ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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


Diary Notes from 

The Marcus Bruce Christian Archives

University of New Orleans


Books by Marcus Bruce Christian

Song of the Black Valiants: Marching Tempo / High Ground: A Collection of Poems  / Negro soldiers in the Battle of New Orleans

I am New Orleans: A Poem / Negro Iron Workers of Louisiana: 1718-1900 /  The Liberty Monument

*   *   *   *   *


 Ruth, the Bible, & A Marriage Certificate

June 10, 1946, 10 o'clock

I went out Saturday morning to see Alonzo about doing some things for Clara and trying to get him into the printing business with her so that he could forget the girl that Sister claim is pulling him down. There was a terrible scene at the shop where Sister came in crying and threatening to brain Alonzo with her slipper heel. This was on Saturday. I talked to her and to him and sent her back home, wiping her eyes and still threatening to kill Alonzo.

I talked to Alonzo and then called up Clara and made a date to see her in town. I saw that everything seemed so messed up all around. I had just received a poem from Vi, and that let me down no end. (No it was Saturday morning while Ruth was here sneaking her things out that I went to Sister's and received the poem from Vi.) Anyway, I saw Clara, went down to her home after eating at the restaurant, and then later we went to the shop. I came away and brought some printing with me that I was trying to get Alonzo interested in.

Saturday morning I went out to see Alonzo, as I have said and got back to find that Ruth had taken her things. I went down town to see her. She was not at the place of her father's nor at her Nanan's. I went there for the first time and sat down and waited for about two or three hours and she never showed up. I left a message for her to phone me at Sister's, but after waiting there sometime left home without getting any call. 

I came back here and found that she had left two suitcases and a few other things. I have no reason to advance for her doing this, except that she is more off than I think. So I am packing up her things today -- in fact, everything that might remind me of her, and am going to either ask that she come and get them or else take them to her.

Among the things that I am discarding . . . is that old calendar (Jax) with the three long-eared puppies on it. It is a gaudy thing that was given to me by Ruth -- her first and almost her only present to me -- it is. She told Grace that since I like dogs she was giving me that calendar. I have kept it hanging in the kitchen for all of these years . . . I kept it there to remind me of what a fool I have been, and yet when she came back with . . . about having changed, and being sorry, I took her back . . . . it is no use to keep anything to remind me what a fool I am. I am packing it up with her other things and sending it to her.

I have found her Bible in which is enclosed our marriage  license . . . . Studying the calendar and the marriage certificate, I find that we were married on March 15, 1943, and that it is recorded in Book N. 58, folio 908. The number of the the certificate is No. 2802. The calendar says that this was a Monday. Ruth was then at the high, normal point. All that had been had happened on the latter part of the last month and the quarrel at home had forced her still more securely into my arms. We had quarreled about his time -- must have been the first or so, and I had asked her to release me from the affair. She had promised to do better. I warned her again, but agreed to go through with the marriage.

In the Family Register, on p. 753 she has inscribed our marriage in a steady, sure hand. The handwriting seems very certain where it is going. There is no hesitation. The letters seem to walk forward in their desire to get ahead. There are flourishes at the ending of words. Everything is there, when, where, and by whom we were married.

On the second to the last flyleaf of the book is the list of names, with the caption "Names I Like." Among the fifteen men's name, mine is sixth. Ian and Joel are first. There are unusual names like Valjean, Coidoivic, Henried, and Duval. Among the eight girl's names are Bonne, Anathiste, Athenaire, Thais, Roselyn, and Joycelin. The writing is in pencil. 

There is a cheap bookmark, advertising a Chicago evangelist, placed on the second chapter of Genesis where God creates a wife for Adam. It continues to the expulsion and a good part of where Cain kills Abel. The story is beautifully told. On the title page of the book is the filled in portion, saying that it was presented to Ruth by her mother.  

  <<---Previous24   Next---26--->>

*   *   *   *    *

Ruth Warm again on Chicago and Gives Christian Her View of Conflict  / Ruth Unhappy with Christian's Response

Ruth Lonely for Christian Chicago Wears Thin  / Ruth Enjoys Negro Life in Chicago   /  Ruth, the  Bible, & a Marriage Certificate 

Ruth Anxious Aout War's End Plans to return to Will's Point  

*   *   *   *   *

Selected Letters  Selected Diary Notes

Memories of Marcus B. Christian (CainsChristian's BioBibliographical Record    Introduction to I AM NEW ORLEANS 

A Theory of a Black Aesthetic   Magpies, Goddesses, & Black Male Identity

Activist Works on Next Level of Change   Intro to I Am New Orleans   Letter from Dillard University

A Labor of Genuine Love  Letter of Gift of Photos   Letters from LSU and Skip Gates

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Iron Workers of Louisiana: 1718-1900

By Marcus Bruce Christian


Study of the blacksmith tradition and New Orleans famous lace balconies and fences.

Acclaimed during his life as the unofficial poet laureate of the New Orleans African-American community, Marcus Christian recorded a distinguished career as historian, journalist, and literary scholar. He was a contributor to Pelican's Gumbo Ya Ya, and also wrote many articles that appeared in numerous newspapers, journals, and general-interest publications.

*   *   *   *   *'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

*   *   *   *   *


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 New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama's political success and Oprah Winfrey's financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today... than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don't know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

*   *   *   *   *

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

*   *   *   *   *

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)






update  2 March 2012




Home  Selected Diary Notes  Marcus Bruce Christian