ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


Contact    Index         Mission -- Nathaniel Turner -- Marcus Bruce Christian -- Guest Poets --  Special Topics -- Rudy's Place -- The Old South  --  Worldcat

Film Review -- Books N Review -- Education & History -- Religion & Politics -- Literature & Arts -- Black Labor --Work, Labor & Business -- Music  Musicians  

Baltimore Index Page

Educating Our Children

The African World

Editor's Page     Letters

Inside the Caribbean

Digital Links

Home    ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music)



Or Send contributions to: ChickenBones: A Journal / 2005 Arabian Drive / Finksburg, MD 21048 Help Save ChickenBones

Richard Wright Table



Books by Richard Wright


Richard Wright: Early Works  / Black Boy  / Native Son  / Uncle Tom's Children / 12 Million Black Voices  / Richard Wright: Later Works


The Outsider  /  Pagan Spain Black Power  /  White Man Listen!  / The Color Curtain Savage Holiday / The Long Dream

Eight Men: Short Stories  / Haiku / American Hunger / Lawd Today!  /  A Father’s Law

*   *   *   *    *

Richard Wright was a brilliant writer whose collection of short stories (novellas), Uncle Tom's Children, won a $500-prize competition in 1938. Native Son, the March 1940 selection of the Book-of-the-Month club, was his first full-length novel.

In 1935, Wright got on the Federal Writers' Project in Chicago. By the time he had sold poetry, articles and some stories to little magazines, and was working on his first, Uncle Tom's Children.

He went to New York in 1937, lived from hand to mouth for some months, then got on the Writers' Project. he wrote the essay on Harlem in New York Panorama. he also did some work on the Daily Worker (he says he never got orders from Stalin to cover anything) and became a contributing editor of the New Masses.

His book of four long short stories, Uncle Tom's Children, part of which had originally appeared in in the New Caravan, was a success. The stories won high critical praise; what one critic had to say of them is characteristic: "Uncle Tom's Children has its full share of violence and brutality; violent deaths occur in three stories and the mob goes to work in all four. more

*   *   *   *    *

Making the (Richard) Wright Connection virtual seminar—“Autobiographical Elements of Richard Wright’s Haiku”—led by Toru Kiuchi, Professor of English at Nihon University, Japan—95.7 per cent of Wright’s haiku carry a season word. It was easier for Wright to return to his childhood memory of Mississippi, which was full of trees and flowers, than to use images taken from Paris. Sick in bed in Paris, Wright must have been trying to find a season word without going out, recalling his childhood days in Mississippi, which was “a whole world of emotion, of sounds and scents and colours.” Composing haiku, Wright returned not only to his childhood, but also to Chicago and New York days. Accordingly, his haiku comprise quite a few autobiographical elements in them. This lecture makes clear how Wright include his autobiographical factors in the composition of his haiku.—Wright's-haiku

*   *   *   *    *

Making the Wright Connection

An Online Community for the Study of Richard Wright

The Wright Connection is an online community of scholars and teachers of the works of Richard Wright (1908-1960), the author of such major works as Uncle Tom's Children, Native Son, and Black Boy. The community grows out of a fifteen-month program funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities that explored Richard Wright and his influence on the American idiom. The program included a two-week summer institute held from July 11-24, 2010 at the University of Kansas, and subsequent virtual seminars that used technology to foster collaboration among participants.

The site serves as a clearinghouse for all information about Richard Wright. We welcome announcements of new books, articles, reviews, and conferences, as well as discussions of new pedagogical approaches to teaching Wright. We also serve as an archive of past work on Wright, including the complete print run of the Richard Wright Newsletter (1991-2006) and podcasts of lectures by some of the world’s foremost scholars of Wright.

