gender Studies


Fanon: A Novel by John Edgar Wideman. A philosopher, psychiatrist, and political activist, Frantz Fanon (1925–1961) was a fierce, acute critic of racism and oppression. Born of African descent in Martinique in 1925, Fanon fought in defense of France during World War II but later against France in Algeria’s war for independence. His last book, The Wretched of the Earth, published in 1961, inspired leaders of diverse liberation movements: Steve Biko in South Africa, Che Guevara in Latin America, the Black Panthers in the States. Wideman’s novel is disguised as the project of a contemporary African American novelist, Thomas, who undertakes writing a life of Fanon. The result is an electrifying mix of perspectives, traveling from Manhattan to Paris to Algeria to Pittsburgh. Part whodunit, part screenplay, part love story, Fanon introduces the French film director Jean-Luc Godard to the ailing Mrs. Wideman in Homewood and chases the meaning of Fanon’s legacy through our violent, post-9/11 world, which seems determined to  perpetuate the evils Fanon sought to rectify.

We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For

Inner Light in a Time of Darkness

By Alice Walker

A compelling collection of talks, essays, poems and prose, this is a personal and inspiring exploration of the power of individuals and communities.' (4 stars)—Charlotte Noirthedge, Think Tank

Drawing equally on Walker's spiritual grounding and her progressive political convictions, each chapter concludes with a recommended meditation to teach us patience, compassion, and forgiveness. We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For takes on some of the greatest challenges of our times and in it Walker encourages readers to take faith in the fact that, despite the daunting predicaments

Al Sharpton vs Tavis Smiley pt1 Barack Obama & the Black Agenda: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3  / No You Can't (Featuring John Boehner)


Angle of Song

Pinkie Gordon Lane (1923-2008)

By Jerry W. Ward, Jr.

The Katrina Papers: A Journal of Trauma and Recovery   Returning to the Sources

Eighty Moods of Maya (Edited by Howard Rambsy II) / Images and Homages: "Memwars" 

Leonard Harris  and Charles Molesworth. Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher (2008)--Alain L. Locke (1886-1954), in his famous 1925 anthology The New Negro, declared that “the pulse of the Negro world has begun to beat in Harlem.” Often called the father of the Harlem Renaissance, Locke had his finger directly on that pulse, promoting, influencing, and sparring with such figures as Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Jacob Lawrence, Richmond Barthé, William Grant Still, Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, Ralph Bunche, and John Dewey. The long-awaited first biography of this extraordinarily gifted philosopher and writer, Alain L. Locke narrates the untold story of his profound impact on twentieth-century America’s cultural and intellectual life. Leonard Harris and Charles Molesworth trace this story through Locke’s Philadelphia upbringing, his undergraduate years at Harvard—where William James helped spark his influential engagement with pragmatism—and his tenure as the first African American Rhodes Scholar. The heart of their narrative illuminates Locke’s heady years in 1920s New York City and his forty-year career at Howard University, where he helped spearhead the adult education movement of the 1930s and wrote on topics ranging from the philosophy of value to the theory of democracy.

 Climbing Malcolms Ladder /The Black Religious Crisis  / A Theology of Obligation & Liberation / The Negro Church Pan-Africanism and the Black Church

 Jane Musoke-Nteyafas  WE BE BLACK PEOPLE  REMEMBER: CHEIKH ANTA DIOP  AFRO-DISIAC   FORBIDDEN FRUIT    Enough with the Poisonous Lyrics  

Where Is the Love of All Things African?    African American Writers: Meet Rudolph Lewis  Kiini Ibura Salaam Tells All from Mexico 

Jazz Dance: The Story of American Vernacular Dance

By Marshall Stearns and Jean Stearns

Marshall Stearns, who taught college English, specializing in Chaucer, loved jazz, thought about jazz, taught about jazz, wrote about jazz, and, as the foundation of all this, took jazz seriously. His The Story of Jazz became a standard work in its field, and he then went on to document the dancing that went with the music. With his wife Jean, he spent seven years doing research, not only in libraries but among the living archives of dancers' memories. They conducted interviews with every jazz dancer they could find, at a time when jazz dancers seemed to be members of an endangered species.Now, thanks to Da Capo Press, Jazz Dance is again available, as a paperback ($16.95), augmented with a new foreword and afterword by Brenda Bufalino, artistic director of the American Tap Dance Orchestra. Although the book takes its subject only up to 1966when Marshall Stearns died of a heart attack shortly after the manuscript was completedit's still essential reading for anyone interested in jazz, in dance, and in the American musical theater.FindArticles

Toward a Feminist Theology  /  How to Love a Thinking Woman  / How To Love A Thinking Man  / Land of My Daughters  /  To White Women Who Think

