ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

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When I get to be a mother / I'm gonna hear birds chirping

I'm gonna hear dogs barking / see the sun rise

from out the dark morning / and rain falling falling out the sky

like blueberry tarts

 

 

Remembering My Adult Education Students

The Learning Place Northwest (1990-1993)

By Rudolph Lewis

Poems

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A Daybreak in Westchester

                                 By Areather

When I woke up

there was the fresh air

smelling morning

on my skin. A warm

summer breeze poured

through an opened window

The songs of birds

and crickets coaxed

me to my feet

as the sun rose golden

on the eastern horizon

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Daybreak on Edmondson Avenue

                             By Marlene Wilson

When I get to be a mother

I'm gonna hear birds chirping

I'm gonna hear dogs barking

see the sun rise

from out the dark morning

and rain falling falling out the sky

like blueberry tarts

I'm gonna plant tall, green

trees and praise the sweet smell

of peas and the rain-soaked earth

And I'm gonna love long

black necks and fat-covered faces

and big brown bodies

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Daybreak in Maryland

                     By Waynetta Rocquemore

When I woke up this morning

I felt a light breeze

through my window.

My mother was walking

around the house.

It was still dark:

the street lights were on.

Birds cried out:

I knew it would be daybreak soon

But my mind was somewhere else.

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The Strength of My Love

                   By William H. Harris

If you aren't sure

of the strength

of my love for you, ask yourself

how much you love me

Again, ask yourself why

you love me. Then, if you still

not sure, then look into my eyes

and think of my arms around you

my lips upon your lips.

Then, my darling,

you will know I am Love/

I am proud of you

all because you are part

of me. Now you should know

that I love you

because since we met

you married me, becoming

part and of of me.

O, how I love thee!

posted 5 April 2006

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The Ditchdigger’s Daughters

By Yvonne Thornton

Dr. Yvonne Thornton’s memoir The Ditchdigger’s Daughters has captured the hearts of readers everywhere since it was first published in 1995. Translated into 19 languages, featured on Oprah, and made into a TV movie, this heart-warming and inspiring story chronicles Yvonne Thornton’s family; at its center is her beloved, unschooled but wise father Donald Thornton, who demanded that all five of his daughters not only excel in school, but go on to become doctors. Four of them did; the other found her calling in law and became a lawyer instead.—Dafina

Thornton's frank, relaxed manner makes it accessible to general readers as well as students of women's or African American memoir. Worth considering also for those looking for inspirational reads.—Library Journal

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Freedom's Teacher: The Life of Septima Clark

By Katherine Mellen Charron

Freedom's Teacher traces Clark's life from her earliest years as a student, teacher, and community member in rural and urban South Carolina to her increasing radicalization as an activist following World War II, highlighting how Clark brought her life's work to bear on the civil rights movement. Katherine Mellen Charron's engaging portrait demonstrates Clark's crucial role—and the role of many black women teachers—in making education a cornerstone of the twentieth-century freedom struggle. Drawing on autobiographies and memoirs by fellow black educators, state educational records, papers from civil rights organizations, and oral histories, Charron argues that the schoolhouse served as an important institutional base for the movement. Clark's program also fostered participation from grassroots southern black women, affording them the opportunity to link their personal concerns to their political involvement on the community's behalf.

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American Creation

Triumphs and Tragedies in the Founding of the Republic

By Joseph J. Ellis

This subtle, brilliant examination of the period between the War of Independence and the Louisiana Purchase puts Pulitzer-winner Ellis (Founding Brothers) among the finest of America's narrative historians. Six stories, each centering on a significant creative achievement or failure, combine to portray often flawed men and their efforts to lay the republic's foundation. Set against the extraordinary establishment of the most liberal nation-state in the history of Western Civilization... in the most extensive and richly endowed plot of ground on the planet are the terrible costs of victory, including the perpetuation of slavery and the cruel oppression of Native Americans. Ellis blames the founders' failures on their decision to opt for an evolutionary revolution, not a risky severance with tradition (as would happen, murderously, in France, which necessitated compromises, like retaining slavery). Despite the injustices and brutalities that resulted, Ellis argues, this deferral strategy was a profound insight rooted in a realistic appraisal of how enduring social change best happens. Ellis's lucid, illuminating and ironic prose will make this a holiday season hit.— Publishers Weekly /  American Creation (Joseph Ellis interview)

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The Last Holiday: A Memoir

By Gil Scott Heron

Shortly after we republished The Vulture and The Nigger Factory, Gil started to tell me about The Last Holiday, an account he was writing of a multi-city tour that he ended up doing with Stevie Wonder in late 1980 and early 1981. Originally Bob Marley was meant to be playing the tour that Stevie Wonder had conceived as a way of trying to force legislation to make Martin Luther King's birthday a national holiday. At the time, Marley was dying of cancer, so Gil was asked to do the first six dates. He ended up doing all 41. And Dr King's birthday ended up becoming a national holiday ("The Last Holiday because America can't afford to have another national holiday"), but Gil always felt that Stevie never got the recognition he deserved and that his story needed to be told. The first chapters of this book were given to me in New York when Gil was living in the Chelsea Hotel. Among the pages was a chapter called Deadline that recounts the night they played Oakland, California, 8 December; it was also the night that John Lennon was murdered. Gil uses Lennon's violent end as a brilliant parallel to Dr King's assassination and as a biting commentary on the constraints that sometimes lead to newspapers getting things wrong. —Jamie Byng, Guardian / Gil_reads_"Deadline" (audio)

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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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BLACK CLASSIC BOOKS

  BCP Digital Printing 

BCP Digital Printing

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update 6 March 2012

 

 

 

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