This site is administered by the staff of the Project on the History of Black Writing. If you are interested in contributing materials to the site, you are asked to contact us at or at the following address: Project on the History of Black Writing / Department of English / The University of Kansas / 1445 Jayhawk Boulevard / Lawrence, KS 66045-7590

*   *   *   *    *


An American Goes Back to Africa ( Lewis)

Bio-Chronology (1908-1960) 

A Brief Defense of Richard Wright and Other Writers  (Ward)

Blueprint for Negro Literature (Wright)

The Cultural Politics of Paul Robeson and Richard Wright (Hayes)

The Death Bound Subject

Dr. Jerry Ward Lectures on Richard Wright

The Homestretch to the Richard Wright Centennial (Julia Wright)

I Bite the Hand That Feeds Me (Wright)

I Tried to Be a Communist (Wright)

Making the Wright Connections: An Education Report

Native Son 1   (Review)

Native Son 2  (Review)

On Richard Wright and Our Contemporary Situation (Ward)

One Writer's Legacy Richard Wright (Ward)

Richard Wright Print Resources  (Ward)

The Saga of Bigger Thomas (Theophilus Lewis)

The Outsider  (Review)

Richard Wright's Seven Photos 

Related Material

Albert Murray on Ralph Ellison Aesthetics

The African World

Amite County

Atlantic Monthly Reviews Invisible Man


Benjamin J. Davis Bio

Big Tom the Red

Black Power

Cassidy Reviews Invisible Man 

The Death Bound Subject

Ellison Biography

Fifty Influential Figures

The Forts and Castles of Ghana  (Kalamu)

I Am an African (Mbeki

Kish Mir Tuchas 

Kwame Nkrumah, Kenyatta, and the Old Order 

T he Omni Americans (Albert Murray)

Ralph Ellison: A Biography (Arnold Rampersad)

Richard Wright and the Dilemma of the Ethical Criminal

Robert Lashley Reviews Lawd Today 

Ruth Enjoys Negro Life in Chicago

Tribute to Kwame Toure/Stokely Carmichael

The Weight and Substance of A Father's Law

What America Would Be Like Without Blacks  

William Paterson Bio      

      *   *   *   *   *

Ralph Ellison on Wright and Himes

I tried my damnedest to influence Chester Himes, but I got nowhere with him. After all, Chester preceded me as a writer, you know. He goes way back. Chester and I used to argue over technique and ideas, but I don’t know to what extent I influenced him; but, certainly Wright influenced me, although it was not in the simplistic way that certain pseudo-critics would insist. I’ve recorded in writing that I sought out Wright the day after he arrived in New York. I was still a musician, and it was at his suggestion that I wrote my first review and attempted my first short story. Obviously, he influenced me to begin writing. What gets overlooked is the fact that I was a rather well-read young trumpeter from Oklahoma who had studied music for most of my life, including four years of harmony in junior high and high school. I had tried composing marches and popular songs and had arranged spirituals, and I had majored in music theory and trumpet at Tuskegee. My point is that I had been concerned with art and its creation long before I met Wright.

I was also a bookworm who became interested in Wright because I had discovered Eliot, Pound and Edwin Arlington Robinson at Tuskegee. It’s interesting that no one says that I was influenced by Langston Hughes, whose work was taught in my grade school and whom I knew longer than I did Wright. I don’t think that Wright appreciated the background that I brought to his discussion of creative writing because frequently he seemed to assume that I was totally ignorant of the works under discussion. But, I didn’t argue with him. He possessed the certainty that came from having an organized body of ideas, and he could write—so having confidence in my own ability to think, I listened to him and kept my disagreements to myself.

People are still arguing over what I’ve said or haven’t said about Wright as though I have no right to disagree with him. But, they forget that I wrote some of the most appreciative criticism of him that’s ever been published. Wright and I were friends, but I quit showing him any of my fiction in 1940 after I was unable to get his reaction to a novelette. Finally, I pressed him for an opinion and he became very emotional about it and said, “Well, this is my stuff.” You might say that wish that he influenced me not to be influenced by his style of writing. . . . he was living on 140th Street, across from City College; I was living on Hamilton Terrace.

Chester Himes mentioned the incident during a television interview . . . with Nikki Giovanni . . . I find the assumption that no Negro can do anything unless another Negro had done so before him rather simple-minded, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s an inverted form of racism. An artist can’t do a damn thing about his relatives, but he can sure as hell choose his artistic ancestors. I had read Mark Twain and Hemingway, among others, long before I even heard of Wright. . . .

He [Himes] might have seen part of it [a first draft of Invisible Man], but I doubt if I showed him the whole thing. I rewrote so continuously that one draft blended into the other. But, Chester and I were friends. My wife and I knew him and his first wife, Jean, rather well, but I didn’t show my manuscript around; the 1940 incident with Wright had made me leery. I was close to Wright, but I quit showing him my fiction because I had no desire to offend him. I accepted the fact that our sensibilities were different, as were our feelings for style. But, I held no antagonism toward him.

