ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

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I met your rain of metaphors / and wore them like spring showers
feeding nourishment to poet leaves dried / from lack of homeland truth.
I wear your metaphors like books / teaching me to speak the truth to power,
teaching me like love warming me on cold nights . . .

 

 

 Books by Niyi Osundare

Songs of the Marketplace  (2006)  / The Word is an Egg  (2005) /  Pages from the Book of the Sun  (2002)  / Two Plays (2006)

Thread in the Loom: Essays (2002) /  The State Visit  (2002)  /  Midlife (2005)  / Moonsongs  (1988)  /  The Eyes of the Earth  (2007)

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 Poem for Niyi on His 60th Birthday

PraiseSong for Niyi Osundare

                                     By Mona Lisa Saloy

 

Niyi, Niyi,
My brotha, my countryman poet
from my Mother/Fatherland.
I did not know you when
you blew into the CAC (contemporary arts center)
with Thomas Covington Dent
after we younger poets performed.
Your smiles, clapping like Ogun’s thunder
before you spoke, and then you said,
“I heard you sista; I heard you.”
You came you said, with Tom, to meet me.
You, whose presence spoke of my homeland,
your accent, Yoruba, my people, my source.
I did not know you were a giant poet
teaching the world to care for us for mother earth.
I did not know of your many awards,
you, renowned in your lifetime.
I knew the ancient sound of your young voice
was a balm to my poet spirit.
I knew if Tom brought you to meet me,
I’d better pay attention.
Your smile, the sound of your voice,
I knew we would be friends.

II

Niyi, Niyi
since those many years ago,
I sought your poems like a tapper needing palm wine
like a poet starving for wisdom.
I met your rain of metaphors
and wore them like spring showers
feeding nourishment to poet leaves dried
from lack of homeland truth.
I wear your metaphors like books
teaching me to speak the truth to power,
teaching me like love warming me on cold nights,
teaching me like my ancient motherland
returning to me with every page.

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Mona Lisa Saloy, Author and Folklorist, is currently visiting Associate Professor of English at the University of Washington in Seattle for the 2005-06  year; for 2006-07 academic year.   Since, Katrina, she is on leave from Dillard University where she developed their Creative Writing Program. Winner of the PEN Oakland National Literary Award

Mona Lisa’s first collection of verse, Red Beans and Ricely Yours (2005), won the T. S. Eliot Prize in poetry for 2005,  published by Truman State University Press; also, this collection was finalist for the Morgan Prize from StoryLine Press.  Dr. Saloy’s verse appears in the  anthology: Furious Flower: African American Poetry from the Black Arts Movement to the Present.  Joanne V. Gabbin, editor.  Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2004. 

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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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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'."

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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.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

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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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Enjoy!

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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 16 March 2012

 

 

 

Home  Mona Lisa Saloy Table  Transitional Writings on Africa   The African World

Related files: Saloy Bio  WE: A Poem  For Frank Fitch     For Daddy V   When We Need to    Visited Home on Monday  Update on the Re Building New Orleans   Niyi Osundare At 60   The Remains of the Day  

I am Alive  Osundare's Universe of Burdens     PraiseSong for Niyi Osundare  (Mona Lisa Saloy)   Niyi Niyi Osundare (poem  by Lee Meitzen Grue)