ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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I’ve seen your tenacity—I’ve seen your tenacity and determination in our wounded warriors in Landstuhl and Walter Reed—Americans fighting to stand again and to walk again and to get back with—get back with their units; incredible dedication,

incredible focus, incredible pride.  And I’ve been humbled by your sacrifice



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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Remarks to the Troops of Afghanistan

 By President Barack Obama



Clamshell, Bagram Airfield

March 28, 2010

How’s it going, Bagram?  (Applause.)  Well, you know, it turns out that the American people, they let me use this plane called Air Force One.  And so I thought I’d come over and say hello.

Couple of people I want to thank, in addition to Sergeant Major Eric Johnson for the outstanding introduction and his great service.  I want to thank Major General Mike Scaparrotti.  (Applause.)  Thank you for your great work as commanding general.  I want to thank Ms. Dawn Liberi, who is the senior civilian representative of Regional Command East, for her outstanding work; and Brigadier General Steven Kwast, commander -- (applause) -- commander 455th Air Expeditionary Wing.  Thank you all for your outstanding service.  Give them a big round of applause. 

Thank you for the unbelievable welcome.  I know this was on a little bit of short notice.  

No worries It is great to be here at Bagram, and it’s great to see all the services.  We’ve got Air Force, we’ve got Army—we’ve got Navy—we’ve got some Marines in the house. And we’ve got a lot of civilians here too—who are making an outstanding contribution to this effort, and I’m honored to be joined by America’s outstanding civilian military leadership team here in Afghanistan, Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, who’s doing outstanding work, and the commander of our 43-nation coalition, General Stan McChrystal.  The two of them together have paired up to do an extraordinarily difficult task, but they are doing it extraordinarily well and we are proud of them.  Please give your outstanding team a big round of applause.  They’ve got my full confidence and my full support.   

We’re also joined by troops from some of our coalition partners, because this is not simply an American mission or even just a NATO mission.  Al Qaeda and their extremist allies are a threat to the people of Afghanistan and a threat to the people of America, but they’re also a threat to people all around the world, and that’s why we’re so proud to have our coalition partners here with us.  Thank you very much for the great work that you do.  We salute you and we honor you for all the sacrifices you make, and you are a true friend of the United States of America.  Thank you very much. 

And we also salute the members of the Afghan National Army who are fighting alongside all of you.  They’re risking their lives to protect their country.  And as I told President Karzai today, the United States is a partner but our intent is to make sure that the Afghans have the capacity to provide for their own security.  That is core to our mission, and we are proud of the work that they are doing and the continuing increased capacity that we’re seeing out of Afghan national security forces.  So thank you very much for the great work you’re doing to take responsibility for security here in your own country.

And to the Afghan people, I want to say that I’m honored to be a guest in your country.  Now, the Afghans have suffered for decades -- decades of war.  But we are here to help Afghans forge a hard-won peace while realizing the extraordinary potential of the Afghan people, Afghanistan’s sons and daughters, from the soldiers and the police to the farmers and the young students.  And we want to build a lasting partnership founded upon mutual interests and mutual respect, and I’m looking forward to returning to Afghanistan many times in the years to come.

Now, I know for most of you, you didn’t get a lot of notice that I was coming.  But I want you to understand, there’s no visit that I considered more important than this visit I’m making right now, because I have no greater honor than serving as your Commander-in-Chief.  And it is a privilege to look out and see the extraordinary efforts of America’s sons and daughters here in Afghanistan.  So my main job here today is to say thank you on behalf of the entire American people. 

You are part of the finest military in the history of the world, and we are proud of you.  And so I want you to know that everybody back home is proud of you.  Everybody back home is grateful.  And everybody understands the sacrifices that you have made and your families have made to keep America safe and to keep America secure in this vital mission.

And I know it’s not easy.  You’re far away from home.  You miss your kids.  You miss your spouses, your family, your friends.  Some of you, this is your second or your third or your fourth tour of duty.  I’ll tell you right now the same thing that I said at West Point last December.  If I thought for a minute that America’s vital interests were not served, were not at stake here in Afghanistan, I would order all of you home right away.  