Questions of style and influence aside, we still had a broad basis for a relationship. I admired and respected him,. And we remained friendly. During the Fifties whenever I was in Paris, I visited him, and whenever he returned to New York, he got in touch with me.

Source: The Essential Ellison (Interview)—Ishmael Reed, Quincy Troupe, Steve Cannon. Ishmael Reed’s and Al Young’s Y’Bird • Copyright © 1977, 1978 Y’Bird Magazine

*   *   *   *   *


The Importance of an African Centered Education  /  HBCUs Table

The Anthology of Rap

Edited by Adam Bradley and Adam Bradley

Black Consciousness in Brazil

By Italo Ramos

*   *   *  *   *

Richard Wright Print Resources 

On Richard Wright and Our Contemporary Situation   

The Weight and Substance of A Father's Law

Essays by Jerry W. Ward

Khalil Gibran Muhammad

Great-Grandson of NOI Leader Elijah Muhammad

Chosen New Director of Schomburg Center

Margaret Burroughs DuSable Museum

(Co-Founder) at 93 Joins the Ancestors

Many Say Well Done, a Sad Farewell

November 28, 2010 and Richard Wright

By Jerry W. Ward, Jr.

Dillard University

A Shift in Direction at Howard (Dan Berrett)   / The Myth of Charter Schools (Diane Ravitch)

*   *   *   *   *


Black Power

A Record of Reactions in a Land of Pathos

By Richard Wright


Wright gives a detailed account of his six months in West Africa, Ghana / "Gold Coast" circa 1953. The British still rule with an imperial hand, but the seeds of revolution are being sown. Wright meets Brits, common tribal folk, tribal chiefs, local business men, educated native elites, revolutionary leaders, etc. The book is great because Wright is thoroughly honest about his own views and bias and this gives the book a very objective feel. A very honest and revealing book.—Douglass Schmitt

*   *   *   *   *

I walked briskly and determinedly off, looking over my shoulder and keeping in the line of my vision that dance; I stared at the circling men and women until I could see them no more. The women had been holding their hands joined together above the heads of the men, and the men, as though they had been playing London Bridge Is Falling Down, were filing with slow dignity through the handmade arches. The feet of the dancers had barely lifted from the ground as they shuffled; their bodies had made sharp angles as they moved and I had been surprised to see that they were moving much quicker than I had thought; they had given me the impression of moving slowly, lazily, but, at that distance, there was a kind of concentrated tension in their gyrations, yet they were utterly relaxed. I had been looking backward as I walked and then the young man pulled the wooden gate shut and it was gone forever . . . I had understood nothing. I was black and they were black, but my blackness did not help me. Excerpted from the book Black Power by Richard Wright  © 1954

*   *   *   *   *

The Most Native of Sons: A Biography of Richard Wright (1970)

By John A. Williams

America's disregard of Richard as an artist and a man, plus his own interest in examining the mechanics of the oppression of black people, may have led him into his next venture—a trip to Africa. For it all began in Africa; the slave trade and slavery; lost roots, forgotten heritages. Where better to continue the study of what was happening to Negroes than in Africa?

The idea was first suggested by Mrs. George Padmore, who was a guest of the Wrights. Her husband had remained behind in London to work with Kwame Nkrumah, who was going to ask for self-government for the Gold Coast (later Ghana) that summer. In fact, Mrs. Padmore's suggestion was specific: go to the Gold Coast.

The postwar years had seen a ferment for freedom around the world in the colonies of Britain, France, The Netherlands, and Belgium. "What about the Four Freedoms?" the people in the colonies wanted to know. Keeping pace with the cresting desire for independence, the Fifth Pan-African Congress had been held in Manchester, England, only the year before. Wright's Ghana in the 1950s

*   *   *   *   *

Wright's biographer John A. Williams wrote in The Most Native of Sons, a Biography of Richard Wright: "The life of a small black boy in a small country town in the Deep South could be very peaceful, as it sometimes was for Richard. Under the bright, hot summer sun, he fished with his father and his brother, walked slowly along the dusty roads, or played in the fields. Though the wounds of segregation in the Deep South and throughout the country always followed him, Wright said, 'I know America. I know what a great nation and people America could be but won't be until there is only one American, regardless of his color or his religion or anything else'." Southern Literary Trail

*   *   *   *   *

An American Goes Back to Africa: Richard Wright’s Journey of Discovery (Rudolph Lewis)

*   *   *   *   *

Richard Wright Papers

JWJ MSS 3 / Processed by Timothy G. Young

Yale University Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

New Haven, Connecticut

April 1994
Last Updated: October 2006


The Wright Papers were purchased in 1976 from Mrs. Ellen Wright, Richard Wright's widow.