 Status and Standard Language  / The Problem of "Settling"  / Black Immigrants Deported  /   WHAT IF  / Wish I Could Tell You the Truth  

I am because we are and since we are therefore I am (The Soho of South Africa ) / The society made up of brothers and sisters provides strength. (Igbo of Nigeria)

The Cost of Lies -- America With Its Pants Down    The Dark Side of Obedience    Locked Up   A Lie Unravels the World  Lies Truth and Unwaged Housework  



By Eusi Kwayana

St.Clair Bourne, Filmmaker, Dies at 64—St.Clair Bourne (1943-2007), a documentary filmmaker who recorded American black culture, produced portraits of eminent African-Americans and, in one stark film, drew a parallel between the civil rights movement and the “troubles” in Northern Ireland, died on Saturday (15 December) in Manhattan. He was 64 and lived in Brooklyn. I am proud to say that I know this brother and am sadden by news of his untimely transition. We met each other,  I believe in New York City in the late sixties or early seventies, when we were beginning our “media” related lives. I’m not sure who introduced us, but from the beginning I knew I was in the presence of a really “special” human being.  Somewhat self assured, St.Clair went on to create a significant body of work what will connect our people with their mighty history and greatness for generations to come. An article in the New York Times published Tuesday,  December 18, 2007 providing greater detail includes a nice video short by photographer Chester Higgins, Jr. Now, St.Clair  is beginning his journey amongst many of the ancestors whose lives he presented in his films. May they and the Creator treat him well. vernard r gray

ChickenBones Best Poetry Book of 2008

An Unmistakable Shade of Red & The Obama Chronicles

New book of poems by Mary E.Weems

Mary E. Weems Table   Say it Loud: Poems about James Brown   Mary Weems on YouTube  Nomination


  BCP Digital Printing 

BCP Digital Printing

Most of the novel takes place as Rebekka lies dying, Lina cares for her, and Sorrow asserts herself—all three women remembering their lives before and with Vaark. But the heart of the novel is young Florens. She's sent off to find a blacksmith, a free black man who once worked on Vaark's property and may be able to heal Rebekka. For Florens, it's a chance not just to escape but to reunite with him. She propels herself through a frightening travail in the wilderness with an ardent, irrepressible monologue, much of it directed to her absent lover. Her voice is the most demanding but rewarding in the novel, thick with raw poetry and passion. "I never before see leaves make this much blood and brass," she says. "Color so loud it hurts the eye and for relief I must stare at the heavens high above the tree line." She's sometimes unhinged— sympathetic one moment, animalistic the next. "These careful words, closed up and wide open, will talk to themselves," Florens says, and in the most mesmerizing sections of the novel, all we can do is listen to her incantations, the voice of a young woman consumed with yearning.


Wounded in the House of a Friend

Poems by Sonia Sanchez

Reviewed by Marvin X

Sonia Sanchez: Poet & Educator  Sonia's Song  Sonia Sanchez and Ten Grandmothers

Remembering Malcolm X (May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965) by Junious Ricardo Stanton

"I might point out here that colonialism or imperialism, as the slave system of the West is called, is not something that is just confined to England or France or the United States. The interests in this country are in cahoots with the interests in France and the interests in Britain. It's one huge complex or combine, and it creates what's known not as the American power structure or the French power structure, but an international power structure. This [racist western] international power structure is used to suppress the masses of dark-skinned people all over the world and exploit them of their natural resources."—Malcolm X

Our Women Keep Our Skies From Falling

 Six Essays in Support of The Struggle To Smash Sexism/Develop Women

By Kalamu ya Salaam

 "Revolutionary Struggle/Revolutionary Love"  / Our Women Keep Our Skies From Falling  /  Preface: It Aint Easy  

 Debunking Myths  /  Rape: A Radical Analysis   /  "Women's Rights Are Human Rights"

Kwansabas for Maya Angelou & Quincy Troupe’. Plus . . . Interviews with Angelou, Troupe & Michael Datcher

The Autobiography of LeRoi Jones  /  Biblical Scholars   /  ChickenBones Interviews  /  Depression Shopping List

Your Whiteness is Showing (Tim Wise )

Lingering Issues in Achebe's Female Characterisation (Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye)

Book Discussion: The Beautiful Struggle (video): Atlantic contributor Ta-Nehisi Coates reads passages

Nuking Nagasaki & Hiroshima, Our Nuking Nevada / / Like a Tortoise Shell  / Asa G. Hilliard III Obituary 


