ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

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

Google
 

Where then do I get the affirmation I need in order to believe enough in myself to care

and to express myself? Because I'm here too, I matter too, just by virtue of my birth.

The single most natural phenomenon every human shares is the fact that we come

from and are intricate to a nurturing community. Thus, where there are no spaces through

which we may each be nurtured, we create them. That's what your crew did with ChickenBones.

 

 

Books by Louis Reyes Rivera

Who Pays The Cost  (1978) / This One For You (1983) / Scattered Scripture

 Bum Rush the Page (co-editor) / The Bandana Republic (co-editor)

Sancocho: A Book of Nuyorican Poetry by Shaggy Flores (edited by Louis Reyes Rivera)

*   *   *   *   *

Louis Reyes Rivera Made His Transition

Friday evening, 2 March 2012, Brooklyn New York

 

Rudy, in case you haven't received the news. Another death.—Jeannette Drake 5 Mar 2012

Dear Friends, many of you may have heard the news that our beloved friend poet/teacher/warrior Louis Reyes Rivera made his transition Friday evening. He will be missed and remembered always but his voice will live on in the hundreds of writers, artists and cultural organizers he has mentored and inspired. The African Voices Family sends love and prayers to his wife Barbara, family and friends.  

Enclosed is a beautiful tribute poem by Preacher that was shared on our Facebook page and a brief bio for folks who are less familiar with his many contributions to the literary community.One of his most precious gifts was the quiet steady work he did with brothers who were in prison. He hosted many creative workshops with young men who are imprisoned, bringing them magazines, hope and inspiration.

In fact, his last book, which his friends plan to complete, deals with jazz in prison. We will keep you posted on how you can support this awesome project and keep Louis' legacy alive. peace & blessings, Carolyn, AfricanVoices

Brother Rudy, I don't know if you heard already but I wanted to make sure you knew Brother Louis Reyes Rivera made his transition. He passed away this past Friday night March 2, 2012 from internal complications. The creator decided it was his time. The services will be this weekend. You will hear from me between this evening and tomorrow with the exact time and location.—Brother Ted

Well Rudolph I was saddened to hear of the transition of poet Louis Reyes, a pillar of our literature and a senior literary lion of New York City. I had the pleasure of meeting and sitting next to Louis and his wife at the 9th Annual Black Writers Conference in 2008.—Ukali

Zayid, Louis Reyes Rivera died in his sleep. 66 years old. . . . I know that he and Barbara lived on Hancock Street in Brooklyn. I have to cc Rashidah for the exact street number. I have been reading every announcement, but I have not as yet heard of any arrangements for Louis or our recently departed—this morning —Congressman Donald Payne, who has lived around the corner from me since 1959. Hi Rashidah!!—Sandra L. West, March 6th

Sandra, I was away in Chicago when Louis died. Immediately upon my return I spoke with his wife Barbara. Louis died in hospital before surgery or anything else. He was feeling ill and his wife took him to the emergency romm. They were awaiting a bed I believe and he passed. His services will be this weekend; Sunday viewing at Frank Bell Funeral Parlour, 536 Sterling Place, Brooklyn most of the day and early evening. The funeral will be Monday morning 12 March 10:00 A.M at the same place. We must all be stronger and more deserving human beings. There is one less such person doing his share.—Rashidah 

*   *   *   *   *

Dear Friends,  I want to share the information on homecoming services for our brother Louis Reyes Rivera.

 

Viewing: Sunday, March 11, 2012 - All day / Funeral: Monday, March 12 at 10 a.m.

Location: Frank Bell Funeral Parlour / 536 Sterling Place, Brooklyn 
 
Let's join together and celebrate Louis' life.— Peace & blessings, Carolyn,  AfricanVoices

*   *   *   *   *

African Voices Nancy Wilson

African Voices tribute to legendary jazz singer Nancy Wilson at the Schomburg Center in Harlem on Oct. 4, 2008. Louis Reyes Rivera reciting.

*   *   *   *   *

Louis Reyes Rivera

May 19, 1945 - March 2, 2012

 

Too many artists ignore the connection between what they have to offer and what the people need. They claim the right to choose which will their mentor be: the status to be bought against the experiences of the remembered. Cultural Workers don't have that choice. I have to earn my way into each person's awareness. I can't shoot for the pockets of a producer. I am the janitor of a history who has to work for his due.—Louis Reyes Rivera, "Who Pays the Cost" (Shamal Books, 1977)

Louis Reyes Rivera was an award-winning poet; an academic and professor with a specialty in African American, Puerto Rican, and Caribbean literature and history; a political activist; and a radio show host.