Richard Wright 1908-1960

Richard Nathaniel Wright was born September 4, 1908 near Natchez, Mississippi, to Ella Wilson Wright, a schoolteacher, and Nathan Wright, a sharecropper. The story of Richard Wright's childhood, with its harrowing episodes of abandonment by his father, his temporary consignment to an orphanage after his mother became ill, and his short-lived schooling under the harsh guardianship of his grandmother have been detailed in his autobiography, Black Boy (published in 1945 by Harper & Row).

Wright's break with his past began in 1927, when he left the South for the more hopeful environs of Chicago. There, he worked at a number of different jobs, continued to educate himself by reading and began to write. During the early years of the Depression, Wright found himself attracted to local Communist groups, eventually joining the Chicago John Reed Club. His entrance into this exciting political milieu was matched by an increasingly prolific output of writing. He published poetry in left-wing journals such as New Masses and The Anvil, and began working on early versions of  Lawd Today!  and Tarbaby's Dawn. In 1935, he was employed by the Illinois Federal Writers Project, which further strengthened his hopes of being a published author.

Wright moved to New York in 1937 to act as the head of the Harlem Bureau of the Daily Worker. His first major break came the following year, when he submitted four long stories for a contest sponsored by Story magazine and won a publishing contract. The collection, published as Uncle Tom's Children, garnered sympathetic reviews and secured Wright an agent and a hopeful future as a novelist.

The work Wright proposed next was to be a deeply realistic account of oppression and black rage. With the assistance of a Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Wright spent much of 1939 writing Native Son. Harper & Row published the novel on March 1, 1940. The resulting sales and critical acclaim for the book placed Wright in the position as the most well-known black author in America. In January, 1941, he was awarded the Spingarn Medal by the NAACP.

Though Wright was constantly working on several different novels intended to follow Native Son, he switched the focus of his creative endeavors to different forms of writing. Late in 1940, he began a stage adaptation of Native Son in collaboration with Paul Green. The production debuted in early 1941 on Broadway in a production staged by Orson Welles. The summer of that year saw the publication of a collection of photographs of black Americans, 12 Million Black Voices, accompanied by a discursive essay by Wright, and a collaboration with Count Basie on a jazz song, "Joe Louis Blues" ["King Joe" King Joe, Part 1 / King Joe, Part 2 ].

In March 1941, Wright married Ellen Poplar. (A brief marriage to Rose Dhima Meadman had ended in divorce in 1938). Richard and Ellen Wright would have two children, Julia, in 1942, and Rachael in 1949.

Between 1943-45, while Wright tried his hand at other fields of the arts, such as screenwriting, he concentrated on writing his autobiography. The finished draft, known as "American Hunger," was cut in half by the time it was ready for publication. The resulting work, Black Boy, thus details Wright's life only from the time he was born to the point of his departure from the South in 1927. Though sections of the suppressed later sections of the book appeared in print in various places in subsequent years, the original work was only completely "published" posthumously with the appearance of American Hunger in 1977.

In 1946, at the invitation of the French Government, Wright visited France for a period of six months. He returned the following year with his family to live and remained there until his death. The translation of his books and stories into French clinched his growing popularity in that country. While at work on a second novel, Wright took time off between 1949-51 to work on the film version of Native Son. Having found a partner in the French director Pierre Chenal, Wright adapted his most well-known work to this medium and prepared to play the role of Bigger Thomas, himself. The movie, shot in Argentina and alternately titled Sangre Negra, debuted in America in 1951 to less than enthusiastic reviews and even a legal action which successfully banned its projection in several states.

In 1953, Wright reaffirmed his stature as a novelist by publishing, The Outsider, on which he had been working since the publication of Black Boy. This was followed a year later by a shorter work, Savage Holiday. For the rest of the decade, Wright concentrated on reportorial writing. He describes his 1953 trip to the Gold Coast of Africa in Black Power: A Record of Reactions in a Land of Pathos. His attendance at the Bandung Conference in Indonesia in 1955 is the subject of The Color Curtain. His commentary and analysis of the culture of Spain was published in 1956 as Pagan Spain. White Man Listen! , which appeared in 1957, brought together four essays and lectures, on which Wright had been working for many years. 

