ChickenBones: A Journal

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Women’s rights are ultimately human rights, and the march for equality will not end until full

parity and equal opportunity are attained in every State and workplace across our Nation. It

remains our responsibility to ensure that the principles of justice and equality apply to all Americans

   

Books by Barack Obama

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

Obama's Greatest Speeches (CD set)

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Proclamation: Women's Equality Day

 By President Barack Obama

 

Ninety years ago, on August 26, 1920, the ratification of the 19th Amendment to our Constitution was completed, guaranteeing women the right to vote, renewing our commitment to equality and justice, and marking a turning point in our Nation’s history. As we celebrate this important milestone and the achievements and shattered ceilings of the past, we also recognize the inequalities that remain and our charge to overcome them.

In a letter to John Adams, who was then serving as a delegate to the First Continental Congress, Abigail Adams once implored her husband to “remember the ladies” in the “new code of laws” of our fledgling country. It has taken the collective efforts of daring and tenacious women over many generations to realize the principles and freedoms enshrined in our Constitution. Standing on the shoulders of these trailblazers, we pay tribute to the brave women who dot the pages of our history books, and to those who have quietly broken barriers in our workplaces, communities, and society.

We can see the remarkable fruits of past struggles and victories today. For nearly two centuries, America could only imagine a female justice sitting on the Supreme Court of the United States. Today, for the first time in our Nation’s history, three women sit on the bench of the highest court of the land, and I am proud to be the first President to nominate two women to the Court. Women lead in boardrooms and in our Armed Forces, in classrooms and conference rooms, and in every sector of society. Their boundless determination has enabled today’s young women to dream bigger as they see themselves reflected at the highest levels of business, communications, and public service— including in my Administration and Cabinet. If we continue to fight for our hopes and aspirations, there will be no limit to the possibilities for our daughters and granddaughters.

As we celebrate 90 years of progress on Women’s Equality Day, we also recognize the realities of the present. Women comprise less than one-fifth of our Congress and account for a mere fraction of the chief executives at the helm of our biggest companies. Women hold only 27 percent of jobs in science and engineering, which are critical to our economic growth in a 21st-century economy. And, almost 50 years after the Equal Pay Act was enacted, American women still only earn 77 cents for every dollar men earn. This gap increases among minority women and those living with disabilities.

These disparities remind us that our work remains unfinished. My Administration remains committed to advancing women’s equality in all areas of our society and around the world. I was proud to create the White House Council on Women and Girls to help ensure that American women and girls are treated fairly in all matters of public policy. I also appointed the first White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, whose leadership will guide my Administration in confronting violence and sexual assault against women. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the first bill I signed as President, restored basic protections against pay discrimination for women, and to build upon that law, I support passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act. I have also established the National Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force to ensure equal pay laws are vigorously enforced throughout the country. Workplace flexibility is also important to women and families, and we will continue coordinating with Federal agencies to make quality child care more affordable, promote work policies that improve work-family balance, and advance the economic development and security of all women.

Fifteen years after the world gathered in Beijing for the Fourth World Conference on Women, far too many women around the world still lack access to basic education and economic opportunity, face gender-based violence, and cannot participate fully and equally in their societies. To help address this, I appointed the first-ever Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues to elevate the importance of women’s empowerment in all aspects of our foreign policy. From Afghanistan to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the United States will continue its commitment to the rights of women around the world.

Women’s rights are ultimately human rights, and the march for equality will not end until full parity and equal opportunity are attained in every State and workplace across our Nation. It remains our responsibility to ensure that the principles of justice and equality apply to all Americans, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, or socioeconomic status. If we stay true to our founding ideals and the example of those who insisted upon nothing less than full equality, we can and will perpetuate the line of progress that runs throughout our Nation’s history for generations to come.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim August 26, 2010, as Women’s Equality Day. I call upon the people of the United States to celebrate the achievements of women and recommit themselves to the goal of true gender equality in this country.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-sixth day of August, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

Source: Obama-Mamas

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 Night of Terror

15 November 1917

This is the story of our Mothers and Grandmothers who lived only 90 years ago.

Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

 

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The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote. 

And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'

 

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Remember Lucy Burns

They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air. 

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Remember Dora Lewis

They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.


Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote. For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail.Their food—all of it colorless slop—was infested with terrible vermin.

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Remember Alice Paul

When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.—Memory Library of Congress 

 

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Remember Pauline Adams

Mrs. Pauline Adams in the prison garb she wore while serving a sixty-day sentence.