So I want you to know, I want every American serving in Afghanistan, military and civilian, to know, whether you’re working the flight line here at Bagram or patrolling a village down in Helmand, whether you’re standing watch at a forward operating base or training our Afghan partners or working with the Afghan government, your services are absolutely necessary, absolutely essential to America’s safety and security.  Those folks back home are relying on you.

We can’t forget why we’re here.  We did not choose this war.  This was not an act of America wanting to expand its influence; of us wanting to meddle in somebody else’s business.  We were attacked viciously on 9/11.  Thousands of our fellow countrymen and women were killed.  And this is the region where the perpetrators of that crime, al Qaeda, still base their leadership.  Plots against our homeland, plots against our allies, plots against the Afghan and Pakistani people are taking place as we speak right here.  And if this region slides backwards, if the Taliban retakes this country and al Qaeda can operate with impunity, then more American lives will be at stake.  The Afghan people will lose their chance at progress and prosperity.  And the world will be significantly less secure.

And as long as I’m your Commander-in-Chief, I am not going to let that happen.  That’s why you are here.  I’ve made a promise to all of you who serve.  I will never send you into harm’s way unless it’s absolutely necessary.  I anguish in thinking about the sacrifices that so many of you make.  That’s why I promise I will never send you out unless it is necessary.

But that’s only part of the promise, because the other part of the promise is that when it is absolutely necessary, you will be backed up by a clear mission and the right strategy to finish the job, to get the job done.  And I am confident all of you are going to get the job done right here in Afghanistan.  I am confident of that.  (Applause.)   

That’s why I ordered more troops and civilians here into Afghanistan shortly after taking office.  That’s why we took a hard look and forged a new strategy and committed more resources in December.  That’s why we pushed our friends and allies and partners to pony up more resources themselves, more commitments of aid, and additional forces and trainers.  

Our broad mission is clear:  We are going to disrupt and dismantle, defeat and destroy al Qaeda and its extremist allies.  That is our mission.  And to accomplish that goal, our objectives here in Afghanistan are also clear:  We’re going to deny al Qaeda safe haven.  We’re going to reverse the Taliban’s momentum.  We’re going to strengthen the capacity of Afghan security forces and the Afghan government so that they can begin taking responsibility and gain confidence of the Afghan people.  

And our strategy includes a military effort that takes the fight to the Taliban while creating the conditions for greater security and a transition to the Afghans; but also a civilian effort that improves the daily lives of the Afghan people, and combats corruption; and a partnership with Pakistan and its people, because we can’t uproot extremists and advance security and opportunity unless we succeed on both sides of the border.  Most of you understand that.  

Many of the troops that I ordered to Afghanistan have begun to arrive, and more are on the way.  And we’ll continue to work with Congress to make sure that you’ve got the equipment that you need, particularly as we complete our drawdown in Iraq.  We’re providing more helicopters, we’re providing more intelligence and reconnaissance capabilities, more special operations forces, more armored vehicles that can save lives.  

And here in Afghanistan you’ve gone on the offensive.  And the American people back home are noticing.  We have seen a huge increase in support in -- stateside, because people understand the kinds of sacrifices that you guys are making, and the clarity of mission that you’re bringing to bear.  

And together with our coalition and Afghan partners, our troops have pushed the Taliban out of their stronghold in Marja.  We’ve changed the way we operate and interact with the Afghan people.  We see Afghans reclaiming their communities, and we see new partnerships that will help them build their own future and increase their security.

And across the border, Pakistan is mounting major offensives.  We’ve seen violent extremists pushed out of their sanctuaries.  We’ve struck major blows against al Qaeda leadership as well as the Taliban’s.  They are hunkered down.  They’re worried about their own safety.  It’s harder for them to move, it’s harder for them to train and to plot and to attack, and all of that makes America safer.  And we are going to keep them on the run because that is what’s going to be required in order to assure that our families back home have the security that they need.  That’s the work that you are doing.