Louis has assisted in the publication of well over 200 books, including John Oliver Killens' Great Black Russian (Wayne State U., 1989), Adal Maldonado's Portraits of the Puerto Rican Experience (IPRUS, 1984), and Bum Rush The Page: A Def Poetry Jam (Crown Publishers, 2001).

He is the author of three poetry collections: Scattered Scripture (1996), This One For You (1983), and Who Pays The Cost   (1977). Fondly called, the  Janitor of History, Rivera is the recipient of numerous awards, including a lifetime achievement award from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (1995), a Special Congressional Recognition award (1988), and City College of New York's 125th Anniversary Medal (1973).   

Scattered Scripture won the 1996 poetry prize from the Latin American Writers Institute. A volume of highly crafted poems of militant and radical perspective, it is a literary masterpiece that attempts to translate history into poetry, covering the chapters missing from official renditions of history. This collection took twenty years of research to create. The first poem completed for the book, "(what are they doing)," was written in 1974, and the last poem, "(like toussaint, so marti)" was written in 1995. In between came all the other works as responses to his research.  Scattered Scripture contains forty-one pages of notes that provide the sources and historical context for the poems, making the book complete as a poetic song, a historical document, and an instructional device.

Primary Works

Ashanti, B. J. Nubiana, Vol. I. Edited by Louis Reyes Rivera. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Shamal Books, 1977.

Ismaili, Rashidah. Oniybo & Other Poems. Edited by Louis Reyes Rivera. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Shamal Books, 1986.

Killen, John Oliver. Great Black Russian: A Novel on the Life & Times of Alexander Pushkin. Edited by Louis Reyes Rivera. Detroit, Mich.: Wayne State University Press, 1989.

Maldonado, Adál. Portraits of the Puerto Rican Experience. Edited by Louis Reyes Rivera. Bronx, N.Y.: Institute for Puerto Rican Urban Studies, 1984.

Ngafua, Zizwe. Nommo. Edited by Louis Reyes Rivera. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Shamal Books, 1978.

Rivera, Louis Reyes. "Inside the river of poetry."

Rivera, Louis Reyes, ed. Poets in Motion. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Shamal Books, 1976.

Sundiata, Sekou. Free! Edited by Louis Reyes Rivera. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Shamal Books, 1977.

 Scattered Scripture: An Interview with Award-Winning Poet Louis Reyes Rivera

*   *   *   *   *

Louis Reyes Rivera—Poet, Professor

By Sandra Maria Esteves

 

Professor Reyes is a professor of Pan-African, African-American, Caribbean and Puerto Rican literature and history whose essays and poems have appeared in numerous publications, including Areyto, Boletin, The City Sun, African Voices, and in five award-winning collections: In Defense of Mumia; ALOUD: Live from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Of Sons And Lovers, Bum Rush The Page, and his own Scattered Scripture

Known as the Janitor of History, poet/essayist Louis Reyes Rivera has been studying his craft since 1960 and teaching it since 1969. The recipient of over 20 awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award (1995), a Special Congressional Recognition Award (1988), and the CCNY 125th Anniversary Medal (1973), Rivera has assisted in the publication of well over 200 books, including John Oliver Killens’ Great Black Russian (Wayne State U., 1989), Adal Maldonado’s Portraits of the Puerto Rican Experience (IPRUS, 1984), and Bum Rush The Page: A Def Poetry Jam  (Crown Publishers, 2001).

Poet and Essayist

Louis Reyes Rivera is an award-winning poet; an academic and professor with a specialty in African American, Puerto Rican, and Caribbean literature and history; a political activist; and a radio show host. He is the author of three poetry collections: Scattered Scripture (1996), This One For You (1983), and Who Pays The Cost (1977). Known as the Janitor of History, Rivera is the recipient of numerous awards, including a lifetime achievement award from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (1995), a Special Congressional Recognition award (1988), and City College of New York’s 125th Anniversary Medal (1973).

Scattered Scripture won the 1996 poetry prize from the Latin American Writers Institute. A volume of highly crafted poems of militant and radical perspective, it is a literary masterpiece that attempts to translate history into poetry, covering the chapters missing from official renditions of history. This collection took twenty years of research to create. The first poem completed for the book, “(what are they doing),” was written in 1974, and the last poem, “(like toussaint, so marti)” was written in 1995. In between came all the other works as responses to his research.  Scattered Scripture contains forty-one pages of notes that provide the sources and historical context for the poems, making the book complete as a poetic song, a historical document, and an instructional device.