Apartheid dead but racism endures—Under apartheid, black education was purposely substandard and certain skilled jobs, notably in big corporations such as the railroad, were reserved for whites. Now white South Africans complain about government affirmative action programs that work against them. Yet despite these programs and a booming economy, more blacks are out of work than under white rule. Government statistics show that 10 percent of black households are in the top income bracket compared with 65 percent of white households. Blacks are 85 percent of the 48 million population. President Thabo Mbeki hoped business friendly policies would create a trickle-down effect, but they didn't, and many blacks criticize Mbeki for leaving the reins of the economy in white hands. Yahoo News

  The Exhilarating Generosity of Asa Hilliard  / Slow Death in Gaza (Margaret Kimberley)

      "Djimbe Danse"  Artwork (left) by Chuck Siler



Death from the Loss of Desire

The Sexual and Political Anorexia of the Black Woman (Julia Hare)

Death by Love: A Play by Ayodele Nzinga

Review by Marvin X

The So-Called Negro -- Plato in the Classroom   /  Chaka Khan / Rufus—Tell Me Somethin' Good (1974)

How the Media Uses Blacks to Chastise Blacks The Colored Mind Doubles By Ishmael Reed


Livin' The Blues:Memoirs of a Black Journalist and Poet

By Frank Marshall Davis

Edited by John Edgar Tidwell

Writings of Frank Marshall Davis:A Voice of the Black Press

Pharoah SandersThe Gathering  /  Pharoah Sanders:Heart (Love) is a Melody of Time  / The President's House: Freedom and Slavery  /  Kenyan Somalis facing Xenophobia

Writing on Napkins

A personal remembrance of August Wilson 

By Dennis Leroy Moore 

A political history of Africa since 1900—interactive  / Fences Talk with Viola Davis andDenzel Washington   / Louis Farrakhan Speaks Aboutt Gaddafi's Death  / Assata Shakur Documentary

Books by W.E.B. Du Bois

The Suppression of the African Slave Trade  (1896)  / The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study (1899)  / The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches (1903)  

 John Brown (1909)  / The Quest of the Silver Fleece (1911)  /  Darkwater: Voices Within the Veil (1920)  Gift of Black Folk: The Negroes in the Making of America (1924)  / Dark Princess: A Romance (1928)  / Black Reconstruction in America (1935) / Black Folk, Then and Now (1939)

Color and Democracy: Colonies and Peace (1945)  / The World and Africa: An Inquiry (1947)  / In Battle for Peace (1952) /

A Trilogy: The Ordeal of Monsart (1957) Monsart Builds a School (1959) nd Worlds of Color (1961) / An ABC of Color: Selections (1963)

The Autobiography of W.E.B. Du Bois: A Soliloquy on Viewing My Life from the Last Decade of Its First Century (1968)


We Are A Dancing People

By Sandra L. West

When the Spirits Dance Mambo


Holguin Siempre Adelante

An Artistic Journey by Claire Carew

Homage to Frida Kahlo 1907 to 2007


One Writer' Legacy: Richard Wright and Our 21st Century

By Jerry W. Ward, Jr.

Dr. Jerry Ward Lectures on Richard Wright    Homestretch to Richard Wright Centennial (Julia Wright)  /   The Saga of Bigger Thomas

Two Scholars Discuss Afrocentrism as A Racial Ideology: History & Ethics

Wilson Jeremiah Moses & Cane Hope Felder

The Dark Role of Excess in the Literary Marketplace

The Genesis of the Urban Street Literature Market and its Foundational Tropes of Black Excess

By Keenan Norris

Another great library has burned down

Murry N. DePillars, Ph.D. (1938 - 2008)

The Sisyphus Syndrome: A Jazz Opera by Amiri Baraka

Music by David Murray / Choreography Traci Bartlow

Review by Marvin X

 Claude McKay Bio

Part Two West Indian Narrative


Melvin B. Tolson Chronology

By Joy Flasch

The Great Debaters Top Film of 2007


Visit Our Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)








The Black Arts Movement
Literary Nationalism in the 1960s and 1970s

By James Edward Smethurst 

The Black Arts Movement (Highly Recommended, a Must Read)  Global News:PoliticsLiterature & the Arts

Books by Danyel Smith  Bliss (2005)  More Like Wrestling Debut Novel by Denise Nicholas Freshwater Road

Louis Lomax Bio & Notes

on The Reluctant African

Conversations with Kind Friends  Katrina New Orleans Flood Index  Conversation on Black Film

Welfare Poets have been in existence since the Spring of 1990, when two Cornell students came together to write poetry/rhymes of protest and upliftment, accompanied by congas (percussions). A band was created from this union with the purpose of using culture as a tool of resistance, and in the summer of 2000, the group released their first independent album "Project Blues." The group plays Hip Hop with a fusion of various styles from the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, Cuba and Jamaica.

