ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


Home  ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)  


Online through PayPal

Or Send contributions to: ChickenBones: A Journal / 2005 Arabian Drive / Finksburg, MD 21048  Help Save ChickenBones

His slight tan made him a dead ringer for a white resident of Miami Beach, Florida. Yet, as we talked,

his jargon was that of the black brotherhood; what the white colonialists had done to ‘us’.



Books by Louis E. Lomax

The Reluctant African (1960), The Negro Revolt (1962)

When the Word Is Given: A Report on Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, and Black Muslim World (1963)

 Thailand: The War That Is, The War That Will Be (1967), and To Kill a Black Man (1968).

*   *   *   *   *

 Review of The Reluctant African

 Lomax, Louis. The Reluctant African. NY: Harper and Brothers, 1960.



The Reluctant African is an American's Negro subjective report on the people and forces now at work in Africa--a story no white reporter could get. It is a disturbing account of African affairs based upon privileged talks with the men who plot Africa's tomorrow.

In this fats moving and dramatic firs person account you

Watch as reporter Lomax is "de-Americanized" and "de-Negroized" by African nationalists--the prime prerequisite for his trip.

Hear top government spokesmen in the United Arab Republic discuss frankly how they have created the "black brotherhood," a mystique based on hate of everything "white."

Learn how the U.A.R.'s President Nasser gave the Communists their foothold in Africa and then turned against them when it suited his purposes.

Talk with African politicians exiled in Egypt and discover how they get money from the East, the West and Communist China.

Come face to face with the harsh facts behind the nonalignment doctrine now sweeping Africa.

Attend the second annual Conference of Independent African States, in Ethiopia: listen as Haile Selassie, long a staunch supporter of the west, delivers a nonalignment speech; during a carefree embassy party, witness evidence of the incredible anti-American attitudes now sweeping Africa; feel the agony of a negro reporter who wants to defend his country but knows this act would make it impossible for him to get further inside interviews.

Take a political tour through Kenya and meet the people who will decide that country's fate in the 1961 elections. Walk through the rolling green of the Kenya White Highlands (the restricted area that set off the bloody Mau Mau revolt), and feel a Negro reporter's frustration when he realizes that the methods the Africans are employing to overcome white domination are identical with the ones used by white segregationists in the United States. the full background of the African student airlifts, now the subject of political debate, is disclosed for the first time.

Feel what it was like to be a negro American traveling along the rim of the Congo during the revolt against the Belgian settlers: go inside embassies and air terminals and watch a Negro American being mistaken for a Congolese; feel the bitterness; listen as only a fast explanation by an embassy receptionist saves the American from an almost certain mauling by angry Belgians.

Meet with African politicians in Southern Rhodesia. Sit at the tables with the Africans as they plot the moves that led to the recent race riots in Salisbury.

Go on a cloak and dagger expedition as reporter Lomax outwits South African authorities and contacts the African underground inside South Africa. hear the shocking story surrounding the "disappearance" of thirty thousand Africans since Sharpville; realize the naked meaning of the Bantu Education Act.

Reporter Lomax finds against both the whites and the blacks in Africa. The title of his book indicates his reluctance to identify himself with Africa's drive for "black supremacy" since he has spent his life fighting not only "white supremacy" in the U.S., but the whole idea of racism.

Jacket Cover

*   *   *   *   *

For racism is the irritant on Africa's raw nerves--not colonialism, but that white people have colonized black people; not settler domination, but that white settlers have dominated indigenous black people; not economic exploitation, but that white people have exploited black people; not social discrimination, but that white power structure sets itself apart from black masses; not denial of civil rights, but hat white people deny black people their civil rights. Africa is painted by change but the absence of good will makes the pain acute. As Africa pains the world hurts with her and for the same reason.Louis E. Lomax

*   *   *   *   *

Notes (excerpts from) on The Reluctant African

 Lomax, Louis. The Reluctant African. NY: Harper and Brothers, 1960.