Many consider Rivera to be a necessary bridge between the African and Latino and Latina communities. He grew up in the African American community of Bedford-Stuyvesant in New York City, culturally coming from twin backgrounds: Puerto Rican Spanish in the home and extended family (both sides) with cultural roots in the black community. Attending both African American and Spanish-speaking churches infused his voice with a powerful sense of music. Growing up with first-generation replants from the South, in the housing projects built specifically for G.I.s returning from World War II, Rivera was exposed to culture that coincided with rural Puerto Rican values and outlook.

Training

Rivera trained as a journalist and began to hone his editing skills while in college. The African American and Puerto Rican student population at City College during that time was approximately 15 percent of the total student body. Yet, out of four student weekly newspapers, none really reflected that community’s capacity to write and develop journalism skills. In response, Rivera founded The Paper, a student publication of political analysis and commentary, which became the first college-student weekly tabloid in the entire city to be run completely under the auspices of black and Puerto Rican students. It allowed students an arena to develop skills in journalism by focusing on New York City’s community issues as well as the immediate concerns of campus students.

During his tenure as editor, Rivera turned out fifty trained writers a semester, and The Paper actually broke six stories that were later reported in the major dailies, including a lead story on the passage of what came to be known as the Rockefeller Drug Laws. In 1973, Rivera was awarded City College of New York’s 125th Anniversary Medal in recognition of his efforts to train a new cadre of student journalists. By the early 2000s, The Paper was the only student-developed institution from that period (1968–1972) that remained completely in the hands of students.

In 1969, Rivera was part of the student movement that ushered in open admissions and that legitimized what is referred to as “ethnic studies.” By the time the Black Studies and Puerto Rican Studies departments were in place, Rivera had received his bachelor of arts in sociology and English in 1974 from the City College of New York.

Rivera reverted to self-initiated studies in order to learn what he had missed in his formal education. In his words, “Education is really more like being tricked and trained to meet the demands of labor.” He had studied on his own since he was fifteen, and he viewed teaching as “Sharing information that is supposed to be part of a natural inheritance, just by virtue of our birth.” Eventually, he was presented with opportunities to share the results of his research; he began teaching while still an undergraduate.

Upon graduating in 1974, Rivera conducted a writing workshop at the New MUSE Community Museum in Brooklyn. From there grew a manuscript, Poets in Motion, his first anthology. The MUSE did not want to invest in it, and he understood already that mainstream publishers would not be interested. Since he had acquired editing and publishing skills while running a college newspaper, Rivera decided to do it himself, under the name of Shamal Books, the publishing company he founded in 1975. The intention was to develop an alternative venue that would allow new writers of African and Latino and Latina descent to establish a publishing record.

In this way, poets and essayists could pass through Shamal and into the literary arena. Shamal Books sold enough copies of its first title to pay everyone something as well as to help finance subsequent titles. Other publishing collectives began to use Rivera as a consultant on their own projects. Through Shamal, he published over eighteen writers; as a consultant, he assisted in the publication of more than two hundred titles by alternative publishers.

Beginning in 1996, Rivera hosted “1st & 3rd Sundays Jazzoetry & Open Mic” at Sistas’ Place, in Brooklyn, where he also conducted a writing workshop. He appeared in Jazz clubs and festivals with The Sun Ra All Stars Project, Ahmed Abdullah’s Diaspora, and his own band, The Jazzoets, as well as on Russell Simmons’s award-winning DEF POETRY on HBO. He also hosted the radio program Perspectives on WBAI, 99.5 FM (www.wbai.org).

In the early 2000s, among several projects, Rivera was compiling material for The Bandana Republic, an anthology of prose and poetry from current and former gang members, and those affiliated with street-based organizations. 