Over their 15 plus years of existence, the Welfare Poets have been not only cultural activist, but they have been directly involved in efforts for social justice, most notably against police brutality, political prisoners, the colonial status of Puerto Rico and theU.S. Naval occupation of the island, environmental justice in New York City and elsewhere and the death penalty. Through teaching residencies and workshops, through activism around community struggles and through sharpedged performances of music that incorporates Hip Hop, Bomba y Plena, Latin Jazz and other rhythms, the Welfare Poets bring information and inspiration to those facing oppression and those fighting for liberation. Sak Pasé  Welfare Poets

Luis Alvarez. The Power of the Zoot: Youth Culture and Resistance during World War II. (2008).  -- Flamboyant zoot suit culture, with its ties to fashion, jazz and swing music, jitterbug and Lindy Hop dancing, unique patterns of speech, and even risqué experimentation with gender and sexuality, captivated the country's youth in the 1940s. The Power of the Zoot is the first book to give national consideration to this famous phenomenon. Providing a new history of youth culture based on rare, in-depth interviews with former zoot-suiters, Luis Alvarez explores race, region, and the politics of culture in urban America during World War II. He argues that Mexican American and African American youths, along with many nisei and white youths, used popular culture to oppose accepted modes of youthful behavior, the dominance of white middle-class norms, and expectations from within their own communities.

"Luis Alvarez has quite simply crafted a magnificent first book--one that tells a national story from African American and Mexican American youth in New York and Los Angeles to Nisei, Filipino, and Euro-American zooters and the wartime race-based violence that erupted in Detroit, Beaumont, and Mobile."--Vicki L. Ruiz, author of From Out of the Shadows: Mexican Women in Twentieth-Century America

 We Gotta Have It

Twenty Years of Seeing Black at the Movies, 1986-2006

By Esther IveremReviewed by Kam Williams

Do Me Twice: My Life after Islam A Memoir by Sonsyrea Tate / Women of a New Tribe By Jerry Taliaferro

Baba Kwanzaa

J. Nash Porter was born 24 May 1942 (died 27 October 2007)  in New Orleans and raised in an Uptown neighborhood surrounded by the sights and sounds of the urban streets. His career combines documentary and commercial photography, and photo-journalism. "Through the lens of my camera, I share with others the exciting tradition that I grew up with. Hopefully, I can ignite a spark of enthusiasm and bring about an awareness in other communities for the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indians," said Porter.

Formally trained at San Francisco State University and the University of California at Berkeley, Porter owned and operated a photography studio since 1972. Although his most prolific work was with the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indians, his photographic exhibits encompass an amalgam of African American blues and jazz musicians, and traditional cultures of the American South, West Africa, and the Caribbean.         Chuck Siler 2007>>>

Devil in a Blue Dress and Cinnamon Kiss

An Exploration of African American Financial Insecurity

and Its Impact on Psychological Development

By Mimi Ferebee

Race or Over-Reaching or Gullibility or All Three?Study after study show that minorities are more likely than whites to get subprime mortgages, which are high-cost loans made to people with poor credit. In its heyday earlier this decade, the subprime market was cheered as an avenue through which historically shut-out borrowers could get loans. That frequently meant minorities. So long as home prices rose, the subprime market seemed a positive example of how to increase home ownership, but as the housing market weakened this year, many began to question whether the loans were fairly priced. In September, the Federal Reserve released a study that found 52.8 percent of African-Americans got a high-cost home loan when they refinanced in 2006, compared to 37.7 percent of Latinos and just 25.7 percent of whites in the same year. A similar study by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, known by its acronym ACORN, in September found the same pattern even when income was equal. Yahoo                                                              Kwanzaa by Chuck Siler------------------>>>>>>>>>>>>>


The Painting: "My Friend Yictove”

By Bev Jenai 

Yictove Table

Documentary about Fred Mutebi’s artwork  / Amiri Baraka: Evolution of a Revolutionary Poet  /  Demining not just a man's job / Interview Afro-Italian writer Igiaba Scego

 Xmas Fifty Years Ago    Devil's Got a Lien on My Soul   A Discussion of "The Gift Outright" by Robert Frost"


The Situation of the Literary Arts in Sierra Leone

By Arthur  Edgar E Smith

Global News:PoliticsLiterature & the Arts

Grace Paley, Writer and Activist, Dies—born in the Bronx on 11 December 1922, died 22 August 2007 in Manhattan—taught for many years at Sarah Lawrence and the City College of New York, was also a past vice president of the PEN American Center. . . .Her parents, Isaac and the former Manya Ridnyik, were Ukrainian Jewish socialists who had been exiled by Czar Nicholas II — Isaac to Siberia, Manya to Germany. In 1906, they were able to leave for New York, where Isaac became a doctor. They had two children, and, approaching middle age, a third, Grace. . . .A “somewhat combative pacifist and cooperative anarchist,” Ms. Paley was a lifelong advocate of liberal causes. Her books include The Little Disturbances of Man (1959); Enormous Changes at the Last Minute (1974); and Later the Same Day (1985). Her other books include a collection of essays, Just As I Thought (1998), and several volumes of poetry, among them Leaning Forward  (1985) and New and Collected Poems  (1991) and The Collected Stories (2007). NYTimes