Wright returned once again to the novel form in 1958, publishing The Long Dream, a work that was quickly adapted by Ketti Frings for the stage. It debuted on Broadway in 1959 and ran for five performances. Wright's own adaptation of Louis Sapin's "Papa, Bon Dieu" (as "Daddy Goodness") also suffered a short life, its production abandoned in the Spring of 1959 (before finally being staged in New York in 1968). In 1959, Wright pursued the possibility of moving his family to England, but faced ultimate rejection from the immigration authorities. This, coupled with failing health, slowed his preparation of a collection of short stories. In late November, 1960, Wright was admitted to a clinic in Paris to undergo medical examinations. While resting at the clinic, he died of a heart attack on November 28, 1960, at the age of 52. Library Beinecke


Uncle Tom's Children

By Richard Wright

Originally published in 1938 by Harper and Brothers as Uncle Tom's Children: Four Novellas, the volume consisted of "Big Boy Leaves Home," "Down by the Riverside," "Long Black Song," and "Fire and Cloud." In 1940, Harper reissued the volume as Uncle Tom's Children: Five Long Stories, incorporating "Bright and Morning Star" as well as placing "The Ethics of Living Jim Crow" as the text's introduction.

Reviewing the text for the Saturday Review of Literature (2 April 1938), Zora Neale Hurston wrote "This is a book about hatreds. Mr. Wright serves notice by his title that he speaks of a people in revolt, and his stories are so grim that the Dismal Swamp of race hatred must be where they live. Not one act of understanding and sympathy comes to pass in the entire work"1.

Reviewing the text for the Partisan Review (May 1938), James T. Farrell wrote "Especially remarkable is the handling of dialogue. Richard Wright uses simple speech as a means of carrying on his narrative, as a medium for poetic and lyrical effects, and as an instrument of characterization. Through the dialect of his people he is able to generalize their feelings about life, their fate, the social situation in which they live and suffer and are oppressed. Here is a demonstrationwhich many writers might studyof the possibilities of the vernacular."2.

Hurston wasn't so excited about Wright's dialogue, criticizing Wright's use of dialect: "Since the author is himself a Negro, his dialect is a puzzling thing. One wonders how he arrived at it. Certainly he does not write by ear unless he is tone-deaf."3

"Big Boy Leaves Home" presents a child whose innocence is lost violently through a confrontation with the son of a white landowner. While Big Boy is aware of the racist society in which he lives, his reactions are more instinctive than reflective. In "Down by the Riverside," the protagonist Mann finds himself drawn into confrontations with the white community through circumstances beyond his control: first the flood, then the need to transport his wife, who is in labor, towards town in a boat stolen from a white man. Mann's responses to these circumstances suggest his resignation to fate, although he does consider and reject alternatives that would possibly save him.

With "Long Black Song," the characters begin to identify the systemic nature of racist oppression. Silas, who owns his own land but whose wife Sarah has been unfaithful with a white travelling salesman, confronts and kills the salesman, then calmly awaits the white mob. As Sarah looks on, Silas announces, "The white folks ain never gimme a chance! They ain never give no black man a chance! There ain nothin in yo whole life yuh kin keep from em! They take yo lan! They take yo freedom! They take yo women! N then they take yo life!" 4

In "Fire and Cloud" and "Bright and Morning Star," Wright turns to an examination of the economic uses of racism, particularly the way in which skin color divides the working class and reinforces the capitalist power structure. In "Fire and Cloud," Reverend Taylor's realization that his leadership position in the Black community doesn't shield him from racist violence and in fact depends a good deal on his leading his people toward decisions that benefit the status quo leads him to reject the mayor's demand that he tell his hungry congregation not to participate in a communist led march. He tells his congregation, "All the time they wuz hepin me, all the time they been givin me favors, they wuz doin it sos they could tell me t tell yuh how t ack!" 5

Taylor sides with the communists' cause, although he doesn't identify with the communists themselves. As his revelation comes to him, Taylor exclaims to his son, "Gawds wid the people! N the peoples gotta be real as Gawd t us! We cant hep ourselves er the people when wes erlone...All the will, all the strength, all the power, all the numbahs is in the people!" 6

In "Bright and Morning Star," Wright continues an examination of the competing roles of religion and communism in his characters and their community. Johnny-Boy's mother Sue must come to grips with a new vision: "The wrongs and sufferings of black men had taken the place of Him nailed to the Cross; the meager beginnings of the party had become another resurrection."7 As in the other stories, Sue is finally forced to act through the physical violence visited upon her by the white community. In shooting the stoolpigeon Booker, Sue knows she has given up her own life. Her final sacrifice is not only a defense of her son, but also a defense of the Communist Party, for whom Johnny-Boy works as an organizer.