Priming for an African Tour

“Africans are not ‘natives’.” (1)

“Africans are Africans . . . not natives . . . not Negroes! And as far as the Africans are concerned, no white man is an African! They are Europeans, Americans or just plain white men. But Africans? Never! It doesn’t matter a damn how long he or his ancestors have been in Africa, he is NOT an African.” (2) – a former NYU lecturer

“And another thing . . . don’t refer to African houses as ‘huts’. They are homes, just like your split level out in Queens.” (3)

“If I really wanted to understand what I saw and heard I must first be turned into an African. I must think black, feel black, act black, love black demonstrably suspect everything and anything nonblack, and talk black—a new jargon peculiar to African nationalists: a patois designed to adulate everything black, to deprecate everything white.” (2-3)

On Meeting Joshua Nkomo, early 1960, 43 years old educated at Adams College in Natal, South Africa, “mastered the art of inducing guilt in the hearts and souls of white people who have the money and power to change things” (5)

“Richard [Wright] . . . had become bitter toward the Africans . . . stemmed from the longstanding feud between Africans and American Negro intellectuals. ‘We gave birth to the African independence thing’ Richard said, pointing first to himself and then to me. ‘This thing started with American negroes—Du Bois and George Padmore. Then the African got high-minded and snobbish towards us’.” (16)

“gospel of black brotherhood”—we are all one—“thanks to the white man’s opprobrium” (16)

‘dependency mentality’ (Richard Wright) (16)

The Blackness of Egypt

“Dr. [Yehia] el-Alily was as white a man as I had ever encountered. His slight tan made him a dead ringer for a white resident of Miami Beach, Florida. Yet, as we talked, his jargon was that of the black brotherhood; what the white colonialists had done to ‘us’. How ‘we’ must move out on our own and do things without ‘them’. . . . General Gamal Abdul Nasser has taught us black men to stand on our own two feet” (17)

‘This was my first encounter with planner ignorance, half-truths, well-calculated to condition the masses to die for whatever bold cause the state declares” (20)

“the Egyptian people now look upon themselves as Africans. This is what I encouneterd in Dr. el-Alily” (21)

“Exiles from Uganda, Somali, Kenya, the Cameroons, Nigeria and cahd had offices in Cairo when I was there . . . exiles from South Africa, Southern Rhodesia, and Southwest Africa have also set up camp along the banks of the Nile” (21)

“And it is in Egypt, not too far from Cairo, that the core of an international black army dedicated to the liberation of Africa is being formed” (22)

“Guinea, Ghana, and the U.A.R. particularly make separate direct contribution to African exiles’ (22)

“They [the freedom fighters] think Nasser’s stance as a black African is a bit strained, yet they cannot deny that in a very real sense, the Egyptian people have come to feel one with the Africans” (22)

“exiles fighting against African politicians” (22)

“feather their bourgeois nests” (25)

“‘Africanization’ operation”

“apologists for American white men’” (31)

“Negro leadership out of touch with mass feelings” (310

“This was Nasser’s Egypt, a strange and forced world of black men, not really black but feeling as if they are, who put their arms around and honor all things black and then douse them in all the hates that make Nasser run” (34)

‘the portals of black brotherhood swung open” (350

“Economically, these countries are about as they were before independence” (36)

“Nasser, Sekou Touré, Kwame Nkrumah, battle-scarred veterans of change, who openly and boldly lead the way” (37)

“There is something dead, and ancient, and crumbling, and unchanging about Cairo. I could not bring myself to believe, that new and promising concepts of human progress were being born there. Yet I could not go against the evidence” (38)

“Egypt, the U.A.R., for that matter, is a dead thing” (38)

“The feminist revolt has not hit black Africa yet. There are stirrings in Ghana, Guinea, and Ethiopia, but for the most part, the African women are still loaded down with babies and firewood. And when it does, such Arab women and Ghada Shabender will stream down into Africa to help and applaud their sisters along the way. And another tie will bind Nasser to Africa, Africa to Nasser” (40)

“On my last Friday in Cairo, Ghada defied convention and went with me o lunch. After lunch we went shopping, buying dress material for my wife. That night I attended the graduation ceremonies at the American College for Girls as Ghada’s guest. As we walked down the aisles to our seats, Egyptian dowagers craned their necks, their eyes bugged, some of them shook their heads disapprovingly, not  because I am married (they accept polygamy) but because custom says an Egyptian girll cannot appear in public with a man until they are married. Ghada did not care, nor did her girl friends whom she had invited to meet me” (41)

