ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

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And now on her tomb Israeli children play /And sing with no worries of tomorrow

Where she once lived is confiscated / What are left from her family are refugees

 

 

 

  

The child and her diary

                                   June 17, 2002

 Laila Yaghi

She wrote in her diary every night

When bullets passed by her window… she wrote

When Israeli soldiers killed her mother she wrote

She wrote of the horrors she sees

And the nightmares of flames and destruction

She the Palestinian child

Writes in her diary every night

To ease her enormous pain

To sedate her fears and nightmares

 

That little Palestinian child

Had died while writing in bed

From Israelis bulldozing her home

And now she lies in her tomb

Forgotten…as if she never existed

But her diary will carry on

The suffering of every Palestinian child

And now on her tomb Israeli children play

And sing with no worries of tomorrow

Where she once lived is confiscated

What are left from her family are refugees

 

And we continue to support Israel

With 10 million dollars a day!

And we continue to say

All humans are created equal

 

But continue to send to Israel

10 million dollars a day!

 

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American women VS Palestinian Women       

                                                                     October 17, 2001

 Laila Yaghi

 

Just as the birds flutter their wings…  care free

And the sky begs the sun to come out and wipe its tears

Palestinian women cry for their pain to be known

And the grieve and agony they suffer from the death of their born

 

Just as we enjoy a sip of coffee in the morning

While we enjoy the beauty of the flowers in the spring

And dance to the rhythm of the music while we sing

Palestinian women suffer every second of the day

And wish to be invisible or numb to all their pain

 

Just as we enjoy the peacefulness of a full moon

While we sit on our porch rocking our fancy chair

Palestinian women beg the foreign policies to be fair

And stop all the blood shed of the innocent and the young

 

But does this stop the earth from orbiting around the sun??

Or a Palestinian child getting killed by an Israeli gun??

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 Tears of Blood                          

                   December 2001

 Laila Yaghi

Sometimes tears have to drop

But too many tears turn into blood

 Oh Palestine my ancestors’ land

Your earth has turned into red-colored sand

In it you have buried so many boys

Innocent, young still playing with toys

But their little hearts have turned into men

So fast before they had a chance to begin

A life like other men with family and kin

 

Born into their own country they face persecution

And live their lives full of confusion

Oh little boy playing with sand

Shot dead from snipers in your own land

Mother’s tears fall like razor sharp

Penetrating down deep with permanent scars

 

Oh world wake up his mother screams

Another atrocity with holocaust fears

Peace has been written in Rainbow colors

And doves are praying for all the mothers

*  *  *  *  *

 Do not deprive me        

                                 April 12, 01

 Laila Yaghi

Do not deprive me from that gentle smile

For I’ve been debating weather to live or die

Heaven shakes when I see that face

And makes me optimistic that there will come a day

Full of laughter, and then my sorrows will dissipate

So do not take away from me that gentle smile

 

I promise you that I won’t get in your way

But make me choose to live rather than to die

And let me look forward to that special smile

To lift me up when I’m feeling down and depressed

For God in heaven had made my heart compressed

And filled it up with sorrows and distress

I make my plea through the silent night

When my aching soul is about to flee

The sadness and loneliness it is a witness to

To God I pray to fill my life with light

And take away from me the loneliness of the night

 

Happiness is bound to visit me one day

So ‘till then I plea, in God’s name, to humor me

And not take that gentle smile away from me

Gloomy place I look at… full of darkness

Crows linger by… with no smile… full of madness

*  *  *  *  *

 Childless Woman                                         

                          June 21, 01

 Laila Yaghi

Passing by the valley of the night

And all the flowers tilt their heads for me

Drooping full of sadness and loneliness

In that valley of that lonely night

 

Forsaken as the trees forsake their leaves in the fall

And the unfaithful tears when they fall

Like rivers streaming hot through the muggy night

And the embedded echoes of sorrows and woes

My kids have forsaken me and have grown

And left me with empty arms… all alone

I think of the days that they were by my side

With warmth and love we cuddle up side by side

Reading bed time stories and talking of that day

 

Why can’t we go back and live in the past

And keep our children from growing so fast

Now that you both have grown into men

Are so far away from me but I can’t forget

 All the beautiful days we spent together

No matter how much I try and you try

You are from me and always will be so loved

So don’t forget, no matter how much you’ve grown

I still see you the kid who needs me, my babies…  My own

*  *  *  *  *

 Laila Yaghi

  River of Tears  

Down by the river of tears
she the mother kneeled
and grasped the dirt between her hands
Then planted a flag of peace
Her heart wrenched with fear
when remembering her indelible dreams

She the mother grasped
Frantically her last child

...Rocks... gunfire...bloodshed
 Tombs filled with children...

She looked up to the sky
and wished to be with her children

...Then remembering her last child
Gazed desperately into the Horizon
and shouted a piercing sentence

Stop killing our children
stop killing our children
     

©Laila Yaghi 2001

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Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas

By Sylviane Diouf

Despite the explosion in work on African American and religious history, little is known about Black Muslims who came to America as slaves. Most assume that what Muslim faith any Africans did bring with them was quickly absorbed into the new Christian milieu. But, surprisingly, as Sylviane Diouf shows in this new, meticulously researched volume, Islam flourished during slavery on a large scale.

Servants of Allah presents a history of African Muslim slaves, following them from Africa to the Americas. It details how, even while enslaved many Black Muslims managed to follow most of the precepts of their religion. Literate, urban, and well traveled, Black Muslims drew on their organization and the strength of their beliefs to play a major part in the most well known slave uprisings. Though Islam did not survive in the Americas in its orthodox form, its mark can be found in certain religions, traditions, and artistic creations of people of African descent.

But for all their accomplishments and contributions to the cultures of the African Diaspora, the Muslim slaves have been largely ignored. Servants of Allah is the first book to examine the role of Islam in the lives of both individual practitioners and in the American slave community as a whole, while also shedding light on the legacy of Islam in today's American and Caribbean cultures.

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Book of Sins

By Nidaa Khoury

Khoury's poetry is fired by belief in the human and the spiritual at a time when many of us feel unreal and often spiritually hollow.—Yair Huri, Ben-Gurion University 

Written in water and ink, in between the shed blood. Nidaa Khoury's poems take us to the bosom of an ancient woman  . . . an archetype revived. The secret she whispers is 'smaller than words.'—Karin Karakasli, author, Turkey

Nidaa Khoury was born in Fassouta, Upper Galilee, in 1959. Khoury is the author of seven books published in Arabic and several other languages, including The Barefoot River, which appeared in Arabic and Hebrew and The Bitter Crown, censored in Jordan. The Palestinian poet is studied in Israeli universities and widely reviewed by the Arab press. The founder of the Association of Survival, an NGO for minorities in Israel, Khoury has participated in over 30 international literary and human rights conferences and festivals. Khoury is the subject of the award-winning film, Nidaa Through Silence. Currently a senior lecturer at Ben-Gurion University, Khoury's poem Portal to the Orient is being produced by Sarab for Dance for performance in Palestine. Book of Sins introduces this important Middle Eastern poet to the Caribbean and the Americas.

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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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updated 5 October 2007 

 

 

 

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