Haiti Cherie—The director stressed that while the film's plot was fictional, the experiences suffered by the characters were completely realistic."I wanted to show what life is like in the 'bateyes'," Del Punta said, referring to the encampments set up on the outskirts of the sugar plantations where the cane cutters are forced to live. The workers live crowded together in the communal bateyes which usually lack running water, toilets, electricity and cooking facilities, as well as health care services and schools. There are some 400 bateyes scattered across the Dominican Republic. The cane cutters toil for up to 14 hours a day for what  human rights organisation Amnesty International has termed "derisory wages" (typically the equivalent of $2.5 a day), while some are paid in vouchers which can only be used at plantation stores. The freedom of workers to leave the bateyes is also often restricted, turning them into virtual prisons that are patrolled by armed guards. A March 2007 report by Amnesty International detailed its long-standing concerns regarding discrimination, racism and xenophobia against Haitian migrants living in the neighbouring Dominican Republic and particularly its bateyes. Italian Film Helps Haitian Plantation Workers  Life in Italy

Larry Neal Interview in Omowe   Larry Neal Chronology 

The Black Arts Movement  (Larry Neal)  Black Fire (Afterword)

Larry Neal Speaks

on the Black Arts as Folk-Based & Directed at Black People

Don’t Say Goodbye to the Pork Pie Hat  Sonnets for Larry Neal ( Rudolph Lewis)

Related Files:  Black Poetry 1965-2000  Black Arts Movement (Kalamu)  Haki Madhubuti  A BAM Roll Call (Baraka)  Report: BAM Conference (Marvin X)   The Poetry of Don L. Lee   Amistad 2  Black Art  Black Dada Nihilimus   The Revolutionary Theatre   The Claude McKay--Romare Bearden  Ed Bullins Chronology  Interview with Ed Bullins  New Negro Poets U.S.A.  ChickenBones Black Arts and Black Power Figures   Baraka Bio  Marvin X Table

Kalamu ya Salaam: On Writing Haiku   / Is A Sonnet More Than Fourteen Lines

Commentary on ChickenBonesI want to say that you have given a wonderful gift to humankind by establishing and maintaining ChickenBones.  In the history of African American journals of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, I rank your magazine with Negro Digest/Black World, which was "blessed" to have the financial backing of Johnson Publications. It is required reading for people who wish to be informed about the trajectories of thought in the contemporary world.  It is a dynamic, growing textbook that ought to be used in courses on African American literature and culture.  I am using it as an external link for the course I teach this semester on the Foundations of African American Literature.  My students need to know that academic journals do not tell us everything. So, thank you Rudy for your gift to black folks and everybody else. Peace and brotherhood, Jerry Ward, Jr. (24 August 2008)

A Letter to Warren on the "Contours of Racial Identity" from Dr. Joyce E. King

Humility does not mean you think less of yourself—it means you think of yourself less. We are not here to earn God's love, we're here to spend it! The world is my country; to do good is my religion. No one shows a child the Supreme Being. Change how you see things, and the things you see will change.Nana Yao Opare Dinizulu I


In-Dependence from Bondage

Claude McKay and Michael Manley

Defying the Ideological Clash and Policy Gaps in African Diaspora Relations

By Lloyd D. McCarthy

Global News:PoliticsLiterature & the Arts

 Other Floyd Hayes files: The Cultural Politics of Paul Robeson and Richard Wright       Race in US Politics: A Syllabus    Pragmatic Solidarity

   Politics of Knowledge  A Tribute to Kwame Toure/Stokely Carmichael


New Negro Poets U.S.A.