HBO's new movie Iron Jawed Angels is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that women could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have their say. It is shameful we need the reminder.

 

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Remember

Miss Edith Ainge, of Jamestown, New York

Voter registration must remain a passion.  For many the actual act of voting has become less personal and more rote. Frankly, voting feels too often like an obligation rather than a privilege, an inconvenience

 

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 Remember Berthe Arnold, CSU graduate

 More of us, men and women, must study women's history. The HBO movie necessary with the ubiquity of apathy. It will make many angry:

 What would the women who struggled with blood sweat and tears think of the way we use, or don't use, the right to vote?

All of us take this hard won privilege for granted now, not just younger women. The right to vote must become valuable to us all over again.

HBO released the movie Iron Jawed Angels on video and DVD . It is useful for history, social studies and government teachers.

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Remember National Woman's Party

Conferring over ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution at National Woman's Party headquarters, Jackson Pl[ace] [Washington, D.C.]. L-R Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, Mrs. Abby Scott Baker, Anita Pollitzer, Alice Paul, Florence Boeckel, Mabel Vernon (standing, right))

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Remember Woodrow Wilson Live!

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy. The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.' 

 

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Response

The Truth About Women’s Equality Day—I was reminded this morning that today is Women’s Equality Day. On August 26, 1920 American women were granted the right to vote, and the Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified. And indeed, this is a great day in history.

However, for Black women in this country, it’s not really a day that we can celebrate as a definitive moment. Because actually, to put it bluntly, this day is White Women’s Equality Day, the day they were given the right to vote.  But technically, Black women didn’t become “equal” until the Voting Rights Act was signed by President Lyndon Johnson on August 6, 1965.

Why? Because Black women were specifically excluded from the U.S. Women’s suffrage movement in the nineteenth century. The early leaders of the movement, including Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, felt that the inclusion of Black women in their movement would hinder it. . . .

So, I don’t celebrate Women’s Equality Day today, because contrary to popular mainstream American opinion, Women includes all American women, not just White ladies. But I do celebrate those women who made this day possible for me, a Black woman.  I give the credit to my Sister-ancestors on this day, like Sister Truth and Sister Wells-Barnett—not a day of equality, but a day where I at least have the right to talk about how it’s not equal. And I think that’s a good compromise, considering.PhillisRemastered

26 August 2010

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 Civil Rights Acts and Other Remedies  The Civil Rights Act of March 1875 

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. §§ 19731973aa-6) is a landmark piece of national legislation in the United States that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the U.S. Echoing the language of the 15th Amendment, the Act prohibits states from imposing any "voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure ... to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color." Specifically, Congress intended the Act to outlaw the practice of requiring otherwise qualified voters to pass literacy tests in order to register to vote, a principal means by which Southern states had prevented African-Americans from exercising the franchise. The Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, a Democrat, who had earlier signed the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law.

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Remember Juanita  Elizabeth Jackson Mitchell

Throughout the tumultuous years of the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and into the 80s, Juanita Mitchell manned the barricades, sometimes at the side of her sainted mother, Dr. Lillie Jackson, and at other times with her beloved husband, Clarence Mitchell, Jr. Later, she could be found leading her sons along the freedom trail. She was the president of the NAACP and she was really one of Thurgood Marshall's mentors. She got Thurgood Marshall to organize pickets to integrate stores in Baltimore. And, of course, she is also the mother of former Maryland Senator Clarence Mitchell and former Maryland Representative Michael Mitchell.

Juanita Jackson Mitchell emphasized the words "Mobilization! Legislation! Litigation! Education! The Ballot!"

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Remember Anna Pauline (Pauli) Murray

Born in Baltimore on 20th November, 1910

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Nobody gave me my freedom. I owe it to no political party or the goodwill of any group. I inherited it. Some of my forefathers fought for it at Appomattox, Petersburg, and Richmond. Others toiled for it in Carolina tobacco fields, paying their masters dollar for dollar, and bought it. Others paid for it with their health, sanity, and their lives, jumping overboard from slave vessels or lying in swamps and crawling through the night into the shelter of the Underground Railroad.

Others pulled a "mass strike" when the Union armies invaded the Confederacy and helped disintegrate the labor force of the rebellious South. The Proclamation of Emancipation which Lincoln signed in 1863 was but the historical and documentary recognition of an accomplished fact.