Wright's treatment of communism in the African American community in these stories is hardly simplistic. Taylor's understanding that his people's interests and the communists' goals are in tandem arises through his experiences in the food crisis. However, the text also allows Taylor to remain ambiguously independent of the Communist Party. Likewise in "Bright and Morning Star," the racial solidarity suggested or promised by communism is shown to be easily undermined through infiltration. In other words, although Johnny-Boy rejects the racial paradigm in favor of an economic analysis ("Ah cant see white n Ah cant see black. . . Ah sees rich men n Ah sees po men."8), he still must function in a community that hasn't thoroughly rejected it.

1] Appiah, K.A., and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., eds. Richard Wright: Critical Perspectives Past and Present (New York: Amistad, 1993), 3.
[2] Appiah 5.
[3] Appiah 4.
[4] Wright, Richard. Uncle Tom's Children (New York: HarperCollins, 1993), 152.
[5] Wright, 217.
[6] Wright, 210.
[7] Wright, 225.
[8] Wright, 234.

Source: GWU

*   *   *   *   *

Native Son (1951) (B&W Ep) [VHS] (1949)

Richard Wright (Actor), Gloria Madison (Actor), Pierre Chenal

When originally released in Europe as Sangre Negra in 1950, Native Son—the film—was a long time coming for Wright. The author had fought for the integrity of his original novel enough to take up playing Bigger Thomas himself. When released for American audiences as much as 30 minutes of film was left on the editing room floor. It would be interesting to know what was left out, but one can make an educated guess.

For those of you who have read the novel this may not seem odd, but the main parts left out of the film have to do with miscegenation (Bigger kissing Ms Dalton) and Communism (the word isn't even mentioned!!). What is left is a dry husk of novel, but it leaves one to wonder what American audiences (or rather the censors) were ready to show in American theatres.

Several liberties were taken by the director (and Wright?) that may also prove interesting for further conversation. Bessie, Bigger's one-dimensional love interest, is killed in the movie also, but it comes to the reader/viewer in the form of a flashback in the prison scene (Fate).

Also, there is an interesting dream sequence where Bessie comes to Bigger like a Judas figure and Bigger runs through the cotton fields of his dream to his waiting father. . .  It's refreshing to see his father appear in the dream sequence considering that it's NOT in the book and Wright's father had left him at an early age. Wright may have been an excellent though 'confused' writer, but he is NO actor!! I just imagined Bigger to be a little more thuggish than Wright could pull-off. But he should get an E for Effort: Losing 50 pounds to play the role, fighting to get the film made in Europe since he had Communism affiliations during the Macarthy trials, and just being an all around 'Daemonic Genius.' I'd recommend the film for its extra-literary qualities. If your teaching the novel, give your self a 90-minute break!! But the Book is Better than the Film!!! T.A. Stewart

*   *   *   *   *


*   *   *   *   *

The Katrina Papers, by Jerry W. Ward, Jr. $18.95  /  The Richard Wright Encyclopedia (2008)

*   *   *   *   *

The State of African Education (April 200)

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

John Henrik Clarke—A Great and Mighty Walk

*   *   *   *   *'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

*   *   *   *   *

1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity.

Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.” We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth. Whether or not the human instigators of all this remarkable change will survive the process they helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and revelatory book, an open question.

*   *   *   *   *


Sex at the Margins

Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry

By Laura María Agustín

This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. "Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality."—Lisa Adkins, University of London

*   *   *   *   *

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)

*   *   *   *   *

Ancient African Nations

*   *   *   *   *

If you like this page consider making a donation

online through PayPal

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


*   *   *   *   *

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

*   *   *   *   *

The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

*   *   *   *   *

*   *   *   *   *

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






created 7 May 2007