So thanks to you, there’s been progress these last several months.  But we know there are going to be some difficult days ahead.  There’s going to be setbacks.  We face a determined enemy.  But we also know this:  The United States of America does not quit once it starts on something.  (Applause.)  You don’t quit, the American armed services does not quit, we keep at it, we persevere, and together with our partners we will prevail.  I am absolutely confident of that.  (Applause.)

And I also want you to know that as you’re doing your duty here, we’re going to do right by you back home.  We’re going to help take care of your families, and that’s why the First Lady Michelle Obama visited with military families and makes sure that their needs are met.  That’s why she stays after me once she gets home, when I’m at the White House.  And we’re going to make sure that we are keeping to improve your pay and your benefits, but also things like childcare and support that ensure that you’ve got a little bit of security knowing your family is being looked after back home.

And we’ll be there for your when you come home.  It’s why we’re improving care for our wounded warriors, especially those with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries.  We’re moving forward with the Post-9/11 GI Bill so you and your families can pursue your dreams.  And we’ve made the biggest increase in the VA budget in 30 years, because we’re going to keep our sacred trust with all those who serve.

You’ve been there for us, tour after tour, year after year, at a time when too many American institutions have let us down, when too many institutions have put short-term gain in front of a commitment to duty and a commitment to what’s right.  You’ve met your responsibilities, you’ve done your duty -- not just when it’s easy.  That’s why you’ve inspired your fellow Americans.  That’s why you inspire me.  That’s why you’ve earned your place next to the very greatest of American generations.  

And all of you represent the virtues and the values that America so desperately needs right now:  sacrifice and selflessness, honor and decency.  That’s why you’re here today.  That’s what you represent.

I’ve seen your sense of purpose and your willingness to step forward and serve in a time of danger.  I’ve seen it from the Marines I’ve met at Camp Lejeune to the cadets at West Point, from the midshipmen at Annapolis to the troops I’ve met in Iraq, and at bases across America and here in Afghanistan.  I’ve seen your courage and your heroism and the story of a young Sergeant First Class named Jared Monti who gave his life here in Afghanistan to save his fellow soldiers and his parents.  I was proud to present with our nation’s highest military declaration, the Medal of Honor. 

I’ve seen your tenacity—I’ve seen your tenacity and determination in our wounded warriors in Landstuhl and Walter Reed—Americans fighting to stand again and to walk again and to get back with—get back with their units; incredible dedication, incredible focus, incredible pride.  And I’ve been humbled by your sacrifice and the solemn homecoming of flag-draped coffins at Dover, to the headstones in Section 60 at Arlington where the fallen from this war rest in peace alongside the fellow heroes of America’s story.

So here in Afghanistan each one of you is part of an unbroken line of American servicemembers who’ve sacrificed for over two centuries.  You’re protecting your fellow citizens from danger.  You’re serving alongside old allies and new friends.  You’re bringing hope and opportunity to a people who have known a lot of pain and a lot of suffering.

And I know that sometimes when you’re watching TV, the politics back home may look a little messy, and people are yelling and hollering, and Democrats this and Republicans that.  I want you to understand this:  There’s no daylight when it comes to support of all of you.  There’s no daylight when it comes to supporting our troops.  That brings us together.  We are all incredibly proud.  We all honor what you do.  And all of you show all of America what’s possible when people come together, not based on color or creed, not based on faith or station, but based on a commitment to serve together, to bleed together and to succeed together as one people, as Americans.

Make no mistake, this fight matters to us.  It matters to us, it matters to our allies, it matters to the Afghan people.  Al Qaeda and the violent extremists who you’re fighting against want to destroy.  But all of you want to build -- and that is something essential about America.  They’ve got no respect for human life.  You see dignity in every human being.  That’s part of what we value as Americans.  They want to drive races and regions and religions apart.  You want to bring people together and see the world move forward together.  They offer fear, in other words, and you offer hope.

And that’s why it is so important that you know that the entire country stands behind you.  That’s why you put on that uniform, because in an uncertain world, the United States of America will always stand up for the security of nations and the dignity of human beings.  That’s who we are.  That is what we do.  