As an American I inherit the magnificent tradition of an endless march toward freedom and toward the dignity of all mankind. And though my country has not always loved me, yet in the words of the poet, Claude McKay, "I must confess I love this cultured hell which tests my strength." Loving it as I do, I am determined that my country shall take her place among nations as a moral leader of mankind. No law which imprisons my body or custom which wounds my spirit can stop me.

That my country may accomplish this great task of history, I must make myself worthy to be called an American. I would bring shame and disgrace upon the United States' flag if I tolerated for one moment any practice of discrimination, segregation, or prejudice against any human being because of an accident of birth which has determined race, color, sex, or nationality and helped to shape his or her creed.

For history moves in strange and unpremeditated ways. But for an error in navigation or a perverse trade wind the pioneers who reached Massachusetts would have landed in Virginia. As it was, the Virginia cousins became great slave-holders and slave breeders. The Massachusetts cousins became great slave traders and great Abolitionists. The North Carolina cousins became small cells of Unionism within a slaveholding state. The Pennsylvania cousins became Quakers and operators of the dramatic Underground Railroad.

Many of these ancestors of the 19th century had the vision of men who saw that a country cannot exist half-slave and half-free. They saw the abolition of slavery as the logical extension of the 18th- century Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. The record of that vision is scattered on historical markers by gullies and streams in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee, and up and down the south- eastern coast. They knew of no other way to destroy the slave mart save through sword and fire and blood.

But they have left for me and my contemporaries of the 20th century the task of destroying the incidents of slavery, segregation, discrimination, and prejudice. The Civil War was an inadequate answer to the slavery issue. Families were hopelessly divided among themselves; brothers and cousins fought on opposite sides of the lines. Spiritual and psychic wounds still fester in the Southland. The virus of an understandable hatred, the hatred of a conquered and expropriated people, has spread to every corner of our country. Its tentacles will engulf us unless we reach the heart of the monster.Spartacus  “An American Credo.” Common Ground 5, no. 2 (Winter, 1945): 22-24.

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Remember Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth was a U.S. Negro evangelist and a pioneer in the Civil Rights Movement. Her given name was Isabella Van Wagner. She was born 1827 into slavery in New York State. After the death of her parents, Isabella was sold several times. Her legal surname Van Wagner came from her last slave owner who bought her. . . .

She chose the name Sojourner Truth: “Sojourner” because she was to journey “up and down the land”; “Truth” because she fought for the truth to be known about slavery. She also spoke out for Woman’s Rights.

"I have been 40 years a slave and 40 years free. I would be here 40 years more to have equal rights for all. I have done as much work as a man, but I did not get as much pay as a man. I used to work in the filed. But men, who did get twice as much, we want as much.

I am about the only colored woman that speaks for rights of colored women. When we get our rights, we shall not have enough in our own pockets. Maybe you will ask us for money. It is a good feeling to know that we will not be coming to you any more."

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AIN’T I A WOMAN?

By Sojourner Truth


Delivered 1851 at the Women's Convention in Akron, Ohio

Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? [member of audience whispers, "intellect"] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't got nothing more to say.Feminist

Alice Walker reads Sojourner Truth  / Alfre Woodard reads Sojourner Truth

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Remember Fannie Lou Hamer

Fannie Lou Hamer (born Fannie Lou Townsend on October 6, 1917 – March 14, 1977) was an American voting rights activist and civil rights leader.

She was instrumental in organizing Mississippi Freedom Summer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and later became the Vice-Chair of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, attending the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in that capacity.

Her plain-spoken manner and fervent belief in the Biblical righteousness of her cause gained her a reputation as an electrifying speaker and constant champion of civil rights.Wikipedia

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 Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

(September 24, 1825–February 22, 1911)

An African American abolitionist and poet born free in Baltimore, Maryland, she had a long and prolific career, publishing her first book of poetry at twenty and her first novel, the widely praised Iola Leroy, at age 67.

At the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, Harper delivered a speech entitled "Women's Political Future." In this presentation, she reiterated her belief in the ability of women to exert a strong moral force for social change. Her address was published in May Wright Sewall's 1894 book entitled The World's Congress of Representative Women.

 "The tendency of the present age, with its restlessness, religious upheavals, failures, blunders, and crimes, is toward broader freedom, an increase of knowledge, the emancipation of thought, and a recognition of the brotherhood of man; in this movement woman, as the companion of man, must be a sharer, " declared Harper. "So close is the bond between man and woman that you can not raise one without lifting the other. The world can not move without woman's sharing in the movement, and to help give a right impetus to that movement is woman's highest privilege."Answers

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Remember Ella Josephine Baker

Ella Baker [December 13, 1903 – December 13, 1986)] must be the most underrated figure in U.S. history. There are plenty of Presidents who have done less to shape their own times than Ella Baker. She decisively shaped two of the most important national civil rights organizationsthe National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Southern Christian Leadership Conferenceand was the single most decisive figure in a third--the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Only Martin Luther King Jr. can be considered a rival in importance to the African American freedom movement, and yet most Americans have never even heard of Ella Baker. This exhaustively researched and well written biography should go a long way toward filling that gap. 

