ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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


The late Dr. Arthur A. Schomburg, a non-Catholic, in an article in

Interracial Review, August, 1937, gives an account of the first native

Archbishop in America. This was Archbishop Victoria, a Negro, founder

of the noted University of St. Francis Xavier at Panama.



Books by and about Claude McKay

Home to Harlem  / Banjo  /  Banana Bottom  / Gingertown  /  A Long Way from Home  / Harlem: Negro Metropolis  /  Selected Poems 

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Catholic Writers

(1900-1943): A Bio-Bibliography  (1945)

By Sister Mary Anthony Scally, R.S.M.

Librarian, Mount St. Agnes College Baltimore



The American Negro in the past decade has become more and more eager for educational advantages. He has seen the possibilities opening out to him in the development of his talents and the cultivation of the qualities of his mind. Each year within the last decade thousands of names have been added to the ever-growing list of Negro men and women with degrees. The results of this educational effort are to be seen in the advances made by Negroes in the fields of literature and art. Outstanding names are included in the latest histories of American literature, and books by Negroes are accepted by the most important publishing firms and reviewed in the best book reviewing periodicals. Negro magazines in the fields of literature, education, and medicine are of the highest type in make-up and content.

The Church, who has ever given her approval to the pursuit of learning and to the cultivation of those gifts of the mind bestowed by God, recognizes the justice of the Negroes' desire for education and grieves that her facilities are still too limited to satisfy this desire completely. "Education with religion is the hope of our people" are words which were addressed to the Fraternal Council of Negro Churches of America. Although not stated by a Catholic, they are words which every Catholic should take deeply to heart. To achieve the objective implied and to make it a reality rather than an ideal, the Church, against the ever-pressing handicap of financial shortages, and the greater handicap of indifference and lack of cooperation among many of its members best qualified to help, has labored steadily to establish churches and schools and to increase its membership among the colored population of the country.

Several northern Catholic colleges and universities have thrown open their doors to admit Negro students; and Xavier University, New Orleans, and the Catholic College for Colored, Guthrie, Oklahoma, are educating Negro students exclusively. St. Augustine's Seminary, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, is educating Negro students for the priesthood as members of the Society of the Divine Word. One unmistakable indication of the advance that Catholic education has made among the Negroes of the United States is the constantly increasing number of ordained colored priests. 

The ordination of Negroes for the priesthood is not untraditional in the history of the Church. Rather it is the background of prejudice that has developed in this country which, to some, gives it the appearance of the extraordinary. The late Dr. Arthur A. Schomburg, a non-Catholic, in an article in Interracial Review, August, 1937, gives an account of the first native Archbishop in America. This was Archbishop Victoria, a Negro, founder of the noted University of St. Francis Xavier at Panama. He was created Bishop of Panama in August, 1751, and Archbishop of Truxillo in Peru in 1758.

Further indication of the progress of Catholic education among the Negroes of this country is the participation of the Catholic Negro in the literary movement of the present day and in every activity for the betterment of his group by interracial justice and cooperation.

Nevertheless, it is difficult to determine accurately the exact contribution of the Catholic Negro. The appearance of an article by a Negro in a Catholic periodical is no guarantee that the writer is a Catholic, Dr. Schomburg and George Streator have written extensively for Catholic magazines and both are non-Catholic. The presence of a Negro in a Catholic institution is no indication of his religious affiliation, nor is the opposite true, a very large proportion of Catholic high school graduates being forced into state institutions of higher learning because of the discrimination of Catholic colleges.

Personal inquiry and investigation were necessary in every case in compiling' this bibliography, the purpose of which is to offer specific examples of the contribution of Negro Catholics in the field of published writings of whatever nature, to show what interests have stimulated them to write, what form their writings have taken, and by what agencies they were produced.

All entries included have appeared in the United States since 1900; all the writers are colored Catholics. This limitation excludes some interesting items. One of the finest poems in the Spanish language, "La Austriada," by Juan Latino, is omitted on the basis of nationality. It is concerned chiefly with Don John of Austria and the victory of Lepanto. An account of Juan Latino can be found in the Spanish encyclopedia, Enciclopedia Universal Ilustrada, under the entry Latino (El maestro Juan). Also Antonio Mann Octete in 1925 published an account of him in Granada entitled El Negro. He had been a slave but earned his freedom and became a professor at the University of Granada where he taught for sixty years. Under him the famous Jesuit, Francis Suarez, studied rhetoric as a boy. 

Chiefly on the basis of time is excluded the earliest anthology of Negro poetry to be produced in this country, Les Cenelles. Its editor, Arnold Lanusse, was undoubtedly Catholic; and probably most of the contributors were Catholic also, this was the prevailing religion in New Orleans at the time of the publication of the book. The story of this little volume is very interesting and deserves to be better known. A group of seventeen free colored Creoles of New Orleans, educated in France, disgusted at the treatment received from the white population of the city, and excluded from association with other groups of equal cultivation, organized their own literary circle where they discussed congenial topics and criticized one another's poetry. 