“Only Nasser’s dream of a united Africa remains alive. And if Nasser continues to project himself as leader of the African world, this dream will also fade should Sekou Touré and Nkrumah have their way” (43)

“French West Africa, the Gold Coast, Sudan and Nigeria were able to move toward independence without bitter racial overtures because the Africans held titles to their land once colonialism had been abolished. However, in some parts of Africa, notably Algeria, and many countries south of the Sahara, large white settlements augmented by Asians raised infinitely complex and explosive questions. The moral issue aside, it cannot be doubted that the white settlers of Kenya, the Rhodesias, Angola, Mozambique, and Nyassaland hold political as well as economic dominance. . . . South Africa—along with its disputes mandate, Southwest Africa—is the exception that galvanizes the rule; for all practical purposes, these are European countries” (44)

“These Europeans have no rights whatsoever here in Africa. They are white interlopers” (46)

Ethiopia’s Struggle Against African Personality

“The Ethiopians are fiercely proud of their centuries of independence. Heretofore they had not considered themselves Africans, or members of the black brotherhood. When I was a Washington, D.C.,  newspaperman in the early forties, I was barred from a press conference at the Ethiopian Embassy because I was a negro. Even now a residue of this anti-Negro attitude remains in Ethiopia. A Negro secretary at the American embassy has applied for a transfer after being pelted with stones and called a ‘slave’ by a group of Addis Abba teenagers. Several American Point Four officers told me that their Ethiopian house servants frequently refer to American Negroes as ‘niggers and slaves’.” (52)

With His Imperial Majesty Haile Selaisse himself leading the parade and barking the orders, Ethiopia has done an about-face. Not only does she greet the bourgeoning African independent states as brothers, but she has forsaken her longstanding pro-Western stance in favor of the nonalignment gospel that now sweeps all Africa.” (52)

Political colonialism – economic colonialism

“I left Ethiopia convinced that I had just spent two weeks inside a time bomb—a land soon to be rocked by revolution. The world will recoil in shock as masters of the plot unveil irrefutable evidence of medieval torture, replete with dungeons and hundreds of political murders. Unless all the evidence I saw was misleading, the Russians and the African nationalists will emerge as champions of ‘liberated Ethiopian masses’. The ‘line’ will be that another western-supported tyrant has hit the dust” (54)

Multiracialism in Tanganyika

British East Africa; Tanganyika—Zanzibar (Arab sultan)—Uganda (King Freddie Buganda—Kenya (55)

“Multiracialism in African politics means the acceptance of the thesis that every racial group should have representatives in the national legislature. . . . There are representatives of the African, European, and Asian communities of the same geographic areas” (56)

“The tendency has been to keep the number of African members to a minimum. Thus the Europeans and the Indian members could always form a majority bloc. Most African politicians tremble at the mere mention of multiracialism and are sworn to abolish it. But Julius Nyerere, the African leader in Tanganyika, embraced multiculturalism and taught the Indians and Europeans a political lesson they will never forget” (56)

125,000 non-Africans to 9 million Africans in Tanganyika

“Nyerere accepted the settler demand for multiracialism but, in return, insisted that each voter has three votes. This gave every voter the right to vote for all three—African, European, and Indian—members from his community. The non-Africans felt sure they had the better of it since the constitution called for the election of ten Africans, ten Indians, and ten Europeans. What they didn’t expect was that a group of liberal Europeans and Indians would announce for the legislature in opposition to the candidates put up by the regular settler and Indian organizations. Under Nyerere’s guidance, the Africans swamped the polls, put their ten men in office and then voted in the liberal Indians and Europeans who supported all out African government, and during the two years of the legislature Tanganyika has moved to the brink of independence” (58)

“I met Julius Nyerere briefly during the Addis conference. My own feeling is that he is the wisest and most sober-minded African politician of them all. I would say nothing to dim his luster. Yet even Nyerere is steeped in African nationalism. During several appearances before the United Nations in New York, Nyerere made it clear that Africans, as indigenous people, should run their own governments. His political party, TANU, does not accept non-Africans as members. However, I have been told recently that this racial ban will be rescinded” (58)