Much has happened to our country and to the world since 9/11.  But I’m confident that so long as brave men and women like you -- Americans who are willing to serve selflessly half a world away on behalf of their fellow citizens and the dreams of people they’ve never met -- so long as there are folks like you, then I’m confident that our nation will endure, and hope will overcome fear.  And I am confident that better days lie ahead.

So thank you very much, everybody. God bless you.  God bless the United States Armed Forces.  And God bless the United States of America.

Source: WhiteHouse

Obama Speaks in Afghanistan  / Freedom and Handsome Johnny (Richie Havens)

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Parable of War that is Not War

By Marvin X


There are wars and there are not wars. There are mock battles, turkey fights full of sound and fury, signifying nothing—or maybe something, for there are motives and agendas far beyond the battle ground, motives and agendas of presidents, prime ministers, generals and war lords in near and distant lands.

Some of these war mongers we hear about, some we don't. In Afghanistan, major players have names like India, Pakistan, Iran, China, Russia, America, Europe—and don't leave out Saudi Arabia, the Taliban's mother-teacher, ideological and spiritual sponsor.

And so we have a geo-political chess game with movement for short and long term gain. And there are pawns and queens that will be sacrificed, and kings shall fall and fake falls, since alliances only last so long in the ephemeral world of war, of politics by other means.

Yet, there is the constant sound of war, the killing, captives, wounded, towns falling, advance and retreat, all the games of war, tactics, strategy, prognosis, analysis, policy changes, subterfuge, circumlocution. All is drama. Smoke and mirrors. Deals made in the dark of night, between warlords, generals, enemies and friends.

It is neon lights on the strip in Las Vegas. It can be blinding, this blinking, shifting of sands, melting of snow capped mountains. We see one player, then another, arrive in town to broker a deal, departing with a bag of gold or bag of opium, an oil pipeline, a pledge of long range involvement, no matter who wins. Actually there are no winners, only losers. For a moment, one player out maneuvers another.

One sends in a surrogate, more pliant than his superior. There is a willingness to be liberal in the new order coming soon. The conservatives will stay in the background, manage their drug money or bribe money to lay down their arms.

The surrogates will do as told by their sponsors in nearby and distant lands. Each day the killing goes on, the spilling of blood, the breaking of bones. All drama. A scam called democracy.

Source: Parables and Fables

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Notes to Jerry Ward on Obama as Black Agenda

I watched the C-Span 2 replay of the BLACK AGENDA program. Minister Farrakhan put a possibility on the table: President Obama can be assassinated. I think we must try to protect Obama with critical love; we must be very clear why Obama the human being is a black agenda and why President Obama is entrapped in an agenda set rainbow agents of power and wealth. Please pray to a God who listens—Jerry

Tavis Smiley Questions Minister Louis Farrakhan on President Barack Obama: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3

Obama Speaks toTroops in Afghanistan.htm

Obama Speaks in Afghanistan  / Freedom and Handsome Johnny (Richie Havens)

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Jerry, I am anti-war, and especially anti-foreign wars, like the on-going one in Afghanistan. But I watched keenly Obama's performance and the impact that his speech would have on White America and the Tea Baggers especially. And I knew instinctively that he was whipping their asses, cutting out a new view of a black man as the most powerful individual on the planet. Such people like John McCain and Sarah Palin cannot abide the figure he cuts out for himself and for us. It was clear that he was establishing, cutting out his destiny as the most powerful man in the world.

Still I could not forget the drones he was sending into Pakistan killing the innocent—men, women, and children. But I am a defender of Nathaniel Turner, the Butcher of Southampton. So I am not pious in that sense. But Turner was willing to pay for his "crimes" by giving himself over to the authorities of Virginia to be hanged until he was dead. Of course, he found no recognition of his honor, his dignity, and his integrity. They skinned him and chopped him to pieces as they would do a pig during hog-killing time, which is indeed the fall of the year.