Source: iforcolor

posted 7 March 2012

Louis Reyes Rivera—"Bullet Cry"—Def Poetry / Louis Reyes Rivera & the Jazzoets

Art Coming from the Enslaved / Louis This One Is for You

*   *   *   *   *

I met Louis Reyes Rivera sometime in the 1970s when I began spending time with a group of writers in New York, my born and raised home town. Writers, photographers, painters, sculptors, dancers, heretics and the faithful . . . we were all one community, and could be found at each other's openings, performances, and readings . . . wherever someone had managed to stake a claim to a space from which to publicly hold forth. Within that circle I both began to find my community and become the artist I eventually became. Attending various readings, it soon became apparent that Rivera was a writer of deep principle and conviction, as well as one marked by a deep and finely tuned love for well crafted language. I came to look forward to not only hearing him read, but in speaking with him, as he loved to turn an idea around and examine it with the full force of his critical imagination, and challenged you to do the same. Over the years he became my "go to" person, the one I could contact when a particular piece of cultural information failed to fall into place in my memory. Places, words, phrases, texts, locations, and who populated those locations when were all firmly stored in his mind, keeping the cultural history intact for yet another generation. His recent loss leaves a profound gap, but his long standing practice as writer and committed citizen provides a valuable model indeed.—Dawoud Bey

*   *   *   *   *

Eulogy for Louis Reyes Rivera

By Amiri Baraka

 

He said in his wonderful essay “Inside the River of Poetry,” "Always there is need for song . . . and every human has a poem to write . . ." This last thing comes to mind because Louis was a live poet. And unlike we old heads Louis had mastered the art of memorization, which the generations after mine, have accomplished. So he was a spoken word speaker in the sense of textless recitation, although occasionally he would read. Louis also dug the enhancement that music gave to the word. Because poetry is the musicked word at base and the skilled recitation accompanied by or integrating the spoken word with music serves to emphasize both. His great poem “The Bullet Cry or A Place I Never Been” creates the living dimension of Malcolm's murder, beginning with the tumultuous and relentless question, Was You There? That work must be dug by any who claim information about real life.

*   *   *

We have heard Louis read excerpts from his Jazz in Jail, his masterful word music symphony that speaks in multiple layers of metaphor about the music which is our literal as well as our figurative selves, and we must collectively and unceasingly signify and put the whisper to work until that work appears. These grand creators must not be treated like comets to blaze across our consciousness helping us more clearly dig the world, and then disappear. Especially recently we have been losing grand master poets like Louis, Sekou, Pedro, Mikey, Piri, Lorenzo Thomas, Gil Scott.. ..What have we been doing wrong to deserve such spiritual wasting? It's like your head and heart are shrinking.

Louis' death seemed so unreal to me, because I always thought of him (and he was) younger than me. Even though he had the Imam's long grey beard and the staff to go with it, the peripatetic prophet. We got together in the late 70's around the time of his first book, Who Pays The Cost. With a lot of people who will add a deeper cast to any eulogy or obituary, some long gone like his man Zizwe Ngafua, or the cruelly underknown Safiya Henderson, or the writers like Arthur Flowers and his De Mojo Blues, together with people like my wife, Amina Baraka, poets, Tom Mitchelson, Brenda Connor Bey, Layding Kaliba, Rashidah Ismaili, Gary Johnston and his Blind Beggars Press, Wanjiku Reynolds, Malkia Mbuzi, Mervyn Taylor, Akua Lezli Hope, loud ass Baron Ashanti.

And in the spirit of John Oliver Killens, Barbara's father, Louis' father in Law, and the Harlem Writer's Guild which reflected his long historied nurturing of Black writers, we together with some others, put together for a brief storied moment a Black Writers' Union that met in Brooklyn and seemed similar, one of these writers commented recently, to the National Writers Union which it preceded. That's the way that do, was my answer. Even so, Louis was chair of the New York chapter of Local 1981 of the National Writers Union since 2004 and active in it from its inception. And he functioned like a real union rep. It was not just a title. If you wanted to know something about the formal attempt to make these Publishing Corpses respect writers' rights, Louis wd publish his work in the union regularly. In this effort were we all, certainly Louis and I and the rest of us brought closer.

I remember Louis talking about his effort helping John Killens to put together his grand study of Pushkin, Great Black Russian. Lest we forget that until Pushkin made Russian a language that carried literature, the Russians wrote in French. Louis was one of the people most associated with self-publishing. Too many young people loiter unknown in the literary world because they think there is something negative about self-publishing. Thus this attitude keeps us subservient to the corpses. With Shamal press Louis championed the small press and self-publishing efforts that young poets should welcome.

*   *   *

Louis was always at heart the activist and this is why I always felt close to him. That the word was to spread the truth and the expression of that word was an act of liberation. It was the spirit of the Black Arts Movement, a more activist oriented reflection of the Harlem Renaissance, which gave us Negritude in Africa and the West Indies, Indigisme in Haiti and Negrissmo in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Spanish speaking territories of the Americas. That we would create an art that was as rooted in our real cultural and historical experience. That we would create an art that would come out of the elitist dens of ambiguity and poet for and with the people. That we would create an art that would help liberate those people! Dig his two anthologies Bum Rush the Page & The Bandana Republic.