Edited by Langston Hughes

Foreword by Gwendolyn Brooks

Indiana University Press, Bloomington & London Eighth Printing 1960, Copyright 1964

 The Cultural Politics of Paul Robeson and Richard Wright Theorizing the African Diaspora By Floyd W. Hayes, III


Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance

 'Mastery of form' and 'Deformation of mastery' as Interpretive Strategies for Afro-American Discourse

By Houston A. Baker

Atlanta Exposition Address

The 10 Biggest Myths About Black History  (Bennett)  The Propaganda of History (Du Bois)

Amistad 2

Edited by John A. Williams and Charles F. Harris

Vintage Books, February 1971

From A Black Perspective: The Poetry of Don L. Lee by Paula Giddings

Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas The Black Panther Party for Self Defense, formed in the aftermath of the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965, remains one of the most controversial movements of the 20th-century. Founded by the charismatic Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, the party sounded a defiant cry for an end to the institutionalized subjugation of African Americans. The Black Panther newspaper was founded to articulate the party's message and artist Emory Douglas became the paper's art director and later the party's Minister of Culture. Douglas's artistic talents and experience proved a powerful combination: his striking collages of photographs and his own drawings combined to create some of the era's most iconic images, like that of Newton with his signature beret and large gun set against a background of a blood-red star, which could be found blanketing neighborhoods during the 12 years the paper existed. This landmark book brings together a remarkable lineup of party insiders who detail the crafting of the party's visual identity. Publisher Rizzoli

Douglas was the Norman Rockwell of the ghetto, concentrating on the poor and oppressed. Departing from the WPA/social realist style of portraying poor people, which can be perceived as voyeuristic and patronizing, Douglas’s energetic drawings showed respect and action. He maintained poor people’s dignity while graphically illustrating harsh situations.Wikipedia

Dog's Day

a belated note to the editors of

The Norton Anthology of African American Literature

By Alvin Aubert

Black Theatre: Ed Bullins Chronology  Interview with Ed Bullins The Ground on Which I Stand   Professor Sandra Shannon   Situating August Wilson  

The Dramatic Vision of August Wilson   Black Art    The Revolutionary Theatre


 Socialist Joy in the Writing of Langston Hughes  by Jonathan Scott


The Niggerization of Palestine

By Jonathan Scott

What do you call a Black man with a PhD?  Nigger. —Malcolm X  / Global News:PoliticsLiterature & the Arts

Dog's Day -- a belated note to the editors of  The Norton Anthology of African American Literature by Alvin Aubert

 Region Sparkles With Katherine Dunham’s ‘Leg-a-cy’ Amidst Renewal of Her ‘Vision’

Katherine Dunham: A Familial Memorial Celebration

East St. Louis Plans Big Tribute to Katherine Dunham

June 22 Lincoln Middle School Gymnasium

12 South 10th Street — noon to 3 pm

   DrumVoices Revue

For true jazz is an art of individual assertion within and against the group. Each true jazz moment (as distinct from the uninspired commercial performance) springs from a contest in which each artist challenges all the rest; each solo flight or improvisation, represents . . . a definition of his identity, as member of the collective, and as a link in the chain of tradition. Ralph Ellison, "The Charlie Christian Story," Saturday Review of Literature ( May 17, 1950), p. 42.


Blackness and the Adventure of Western Culture

By George Kent

Global News:PoliticsLiterature & the Arts

Local Black radio news was an indispensable ingredient in the formation of a progressive post-Sixties Black political class. It was a fountain of social democracy, focusing the spotlight (microphone) on groupings engaged in the transformation of a Jim Crow America to . . . Glen Ford Bring Back Black Radio News: The People’s Network  


The Autobiography of LeRoi Jones

By Amiri Baraka

Commentary by Rudolph Lewis

A Plea from Amiri Baraka   / Global News:PoliticsLiterature & the Arts

Articles, Poetry, and Commentary by and about Amiri Baraka

    From Parks to Marxism A Political Evolution  A BAM Roll Call  Barakapubs  Somebody Blew Up America

The Autobiography of LeRoi Jones   LeRoi Jones: Pursued by  Furies  Black Art  The Revolutionary Theatre    

Climbing Malcolm's Ladder  Baraka on who blew up america    Praise & Support of Baraka   For Baraka  Remembering Shani Baraka   

 Baraka's Daughter Killed   Home Going Celebration  Amiri Baraka Bio

The Homestretch to the Richard Wright Centennial

By Julia Wright

Dr. Jerry Ward Lectures on Richard Wright

March 11-13, 2008 at Dillard University / June 19-21, 2008, in Paris, France / February 21-24, 2008, at the Natchez Convention Center

On Richard Wright and Our Contemporary Situation  By Jerry W. Ward, Jr. 

The Art of Tom Dent: Early Evidence  (essay) After the Hurricanes (poem)  Global News:PoliticsLiterature & the Arts

1935 A Memoir

By Sam Cornish

Countee Cullen (1903-1946)  Harlem Renaissance Poet

 Color (1925) / Copper Sun (1927) / Caroling Dusk (1927)  / The Black Christ (1929)  / My Soul's High Song (Anchor, 1990)

Houston Baker, Many-Colored Coat of Dreams: The Poetry of Countee Cullen. Broadside Press, 1974


Livin' The Blues

Memoirs of a Black Journalist and Poet

By Frank Marshall Davis

Edited by John Edgar Tidwell


The Ground on Which I Stand   Sandra Shannon  The Dramatic Vision of August Wilson  The Life and Work of Playwright August Wilson

Visit Our Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)






Chief's Greatest Triumph Comes After his Death  (Marcel Diallo)

I'm in the Eye of Katrina

By Joe Williams III

After the Hurricanes

(for the radical writers in New Orleans)

By Jerry W. Ward, Jr.

