ChickenBones: A Journal

for  Literary & Artistic African-American  Themes


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Lord Jesus Christ Thou wast poor

and in misery, a captive and forsaken as I am. 

Thou knowest all man's distress . . .



Books by Bonhoeffer

No Rusty Swords / The Cost of Discipleship / Letters and Papers from Prison  /  Sanctorum Communio

A Testament to Freedom: The Essential Writings  /  Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible Ethics  

No Difference in the Fare: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Problem of Racism

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Christmas 1943



0 God,

Early in the morning do I cry unto thee.

Help me to pray,

And to think only of thee.

I cannot pray alone.

In me there' is darkness,

But with thee there is light.

I am lonely, but thou leavest me not.

1 am feeble in heart, but thou leavest me not.

I am restless, but with thee there is peace.

In me there is bitterness, but with thee there is


The ways are past understanding, but

Thou knowest the way for me.

0 heavenly Father,

 I praise and thank thank thee  

For the peace of the night.

I praise and thank thee for this new day. 

1 praise and thank thee for all thy goodness

and faithfulness throughout my life. 

Thou hast granted me many blessings:

Now let me accept tribulation 

from thy hand.

Thou wilt not lay on me more than I can bear.

Thou makest all things work together for good 

for thy children.

Lord Jesus Christ Thou wast poor

and in misery, a captive and forsaken as I am. 

Thou knowest all man's distress;

Thou abidest with me 

when all others have deserted me;

Thou doest not forget me, but seekest me. 

Thou willest that I should know thee and

turn to thee.

Lord, I hear thy call and follow thee; 

Do thou help me.

0 Holy Spirit,

Grant me the faith that will protect me from 

despair: deliver me from the lusts of the flesh.

Pour into my heart such love for thee and for men, 

that all hatred and bitterness may be blotted out. 

Grant me the hope that will deliver me from fear 

and timidity.

O Holy, merciful God, 

my Creator and Redeemer, 

my Judge and my Saviour,

Thou knowest me and all that I do. 

Thou hatest and dost punish evil without respect of

persons in this world and the next. 

Thou forgivest the sins of them 

that heartily pray for forgiveness,

Thou lovest goodness and rewardest it on this earth 

with a clear conscience, and in the world to come

with the crown of righteousness.

Chiefly do I remember all my loved ones,

my fellow-prisoners, and all who

in this house perform their hard service.

Lord have mercy.

Restore me to liberty,

and enable me so to live now,

that I may answer before thee and before the world.

Lord, whatever this day may bring,

Thy Name be praised.


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In my sleep He watches yearning

and restores my soul

so that each recurring morning 

love and goodness make me whole.

Were God not there,

his face not near,

He had not led me out of fear.

All things have their time and sphere:

God's love lasts for ever.

                              (Paul Gerhardt)

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O Lord my God, I thank thee that thou 

hast brought this day to a close;

I thank thee that thou hast given me peace 

in body and in soul.

Thy hand has been over me and has protected 

and preserved me,

Forgive my puny faith, 

the ill that I this day have done, 

and help me to forgive all who

have wronged me.

Grant me a quiet night's sleep beneath 

thy tender care.

And defend me from all the temptations 

of darkness.

Into thy hands I commend my loved ones, 

and all who dwell in this house; 

I commend my body and soul.

O God, thy holy Name be praised.


*     *     *

Each day tells the other 

my life is but a journey 

to great and endless life.

o sweetness of eternity 

may my heart grow to love thee:

my home is not in time's strife.


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O Lord God,

Great is the misery that has come upon me;

My cares would overwhelm me,

I know not what to do.

0 God, be gracious unto me and help me.

Grant me strength to bear what thou dost send)

and let not fear rule over me.

As a loving Father, take care of my loved ones

My wife and children.

0 merciful God, forgive me all

the sins I have committed against thee,

and against my fellowmen.

I trust in thy grace, and commit my

life wholly into thy hands,

Do with me as seemeth best to thee, and as

is best for me.

Whether I live or die, I am with thee)

and thou art with me, my God.

Lord, I wait for thy salvation,

and for thy Kingdom.


*      *     *

Every Christian in his place

should be brave and free,

with the world face to face,

Though death strikes, his spirit should

persevere, without fear

calm and good.

For death cannot destroy

but from grief brings relief and opens gates to joy.

Closed the door of bitter pain,

bright the way where we may all heaven gain.

                                      (Paul Gerhardt)


*   *   *   *   *'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

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Civilization: The West and the Rest

By Niall Ferguson

The rise to global predominance of Western civilization is the single most important historical phenomenon of the past five hundred years. All over the world, an astonishing proportion of people now work for Western-style companies, study at Western-style universities, vote for Western-style governments, take Western medicines, wear Western clothes, and even work Western hours. Yet six hundred years ago the petty kingdoms of Western Europe seemed unlikely to achieve much more than perpetual internecine warfare. It was Ming China or Ottoman Turkey that had the look of world civilizations. How did the West overtake its Eastern rivals? And has the zenith of Western power now passed? In Civilization: The West and the Rest, bestselling author Niall Ferguson argues that, beginning in the fifteenth century, the West developed six powerful new concepts that the Rest lacked: competition, science, the rule of law, consumerism, modern medicine, and the work ethic. These were the "killer applications" that allowed the West to leap ahead of the Rest, opening global trade routes, exploiting newly discovered scientific laws, evolving a system of representative government, more than doubling life expectancy, unleashing the Industrial Revolution, and embracing a dynamic work ethic. Civilization shows just how fewer than a dozen Western empires came to control more than half of humanity and four fifths of the world economy.

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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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What This Cruel War Was Over

Soldiers Slavery and the Civil War

By Chandra Manning

For this impressively researched Civil War social history, Georgetown assistant history professor Manning visited more than two dozen states to comb though archives and libraries for primary source material, mostly diaries and letters of men who fought on both sides in the Civil War, along with more than 100 regimental newspapers. The result is an engagingly written, convincingly argued social history with a point—that those who did the fighting in the Union and Confederate armies "plainly identified slavery as the root of the Civil War." Manning backs up her contention with hundreds of first-person testimonies written at the time, rather than often-unreliable after-the-fact memoirs. While most Civil War narratives lean heavily on officers, Easterners and men who fought in Virginia, Manning casts a much broader net. She includes immigrants, African-Americans and western fighters, in order, she says, "to approximate cross sections of the actual Union and Confederate ranks." Based on the author's dissertation, the book is free of academese and appeals to a general audience, though Manning's harsh condemnation of white Southerners' feelings about slavery and her unstinting praise of Union soldiers' "commitment to emancipation" take a step beyond scholarly objectivity.—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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update 16 March 2012




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