The result was Les Cenelles; Choix de Poesies Indigezies published in "Nouvelle Orleans by H. Lauve et Compagnie" in 1845. Arnold Lanusee, the editor of the volume, later became the founder of a Catholic orphanage in New Orleans. 

Victor Sejour, one of the contributors, is better known as a dramatist. He left the United States for France where he made his home and produced many plays. He established a reputation for remarkable energy and for revising each drama at the last minute before the actors appeared on the stage.

Journalists have not been included in the bibliography unless specific data could be located for each individual contribution. This has led to the exclusion of Noah D. Thompson, for several years secretary to Booker T. Washington and member of the Tuskegee faculty.

*   *   *   *   *

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'."

*   *   *   *   *

GREAT BAY, St. Martin (July 31, 2011)—It’s official. It’s a bestseller! From Yvette’s Kitchen To Your Table – A Treasury of St. Martin’s Traditional & Contemporary Cuisine by Yvette Hyman has sold out, according to House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP). In a record seven weeks after its June 2011 release here, less than 80 copies of the cookbook are left in bookstores and with the author’s family representatives charged with distribution, said Jacqueline Sample, HNP president. The decision on whether to reprint a new batch of From Yvette’s Kitchen  … lies with the family of the late award-winning chef, said the publisher.“We are very thankful to the people of St. Martin for embracing Yvette’s cookbook. The visitors to our island also bought many copies of this beautifully designed book of the nation’s cuisine,” said Sample.From Yvette’s Kitchen  is made up of 13 chapters, including Appetizers, Soups, Poultry, Fish and Shellfish, Meat, Salads, Dumplings, Rice and Fungi, Breads, and Desserts.The 312-page full color book includes recipes for Souse, the ever-popular Johnny cake, and Conch Yvette’s. Lamb stew, coconut tart, guavaberry, and soursop drink are also among the over 200 recipes ŕ la Yvette in this Treasury of St. Martin’s Traditional & Contemporary Cuisine, said Sample.“We hope that this cookbook’s success also adds to the indicator of the performance and importance of books published in the Caribbean,” said Sample.

Yvette’s cookbook is a 2011 bestseller

*   *   *   *   *'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

*   *   *   *   *

Malcolm X

A Life of Reinvention

By Manning Marable

Years in the making-the definitive biography of the legendary black activist.

Of the great figure in twentieth-century American history perhaps none is more complex and controversial than Malcolm X. Constantly rewriting his own story, he became a criminal, a minister, a leader, and an icon, all before being felled by assassins' bullets at age thirty-nine. Through his tireless work and countless speeches he empowered hundreds of thousands of black Americans to create better lives and stronger communities while establishing the template for the self-actualized, independent African American man. In death he became a broad symbol of both resistance and reconciliation for millions around the world.

Manning Marable's new biography of Malcolm is a stunning achievement. Filled with new information and shocking revelations that go beyond the Autobiography, Malcolm X unfolds a sweeping story of race and class in America, from the rise of Marcus Garvey and the Ku Klux Klan to the struggles of the civil rights movement in the fifties and sixties.

Reaching into Malcolm's troubled youth, it traces a path from his parents' activism through his own engagement with the Nation of Islam, charting his astronomical rise in the world of Black Nationalism and culminating in the never-before-told true story of his assassination. Malcolm X will stand as the definitive work on one of the most singular forces for social change, capturing with revelatory clarity a man who constantly strove, in the great American tradition, to remake himself anew.

Pulitzer Prize for History 2012 Winner—For a distinguished and appropriately documented book on the history of the United States, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000). Awarded to Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, by the late Manning Marable (Viking), an exploration of the legendary life and provocative views of one of the most significant African-Americans in U.S. history, a work that separates fact from fiction and blends the heroic and tragic. (Moved by the Board from the Biography category.)—Pulitzer

*   *   *   *   *

Ghosts in Our Blood

With Malcolm X in Africa, England, and the Caribbean

By Jan R. Carew

Carew, an activist, scholar, and journalist, met Malcolm X during his last trip abroad only a few weeks before he was killed in 1965. It made such an impression on Carew that he felt compelled to search out Malcolm's family and friends in order to flesh out the family history. He interviewed Wilfred (Malcolm's older brother) and a Grenadian friend of Malcolm's mother named Tanta Bess. Comparing his family's experiences with that of Malcolm X, he gives the most complete picture yet of Malcolm's mother. Carew also offers a tantalizing glimpse of Malcolm X's transforming himself into El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, a man less blinded by his own racial prejudices yet as committed to the betterment of his race as ever. Just before his death, Malcolm X became convinced that a U.S. agency was involved with those trying to kill him, and Carew here reveals the evidence Malcolm X gave him to support these beliefs. The mystery of Malcolm's death remains unresolved, and we are once again filled with regret that he was cut down before he could fulfill the promise of his later days. While this book will not replace The Autobiography of Malcolm X (LJ 1/1/66), it is an important supplement. All libraries that own the autobiography should also purchase this one.—Library Journal

*   *   *   *   *

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 18 April 2012




 Home   Negro Catholic Writers Table   Mau Mau Aesthetics