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But neither Obama’s ethnicity or Hillary’s gender is enough to earn my support. Neither

is calling on the American people to confront our materialism and militarism

or challenging and proposing alternatives to corporate globalization.

 

 

Books by James Boggs and Grace Lee Boggs

 

Revolution and Evolution in the Twentieth Century  / The American Revolution: Pages from a Negro Worker's Notebook

Living for Change: An Autobiography Conversations in Maine: Exploring Our Nation's Future 

Manifesto for a Black Revolutionary Party   / Racism and the Class Struggle 

 

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Books by Barack Obama

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance  / The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream

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Is Obama Black Enough?

By Grace Lee Boggs 
 

This is a good question because it challenges us to stop glossing over the huge changes that have taken place, both positively and negatively, in black leadership over the last 50 years. 
 
In the 50s and 60s we may not have called it “black leadership” but there was no doubt what we had in mind. We were talking about “the movement.” Southern blacks, rising out of obscurity, determined to rid their communities and this country of Jim Crow, risking their lives by sitting in front seats on buses, sitting down at lunch counters, registering to vote. Small groups of deeply-committed and highly-disciplined individuals engaging in non-violent actions that forced millions of white Americans to look at themselves and recognize the crimes that have made possible the rapid economic development of this country. SNCC students transforming themselves and humanizing this country by simple acts that raised the fundamental question of what it means to be a human being, thereby inspiring women, Latinos, Native Americans and Asian Americans to challenge patriarchy and racism. 
 
In the North men like Malcolm challenged us to look into the mirror by  transforming themselves from hustlers into community leaders and searching for new ideas when those which had initially inspired their transformation tuned out to be too narrow. Students inspired us by walking out of schools demanding black history and black administrators. 
 
Between 1965 (the year Malcolm was killed) and 1968 (the year Martin was gunned down) black leadership was taken to a new level by King. Agonizing over the twin crises of the Vietnam war and the urban rebellions, he called for a radical revolution in values, not only against racism but against materialism and militarism. Warning against integration into the “burning house” of U.S. capitalism, he emphasized the need for two-sided transformation by and of Americans, both of ourselves AND our institutions, a transformation that would take us and the world beyond both traditional capitalism and communism. 
 
King was killed before he could put this new revolutionary/evolutionary transformational vision of revolution into practice and make it widely known to the world. 
 
After his death civil rights leaders, ignoring King’s warning, seized upon the opportunities that had been opened up by “the movement” to enter the “burning house” of U. S. capitalism. Instead of calling upon the American people to confront our consumerism and militarism, instead of challenging corporate globalism, these opportunists became a part of the system, evaluating black progress by how much they and other blacks were catching up with whites. 
 
In 1977, with the support of the civil rights establishment, Maynard Jackson, Atlanta’s first black mayor, used scabs to break the garbage workers strike. In the late 70s civil rights leaders turned blacks into a special interest group inside the Democratic Party, just as the Democrats were becoming indistinguishable from Republicans in their dependence on corporations for campaign funds 
 
As a result, the word “black” has lost all its movement meaning. So Bill Clinton, the man who sponsored NAFTA, who got rid of Aid to Dependent Children, who bombed Iraq, and who now suggests that Hillary’s first act as president would be to send him and George W’s father around the world, can be called this country’s “first black president”! 
 
Meanwhile capitalism has morphed into corporate globalization, the materialism of the American people has skyrocketed, inequality is mushrooming inside the United States and between the global north and the global south, violence continues to escalate both at home and abroad, and the planetary crisis is reaching the point of no return. 
 
Had it not been for the movements of the 50s and 60s, Obama and Hillary would not be front runners in the presidential race today. 
 
But neither Obama’s ethnicity nor Hillary’s gender is enough to earn my support. Neither is calling on the American people to confront our materialism and militarism or challenging and proposing alternatives to corporate globalization. At this critical period in human history that is what we should be requiring of ourselves and of any presidential candidate, whatever their race, gender, or religion. 
 
Fortunately new leadership is emerging out of obscurity, at the grassroots level, building community instead of running for office. 