This is a thoughtful, analytical, and well-told story about a uniquely important American political life. It is a work of central importance in United States history and especially the history of the African American freedom movement.

It is a cutting edge work of black women's history, too. I plan to buy a stack of them for Christmas presents, and to assign this book to my students for many years to come

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Fannie Lou Hamer's speech at the 1964 DNC  / Ella Baker: The Mother of the Civil Rights Movement

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Steps: Sunni  / Sunni Patterson we know this place  / "Niggas" don't make it....

Sunni Patterson on 2cent TV  / Sunni Patterson Live at The Signature

Sunni Patterson at the 2010 US Social Forum  / Sunni Patterson  / Sunni Patterson What You Fightin For?

More than a poet, more than a singer, more than an emceeit's not just what she says, it's how she says it.  Emerging from the musical womb that is New Orleans, artist and visionary Sunni Patterson combines the heritage and tradition of her Native town with an enlightened modern worldview to create music and poetry that is timeless in its groove. Sunni has been a featured performer at the many of Nation's premier spoken word venues, including HBO's Def Poetry Jam.  She has also had the privilege of speaking at the Panafest in Ghana, West Africa.

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Wild Women Don’t Have the Blues

                                                         By Ida Cox


I hear these women raving 'bout their monkey men
About their fighting husbands and their no good friends
These poor women sit around all day and moan
Wondering why their wandering papas don't come home
But wild women don't worry, wild women don't have the blues.

Now when you've got a man, don't ever be on the square
'Cause if you do he'll have a woman everywhere
I never was known to treat no one man right
I keep 'em working hard both day and night
because wild women don't worry, wild women don't have no blues.

I've got a disposition and a way of my own
When my man starts kicking I let him find another home
I get full of good liquor, walk the streets all night
Go home and put my man out if he don't act right
Wild women don't worry, wild women don't have no blues

You never get nothing by being an angel child
You better change your ways and get real wild
I wanna tell you something, I wouldn't tell you no lie
Wild women are the only kind that ever get by
Wild women don't worry, wild women don't have no blues.

 Born Ida Prather,25 February 1896 in Toccoa, Habersham County, Georgia, United States. Died 10 November 1967 (aged 71) Genres Jazz, Blues Instruments Vocalist.

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Guarding the Flame of Life / Strange Fruit Lynching Report

The State of African Education  / Attack On Africans Writing Their Own History Part 1 of 7

Dr Asa Hilliard III speaks on the assault of academia on Africans writing and accounting for their own history.

Dr Hilliard is A teacher, psychologist, and historian.

Part 2 of 7  /  Part 3 of 7  / Part 4 of 7  / Part 5 of 7 / Part 6 of 7  /  Part 7 of 7

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A thousand voices / agonizing in deep / water with no / relief in sight -- "Exodus"   Artwork by Charles Siler, N'awlins Survivor

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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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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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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.  WashingtonPost

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The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power

By Robert Caro

A breathtakingly dramatic story [told] with consummate artistry and ardor . . . It showcases Mr. Caro’s masterly gifts as a writer: his propulsive sense of narrative, his talent for enabling readers to see and feel history in the making and his ability to situate his subjects’ actions within the context of their times . . Johnson emerges as both a larger-than-life, Shakespearean personage –with epic ambition and epic flaws—and a more human-scale puzzle . . . Taken together the installments of Mr. Caro’s monumental life of Johnson so far not only create a minutely detailed picture of an immensely complicated and conflicted individual, but they also form a revealing prism by which to view the better part of a century in American life and politics.” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

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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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ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)

 

 

 

 

 

 

posted 31 August 2010

 

 

 

Home  Obama 2008 Table  Guest Poets   Religion & Politics  Special Topic

To Fulfill These Rights   Which U.S. Presidents Owned Slaves?  Civil Rights Acts and Other Remedies  The Civil Rights Act of March 1875

The Autobiography of Medgar Evers  The Political Thought of James Forman  A Tribute to Kwame Toure  Martin and Malcolm on Nonviolence