Congo White King  Red Rubber, Black Death A Belgium King’s Sins Revealed in Film

Read also Esther Iverem's Revealing Africa’s Hidden Genocide

Thomas Jefferson and His Negro Family   


Uncle Jeff and His Contempos

By Wilson J. Moses

The Eternal Linkage of Literature and Society  /  Global News:PoliticsLiterature & the Arts

Teflon Sense of History        Creative Conflict in African-American Thought       Afrotopia

Letters of H. L. Mencken 

on (or) to George S. Schuyler, James Weldon Johnson

Walter White, NAACP, Countee Cullen, Eugene O'Neill

& a Letter from Theodore Dreiser

Richard Wright's Seven Photos  of Traditional Ghana in the 1950s

from Natasha Gerson (Holland)  Richard Wright (1908-1960)   

Letters from Xavier Review   Letters from LSU and Skip Gates


Activist Works on Next Level of Change

By Gregory Kane

The Sun, 15 December 1999

Marcus Bruce Christian   BioBibliographical Record   Amin Sharif

Marvin X Rocks Crowd      The Complexity of Iraq    We're In Love, But You Don't Know Me

  The Works of Marvin X     We're In Love, But You Don't Know Me    Black Scholars in Crisis?   A Drunkard in Denial   


Mau Mau Aesthetics

Other Literary & Artistic Criticisms

Global News:PoliticsLiterature & the Arts

Professor Sandra Shannon On the Cutting Edge of Research in Contemporary Theater

DrumVoices Revue

A Confluence of Literary, Cultural & Vision Arts

Honoring Amiri Baraka 's 70th Birthday 

& The 40th Anniversary of the Black Arts Movement

A BAM Roll Call Goodness Descending or On Hold, Another Man Done Gone

 My Man Ron Milner as a Paradigm of Our Losses By  Amiri Baraka   John Henrik Clarke

  From Parks to Marxism A Political Evolution

By Amiri Baraka

The Christianity-base movement cut no ice  with urban northerners like Baraka.

The Political Thought of James Forman

"Somebody Blew Up America" by Amiri Baraka / Baraka Bio  /Black Art


remembering professor lorenzo thomas (1944-2005)

By Van G. Garrett

"Air of Freedom": Poetry and National Security  / Global News:PoliticsLiterature & the Arts

Neo-Folklore Beachhead Preachment                 Another Soldier Gone Candelight Vigil for Ahmos Zu-Bolton

Ahmos Zu-Bolton HooDoo Poet  Opened a Channel to the Ancestors


Introduction to Flowering Sky by Arif Ay  

REQUIEM    Parting  Guerrilla    Looking at Istanbul 

Poems of Destruction   Carnations    Here   Ramp  Birds

Ostlers & Doomsday

Ceylan Index                              Poems Translated by Mevlut Ceylan

A House of Nehesi Caribbean Author Feature

Shake Keane – The St. Vincent Connection in Modern Caribbean Literature

The Salt Reaper  – Poems from the Flats  /  Global News:PoliticsLiterature & the Arts

Unforgivable Blackness The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson  An Extensive Criticism by Amin Sharif

The Negro Artist and Modern Art  by Romare Bearden

About Romare Bearden By Amin Sharif

The Negro as Author  Letters of H. L. Mencken 

By H.L. Mencken

Folk Life in Black and White

By  Milton Meltzer

Rudy Interviews Carlyle Van Thompson author of  The Tragic Black Buck -- Racial Masquerading

 in the American Literary Imagination


Richard Wright Table

On Richard Wright and Our Contemporary Situation (Jerry W. Ward, Jr.)

The Weight and Substance of A Father's Law ((Jerry W. Ward, Jr.)