Source: Michigan Citizen, Dec.30-Jan.6, 2008

posted 29 December 2008

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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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The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance

Destroyed Our Jobs, Pensions, and Prosperity—and What We Can Do About It

By Les Leopold

How could the best and brightest (and most highly paid) in finance crash the global economy and then get us to bail them out as well? What caused this mess in the first place? Housing? Greed? Dumb politicians? What can Main Street do about it? In The Looting of America, Leopold debunks the prevailing media myths that blame low-income home buyers who got in over their heads, people who ran up too much credit-card debt, and government interference with free markets. Instead, readers will discover how Wall Street undermined itself and the rest of the economy by playing and losing at a highly lucrative and dangerous game of fantasy finance. He also asks some tough questions:  Why did Americans let the gap between workers' wages and executive compensation grow so large? Why did we fail to realize that the excess money in those executives' pockets was fueling casino-style investment schemes? Why did we buy the notion that too-good-to-be-true financial products that no one could even understand would somehow form the backbone of America's new, postindustrial economy? How do we make sure we never give our wages away to gamblers again? And what can we do to get our money back? In this page-turning narrative (no background in finance required) Leopold tells the story of how we fell victim to Wall Street's exotic financial products. Readers learn how even school districts were taken in by "innovative" products like collateralized debt obligations, better known as CDOs, and how they sucked trillions of dollars from the global economy when they failed. They'll also learn what average Americans can do to ensure that fantasy finance never rules our economy again. The Economy

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Faces At The Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism

By Derrick Bell

In nine grim metaphorical sketches, Bell, the black former Harvard law professor who made headlines recently for his one-man protest against the school's hiring policies, hammers home his controversial theme that white racism is a permanent, indestructible component of our society. Bell's fantasies are often dire and apocalyptic: a new Atlantis rises from the ocean depths, sparking a mass emigration of blacks; white resistance to affirmative action softens following an explosion that kills Harvard's president and all of the school's black professors; intergalactic space invaders promise the U.S. President that they will clean up the environment and deliver tons of gold, but in exchange, the bartering aliens take all African Americans back to their planet. Other pieces deal with black-white romance, a taxi ride through Harlem and job discrimination. Civil rights lawyer Geneva Crenshaw, the heroine of Bell's And We Are Not Saved (1987), is back in some of these ominous allegories, which speak from the depths of anger and despair. Bell now teaches at New York University Law School.Publishers Weekly /  Derrick Bell Law Rights Advocate  Dies at 80

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Greenback Planet: How the Dollar Conquered

the World and Threatened Civilization as We Know It

By H. W. Brands

In Greenback Planet, acclaimed historian H. W. Brands charts the dollar's astonishing rise to become the world's principal currency. Telling the story with the verve of a novelist, he recounts key episodes in U.S. monetary history, from the Civil War debate over fiat money (greenbacks) to the recent worldwide financial crisis. Brands explores the dollar's changing relations to gold and silver and to other currencies and cogently explains how America's economic might made the dollar the fundamental standard of value in world finance. He vividly describes the 1869 Black Friday attempt to corner the gold market, banker J. P. Morgan's bailout of the U.S. treasury, the creation of the Federal Reserve, and President Franklin Roosevelt's handling of the bank panic of 1933. Brands shows how lessons learned (and not learned) in the Great Depression have influenced subsequent U.S. monetary policy, and how the dollar's dominance helped transform economies in countries ranging from Germany and Japan after World War II to Russia and China today. He concludes with a sobering dissection of the 2008 world financial debacle, which exposed the power--and the enormous risks--of the dollar's worldwide reign.  The Economy

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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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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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update 8 April 2012

 

 

 

Home  Obama 2008 Table   Conversations Table

Related files:  Crime Among Our People  Conversation about Religion   Give Detroit Schools a Fresh Start    The Dropout Challenge     Food Future Past   Is Obama Black Enough

The Islamic Struggle and Ours     Boggs Center: Going  Beyond Black and White   The Audacity of Hope