And you could hear Louis working at it whether in his twice a month workshops, his program on WBAI (until it was cut off by the white knights), his regular gigs and workshops at Sistah's Place or his various academic gigs at Pratt Institute and SUNY Stony Brook. One of the most important of Louis' formal or informal teaching gigs was his insistence on teaching, recognizing and living the Afro- Latin Hinge that characterizes the whole of the Western world. His rocked hat, swinging cane, his various dashikis above which lowered a long constantly stroked beard animated by a determined march to where ever, arriving with "What's Happening" and leaving with "Later," the characteristic Rivera Profile.

Louis gave us the warmth of his feeling, always. We loved him because we knew that whatever he looked like to you, he was a soldiers. That's why we miss him so much. And it is the essence of his soldiering that must be passed on. That's what we must urge on artists and scholars, not only cultural workers, but we need our most advanced folks fighting for equal rights and self-determination. To create art, and scholarship that is historically and culturally authentic, that is public and for the people, that is revolutionary. This is the paradigm that Louis Reyes Rivera's life and work presented. Unity with our people and struggle against our enemies. Anyone who really knew Louis would tell you that. They would know that he was a soldier. And we all should know that here, at this precipice looking down into the jaws of corporate dictatorship the new American Fascism.

That we need all the revolutionary cultural workers, all the soldiers we can enlist and develop. Louis Reyes Rivera was that to the bone, to the head of his swinging stick and screaming dashiki. This One For You he said, he meant us, all of us, all the time. Like Sekou Toure said, "Victory To Those Who Struggle." Louis believed that. He told me so. Unidad & Lucha Companero. Hasta la Vista. Hasta Manana. Venceremos! Later!"

8 March 2012

Source: whatsgoingon

*   *   *   *   *

AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

*   *   *   *   *

1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity.

Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.”

We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth. Whether or not the human instigators of all this remarkable change will survive the process they helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and revelatory book, an open question.

*   *   *   *   *

The Persistence of the Color Line

Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency

By Randall Kennedy

Among the best things about The Persistence of the Color Line is watching Mr. Kennedy hash through the positions about Mr. Obama staked out by black commentators on the left and right, from Stanley Crouch and Cornel West to Juan Williams and Tavis Smiley. He can be pointed. Noting the way Mr. Smiley consistently “voiced skepticism regarding whether blacks should back Obama” . . .

The finest chapter in The Persistence of the Color Line is so resonant, and so personal, it could nearly be the basis for a book of its own. That chapter is titled “Reverend Wright and My Father: Reflections on Blacks and Patriotism.”  Recalling some of the criticisms of America’s past made by Mr. Obama’s former pastor, Mr. Kennedy writes with feeling about his own father, who put each of his three of his children through Princeton but who “never forgave American society for its racist mistreatment of him and those whom he most loved.” 

His father distrusted the police, who had frequently called him “boy,” and rejected patriotism. Mr. Kennedy’s father “relished Muhammad Ali’s quip that the Vietcong had never called him ‘nigger.’ ” The author places his father, and Mr. Wright, in sympathetic historical light.

*   *   *   *   *

 

Jefferson's Pillow

The Founding Fathers and the Dilemma of Black Patriotism

By Roger W. Wilkins

 In Jefferson's Pillow, Wilkins returns to America's beginnings and the founding fathers who preached and fought for freedom, even though they owned other human beings and legally denied them their humanity. He asserts that the mythic accounts of the American Revolution have ignored slavery and oversimplified history until the heroes, be they the founders or the slaves in their service, are denied any human complexity. Wilkins offers a thoughtful analysis of this fundamental paradox through his exploration of the lives of George Washington, George Mason, James Madison, and of course Thomas Jefferson. He discusses how class, education, and personality allowed for the institution of slavery, unravels how we as Americans tell different sides of that story, and explores the confounding ability of that narrative to limit who we are and who we can become. An important intellectual history of America's founding, Jefferson's Pillow will change the way we view our nation and ourselves.

*   *   *   *   *

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        

Enjoy!

*   *   *   *   *

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 7 March 2012

 

 

 

Home   Louis Reyes Rivera Table

Related files: (compulsion strikes the witness)    jorge's journey   Interview with Louis Reyes Rivera