An American Goes Back to Africa  / Richard Wright's Seven Photos 


An Archival Search for Sterling Brown

Maria Syphax, Historical Revision, or a Communist Plot

By Rudolph Lewis

THE 30th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION OF CALLALOO October 24-27, 2007 Hosted by the Center for Africana Studies, Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, Maryland  / Africa in the Global Power Play (edited by Bhekinkosi Moyo)


Critical Analysis of “Instructions for Your New Osiris” by Van G. Garrett

Daughter from Danang The Imperial Camera Lens as Documentary Form by Soo Na


I Tried to Be a Communist by Richard Wright  Wright Bio-Chronology


Larry Neal


The Black Arts Movement  (Larry Neal)

Don't Say Goodbye to the Porkpie Hat Mingus, Bird, Prez, Langston, and them By Larry Neal

Larry Neal Bio  

Larry Neal Chronology 

Larry Neal Interview in Omowe   

Larry Neal Speaks

lasana m. sekou

     Haiti 200

     Tortured Fragments   

    Visit & Fellowship II 


 Louis Reyes Rivera Rivera Bio

     (compulsion strikes the witness)

     Inside the river of poetry

     Interview with Louis Reyes Rivera   

     jorge's journey    

     On the Passing of Rich Bartee

     Scattered Scripture   

     Writers' Workshop    



Mollie Cooper's Life in Mississippi  & Her Victorious Journey to Freedom By Barbara Gray


Negro Catholic Writers (1900-1943): A Bio-Bibliography (1945) By Sister Mary Anthony Scally

Achille and Lewis  

Claude McKay     

Daniel Hale Williams

Leedie and Lewis

NCW Entries   NCW Sources  

Magazines & Newspapers  

Matthews and Rousseve 


Rousseve and Saulny

Thomas Wyatt Turner (1877-1978) Biologist, Educator, and Catholic Activist


Notes of a Native Son by Langston Hughes  Langston Hughes Bio


Open Gate An Anthology of Haitian Creole Poetry (2001) by Paul Laraque and Jack Hirschman


Photographers: Ernest Withers  / Carrie Mae Weems  / Julian Dimock  /Jerry Taliaferro  / Spring Ulmer

Other Visual Artists: Kimathi Donkor / Chuck Siler  / Bev Jenai 


Sermon and Blues by James Baldwin  James Baldwin Bio


Theodore Rosengarten

     All God's Dangers The Life of Nate Shaw

     "All God's Dangers Ain't White Men."

     Crane's Ford and the Sharecroppers Union (SCU)

Yusef Komunyakaa Yusef Komunyakaa Table  YK Poems Table  Yusef Komunyakaa -- Cave Canem



     Interview with Yusef Komunyakaa (New Orleans, May 1985)

     Our Sincere Condolences Go Out (Deaths of Yusef's son & consort)

     Woman, I Got the Blues

     Yusef Speaks 1    

     Yusef Speaks 2    

     Yusef Speak 3 

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Audio: My Story, My Song (Featuring blues guitarist Walter Wolfman Washington)

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Panel on Literary Criticism

26 March 2010

 National Black Writers Conference

Patrick Oliver, Kalamu ya Salaam, Dorothea Smartt, Frank Wilderson discuss the use of literature to promote political causes and instigate change and transformation.  The event is at the Medgar Evers College at the City University of New York. C-Span Archives

Panel on Politics and Satire

26 March 2010

 National Black Writers Conference

Herb Boyd, Thomas Bradshaw, Charles Edison and Major Owens discuss how current events are reflected in the writings of African Americans.  The event is at the Medgar Evers College at the City University of New York. C-Span Archives

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The Katrina Papers is not your average memoir. It is a fusion of many kinds of writing, including intellectual autobiography, personal narrative, political/cultural analysis, spiritual journal, literary history, and poetry. Though it is the record of one man's experience of Hurricane Katrina, it is a record that is fully a part of his life and work as a scholar, political activist, and professor.  The Katrina Papers  provides space not only for the traumatic events but also for ruminations on authors such as Richard Wright and theorists like Deleuze and Guattarri. The result is a complex though thoroughly accessible book. The struggle with formthe search for a medium proper to the complex social, personal, and political ramifications of an event unprecedented in this scholar's life and in American social historylies at the very heart of The Katrina Papers . It depicts an enigmatic and multi-stranded world view which takes the local as its nexus for understanding the global.  It resists the temptation to simplify or clarify when simplification and clarification are not possible. Ward's narrative is, at times, very direct, but he always refuses to simplify the complex emotional and spiritual volatility of the process and the historical moment that he is witnessing. The end result is an honesty that is both pedagogical and inspiring.Hank Lazer

The Richard Wright Encyclopedia (2008) is a marvelous resource! It's not like any encyclopedia I've seen before. Already, I have spent hours reading through the various entries. So much is there: people, themes, issues, events, bibliographies, etc., related to Wright. Yours is a monumental contribution! The more I read Wright (and about him), the more I am amazed at the depth and breadth of his work and its impact on the worlds of literature, philosophy, politics, sociology, history, psychology, etc. He was formidable! Floyd W. Hayes

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update 24 June 2008


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