 “Nevertheless, there is more racial good will in Tanganyika than there is in all the rest of Africa put together. . . . No one who knows Julius Nyerere believes he personably is antiwhite. . . .Nyerere has a group of white liberals who support him and whom he supports. This is a major step forward; whereas in Kenya . . . the African politicians don’t even pretend any longer. The cry for the white man to get out of politics can be heard the length and breadth of Kenya. And the loudest voice for African dominance is from the cosmopolite mouth of Tom Mboya” ( (59)

Kenya and Tom Mboya

“The plight of the rural African Kenya is even more disturbing. The bone of contention is the ‘White Highlands’, a magnificent and fertile thirteen-thousand-square mile stretch of land set aside exclusively for white settlers. The settlers hold this land on ninety-nine year leases, free holds; African are not only forbidden to own land in the area but are not allowed to manage or sublet strips of land from the white settlers. Of sixty thousand settlers in Kenya only ten thousand live in the ‘White highlands. Much of the highlands is undeveloped; mile after mile of rich, untended, but fenced-in land. This must be contrasted with the approximately six million Africans who live on reserves, or land units, commonly called ‘crown land’. This means that the Africans can be moved from one place to another without notice or consent.” (64-65)

Sir Charles Eliot, British Commissioner in East Africa: “the interior of Kenya must be deemed ‘white man’s’ country.’

“By appropriating the highlands, the white settlers drove the Kikuyu, the largest and most ambitious of the Kenya tribes, from their traditional farming and grazing land. . . . The proud Kikuyu refused to work the white man’s farms and in 1911-12 a British commission was appointed to probe the shortage of labor on European farms . . . Lord Delamere . . . proposed that African land units be curtailed to the point that African would have to work European farms in order to live. Lord Delamere carried the day and the 1952 Mau Mau nightmare was the inevitable result” (65)

*   *   *   *   *

Louis Lomax was born in Valdosta, Georgia, on August 16, 1922, and died July 30, 1970. His mother, Sarah, died shortly after he was born and Lomax fell under the guardianship of his maternal grandmother, Rozena Lomax, a well-known writer of religious plays.

After finishing Dasher High School, Lomax attended Paine College in Augusta Georgia, graduating in 1942. He became editor of the college paper, The Paineite. Lomax’s career as a professional writer began with the Baltimore Afro-American. After doing graduate work at American University (M.A., 1944), he joined the faculty of Georgia State College, in Savannah, where he served as assistant professor of philosophy. Subsequently he did additional graduate study at Yale University (Ph.D., 1947) and became a staff feature writer for Chicago American until 1958.

Lomax’s freelance articles have appeared in Harper’s, Life Pageant, The Nation and The New Leader. In 1959 Lomax joined Mike Wallace’s news staff in New York and became the first member of his race to appear on television as a newsman and interviewed Malcolm X for documentary on Nation of Islam, The Hate That Hate Produced. In 1961, Lomax narrated a program on KTVS TV, Channel 13, Shreveport, Louisiana entitled "Walk in My Shoes." From 1964 to 1968 he hosted twice-weekly Los Angeles television show on KTTV; lectured widely on college campuses. Lomax died in automobile accident near Santa Rosa, New Mexico. He and his wife lived in Jamaica, New York.

Lomax author of books including The Reluctant African (1960), The Negro Revolt (1962), When the Word Is Given: A Report on Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, and Black Muslim World (1963), Thailand: The War That Is, The War That Will Be (1967), and To Kill a Black Man (1968).

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



#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 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


#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

*   *   *   *   *

Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.” Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake. WashingtonPost

She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.

*   *   *   *   *

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

*   *   *   *   *

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)

*   *   *   *   *

Ancient African Nations

*   *   *   *   *

If you like this page consider making a donation

online through PayPal

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


*   *   *   *   *

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

*   *   *   *   *

The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

*   *   *   *   *

*   *   *   *   *

ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)



update 2 February 2012




Home   The African World