ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

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My mama is protection / like those quilts her mother used to make. 

She tucked us in with cut out history all around us. 

 

 

Books and CDs by Glenis Redmond

Gwendolyn Knight: Discovering Powerful Images  /  Backbone  / Steam Dreams, an Anthology

Glenis on Poetry (CD)  Monumental (CD)

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Mama's Magic 

By Glenis Redmond

 

My mama is Magic! 

Always was and always will be. 

There is one phrase that constantly bubbled 

from the lips of her five children, 

“My momma can do it.” 

We thought my mama knew everything. 

Believed she did, as if she were born full grown 

from the Encyclopedia of Britannica. 

 

I could tell you stories 

of how she transformed 

a run down paint peeled shack 

into a home. 

How she heated us with tin tub baths 

from a kettle on the stove. 

Poured it over in there like an elixir. 

 

My mama is protection 

like those quilts her mother used to make. 

She tucked us in with cut out history all around us. 

We found we could walk anywhere in this world 

and not feel alone. 

My mama never whispered the shame of poverty 

in our ears. 

She taught us to dance to our own shadows. 

“Pay no attention to those grand parties 

on the other side of the tracks. 

Make your own music,” she’d say 

as she walked, 

she cleaned 

the sagging floorboards of that place. 

“You’ll get there.” 

“You’ll get there.” 

Her broom seemed to say with every wisp. 

We were my mama’s favorite recipe. 

She whipped us up in a big brown bowl 

supported by her big brown arms. 

We were homemade children. 

Stitched together with homemade love. 

We didn’t get everything we ever wanted 

but we lacked for nothing. 

 

We looked at the stars in my mama’s eyes 

They told us we owned the world. 

We walked like kings and queens 

even on midnight trips to the outhouse. 

We were under her spell. 

 

My mama didn’t study at no Harvard or Yale. 

The things she knew 

you couldn’t learn in no book! Like... 

 

How to make your life sing like 

sweet potato pie sweetness 

out of an open window. 

How to make anybody feel at home. 

How at just the right moment be silent 

and with her eyes say, 

“Everything’s gonna be alright, chile, 

everything is gonna be alright.” 

 

How she tended to all our sickness. 

How she raised our spirits. 

How she kept flowers 

living on our sagging porch 

in the midst of family chaos. 

My mama raised children like 

it was her business in life. 

Put us on her hip and kept moving, 

keeping that house Pine-Sol clean. 

 

Yeah, my mama is magic. 

Always was and always will be. 

Her magic? 

How to stay steady and sure 

in this fast paced world. 

Now when people look at me 

with my head held high 

my back erect 

and look at me with that... 

”Who does she think she is?” 

 

I just keep on walking 

with the assurance inside. 

I am Black Magic! 

 

I am Jeanette Redmond’s child!

posted 19 June 2006

Glenis Redmond is an award-winning performance poet, praise poet, teacher, and writer. For the past twelve years, she has traveled both domestically and abroad, performing and teaching.

Her poetry has won the Carrie McCray literary award 1995, NC Literary Artist Fellowship 2005, Denny C. Plattner Award for Outstanding Poetry, 2005. She is also the two-time recipient of fellowships from both the Vermont Writing Center and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Glenis has been published in numerous literary journals and publications including Stanford University's Black Arts Quarterly, Obsidian II: Black literature in Review, Emrys Journal, Bum Rush The Page: Def Poetry Jam, Appalachian Journal, Appalachian Heritage and African Voices.

As a performer, Glenis Redmond was the Southeast Regional Individual Poetry Slam Champion in 1997 and 1998, and placed in the top ten twice in the National Individual Slam Championships. She currently presents a variety of performances for audiences of all ages in venues ranging from top performing arts centers to juvenile detention centers. Glenis has performed in many diverse locations including the Paddington Arts Festival in England, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York City, the Poetry Circus Festival in Taos, New Mexico, and the Peace Center in her native South Carolina.

As a teacher, Glenis Redmond has recently been invited to join the national touring roster for the Kennedy Center's Partnership in Education Teacher Training. She helps both professional and amateur writers from 9-90 find their own poetic voices through workshops and classes across the nation.  Email:  poetica11@aol.com and Website:  www.Glenisredmond.com  

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books

 

Fiction

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

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

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

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

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

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

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

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

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

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

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

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

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

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

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

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

Non-fiction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

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Sex at the Margins

Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry

By Laura María Agustín

This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice.

"Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality."Lisa Adkins, University of London

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

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

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

 

 

update 14 May 2012

 

 

 

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