It is a strange and wonderful game that Obama plays as Commander in Chief, as  President of the most powerful country in the world, with the largest military machine the world as ever mounted. He is settling into having such power. We cannot fully judge him at this time. He has only been in office for a moment. I am not overly sentimental about him as our "black agenda."

So you will not find me rhyming and alliterating like Cornel West, or Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson, or Michael Eric Dyson, and the rest, nor am I willing to be hypocritical, bodacious, and self-serving like Tavis Smiley. I wish Obama do the best that he is capable of being in the roles he has chosen. But I will not be premature or sentimental about him. It is too early for such a judgment. We do not know what impact power will have on him and his liberal character. He has chosen Lincoln as his hero. And we know that he has already established himself as the defender of capital. AnnualBlackRadicalAllstarGame

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Maybe at the end of his first term, or better still at the end of his second term, if he is so blessed, if I too am so blessed to see such a day, I will be able to make a more definitive statement on his presidency as the first African American to be the President of the United States. But at this moment it is all to early for me. I am at once troubled by him and pleased by his performance, as I would be of James Earl Jones playing Shakespeare’s Othello. It is not what I would choose for him, though I voted for him.

But I do not think that I can at this time judge him as merely a black man satisfying a kind of "black agenda." That too is important. I am not without racial pride and I am not far removed from growing up in a Jim Crow world.  I must judge him in the context of the rest of humanity. I do not go for his hawkish conclusions on the necessity of the war against the Afghans, or the war for the Afghans. That is an imperial con—music in the ears of America’s war hawks, primarily the Republicans, the Southerners of the Old Confederacy. I cannot forsake my own antiwar principles for his blackness, or even for race pride. My humanity extends beyond my skin, beyond the hurts I suffered as a second-class citizen, as one of the White World’s inferiors. I cannot forsake all for my humanity. I made an anti-war stance when I was nineteen and I’ll stand by that at 62 years old. Obama is wrong about the imperial aims of the USA.

I do believe he is a compassionate man, to a degree, as much as one can be as the Commander in Chief of the largest military machine on the face of the earth. We should never take out of our vision the hard facts of the career that Obama has undertaken. He is not all that I would have him be, as Othello is not all that I would have him be. Fearing for his life will not be a preoccupation of mine. We all must reap what we sow. If that means his death in office, let it be. Peace and Blessings, Rudy

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The Obscenity of War

President Barack Obama has just returned from his first trip as commander in chief to Afghanistan. The U.S.-led invasion and occupation of that country are now in their ninth year, amid increasing comparisons to Vietnam. Daniel Ellsberg, whom Henry Kissinger once called “the most dangerous man in America,” leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971. Ellsberg, who was a top Pentagon analyst, photocopied this secret, 7,000-page history of the U.S. role in Vietnam and released it to the press, helping to end the Vietnam War.DemocracyNow

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The Case for Impeachment of President Barack Obama—Dave Lindorff—As commander in chief, President Obama has also overseen a strategy in Afghanistan of expanded attacks on civilians in Afghanistan. As in Iraq under the Bush administration, this current phase of the war in Afghanistan is seeing more civilians killed than enemy combatants, because of the widespread use of weapons like helicopter gunships, aerial bombardment, fragmentation bombs, etc., as well as a tactic of night raids on housing compounds where insurgents are suspected of hiding--raids that frequently lead to the deaths of many women and children and innocent men. It is significant that even the recent execution-style slaying of nine students, aged 11-18, by US-led forces, has not led to an investigation or prosecution of a individual. Rather, the incident is being covered up and ignored, with the clear acquiescence of the White House and the leadership at the Pentagon.

It is also widely believed that under the command of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who is known to have directed a large-scale death-squad operation in Iraq before moving to his current position, a similar death-squad campaign of assassination is being conducted now in Afghanistan--a campaign that like the notorious Phoenix Program in the 1960s in Vietnam, is almost certainly resulting in the deaths of many innocent Afghans.

Domestically, the president has continued to allow the policy of detention without trial of hundreds of captives in Guantanamo Bay and other prisons, including Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan, and his director of national security has even stated that it is the policy of this administration that American citizens deemed by the administration to be enemy combatants or terrorists may be targeted for summary execution. Such officially sanctioned state murder is a blatant violation of the Constitution's insistence that every American has a right to a presumption of innocence and to a trial by a jury of his or her peers. OpEdNews

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Meet Lt. Col. Chris Gough: Killing by Drone and Proud of It—The corporate media doesn’t seem too interested in the so-called surgical strikes carried out by the U.S. Air Force as they buzz around the skies of Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan. No matter what the Pakistanis or the “Afghan government” says against these drone flights, President Obama and his administration are in love with drones—seemingly the universal panacea for killing the “enemy” without risking the lives of brave servicemen and women. It was back last summer when an official Afghan investigation headed by one Burhanullah Shinwari revealed that a US fighter aircraft had killed 47 civilians, including 39 women and children, as they were travelling to a wedding in Afghanistan. The groom survived but the bride died. The US military were quick to issue their initial denial that any civilians had been killed.

In Britain, one law-lord – a legal guardian in the arcane legal bureaucracy here—didn’t much like the sound of drones. Lord Bingham, the senior law-lord said to the British Institute of International and Comparative Law that drones were like landmines and cluster bombs, that they could be so "cruel as to be beyond the pale of human tolerance".

"It may be— I'm not expressing a view—that unmanned drones that fall on a house full of civilians is a weapon the international community should decide should not be used."

Israel, of course used them to kill Palestinian civilians during their bombardment of Gaza.Something called the New America Foundation which doesn’t like planes with names like Predator and Reaper says that one in three people killed is a civilian and that the drone strikes have little effect in deterring terrorist activities in either Pakistan or Afghanistan. Counterpunch

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Martin Luther King, "Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam

Beyond Vietnam A Time to Break Silence

By Rev. Martin Luther King


Presidential Violence!—Obama is clearly continuing the Clinton and Bush policies of militarizing Africa. This is obvious in the expansion of US military “interventions.” For example, US support to the Nigerian ruling elites efforts to eliminate the resistance movements in the Niger Delta. Consider also the expansion of the US International Military Education and Training (IMET) program as well as the increased US arms sales to African countries. . . .

A “Black” US president is a deadly thing because dead and dying African (black) bodies are the grounds on which white power stands. White power in black-face also stands on those same dead African and other racialized peoples bodies. . . .  But of what value is hope predicated on African death and dying? To the extent that his achievements requires that we valorize capitalist imperialism, male supremacy, militarism, and white supremacy . . . we must question the value of a “Black” US president.  BlackAgendaReport

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U.S. Forces Admit to Killing Three Women, Two Men at Party—Yesterday, the ISAF released a statement claiming oops, they were wrong, no one was dead when they got there—they did that. Emphasis mine:

A thorough joint investigation into the events that occurred in the Gardez district of Paktiya Province Feb. 12, has determined that international forces were responsible for the deaths of three women who were in the same compound where two men were killed by the joint Afghan-international patrol searching for a Taliban insurgent.

The two men, who were later determined not to be insurgents, were shot and killed by the joint patrol after they showed what appeared to be hostile intent by being armed. While investigators could not conclusively determine how or when the women died, due to lack of forensic evidence, they concluded that the women were accidentally killed as a result of the joint force firing at the men.

"We deeply regret the outcome of this operation, accept responsibility for our actions that night, and know that this loss will be felt forever by the families," said Brig Gen. Eric Tremblay, ISAF Spokesperson. "The force went to the compound based on reliable information in search of a Taliban insurgent and believed that the two men posed a threat to their personal safety. We now understand that the men killed were only trying to protect their families."

This is the "wow" part. Jerome Starkey in the London Times reports that the lack of forensic evidence that's discussed above is because the team dug the bullets out of the compound walls and possibly out of the women's bodies in an attempt to hide what had happened . . .

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The Bridge The Life and Rise of Barack Obama

By David Remnick

A Conversation with Gwen Ifill of PBS 

 and author of

The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama

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#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

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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. 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.—WashingtonPost

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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

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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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posted 29 March 2010




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