ChickenBones: A Journal

for  Literary & Artistic African-American  Themes


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


 Research has shown that poverty can  be an indicator of the possible success

of a child in school. Though poverty as a systemic problem . . . we [know] if

parents believe their children can make a way out of nowhere.



The School Bell Rings

for a New Day of Education Excellence


Beginning in late August through the beginning of September millions of young people from kindergarten through college will be returning to classes. Some of these young people will be entering the world of formal education for the first time, while others will be returning to grade schools, high schools, colleges or universities.

Whether starting in a preschool program, public school setting, private school, or an Ivy League university, the importance of a good education is paramount for the African-American student. The beginning of school each year for the African-American student  has great significance. While it is seen as a source of great hope for many, there are far too many students who come with little hope.

Some students as young as kindergarten have not embraced our educational system. Many come to school lagging far behind Caucasian students and or middle class African-American students. Research has shown that poverty can  be an indicator of the possible success of a child in school. Though poverty as a systemic problem is too complex to handle here, we do know is that if we believe as, have the faith of, our forefathers with regard to the importance of education, parents and their children can make a way out of no way.

Our African-American students must learn to adapt and use this system that is not always structured and geared entirely in our interests.

The history of the education of the African American  in the United States is an often neglected story. The staff of ChickenBones: A Journal feels that the education of African Americans is too important and significant a story to leave buried  and unavailable for broad use.We at ChickenBones hope to provide a wealth of information to help all of us understand our past. Parents please utilize this information and share it with your children.

Beginning with this article, we will attempt to share ideas and strategies that parents and caregivers can utilize to improve their young people's literacy and study skills. We want all of our young people to make this school year very rewarding.

*   *   *   *   *

Improving Literacy

for the African-American Elementary Student

General Tips

Obtain or maintain a library card

Read aloud to your children books by many different authors

Read books written by African-Americans

Use chants, raps and poems to help your child remember information

Look for books with repetitive rhyming phrases for struggling readers

Label household items for young children

Provide a quiet place to study for students of all ages

Read the newspaper, magazines, comics, information from web sites and other informational text

Limit the amount of television that your child watches


The ABCs of Reading

to and with Your Child


Ask questions.

Buy books as gifts. ( about topics they are interested in)

Celebrate progress.

Drop everything and read each day at a certain time.

Exchange books with others.

Find books with African-American characters in them.

Give hints or clues if your child gets stuck.

Have fun!

It is okay to make mistakes. We all do.

Join in praising reading success.

Keep books and other reading material everywhere.

Libraries are great and are FREE.

Magazines encourage reading.

Never force reading.

Read Over and Over.

Poetry is wonderful and helps with phonics.

Quiz your child (informally).

Record books read.

Start a book club with relatives and friends.

Take your child to a bookstore.

Understand that reading takes time.

Variety is the spice of life.

Write letters to relatives.

Extend bedtime for reading once in a while.

You are your child's most important teacher.

Zealous readers come from reading families. Be a family that reads together.


General Tips for Assisting

Pre- K & Kindergarten Students


Help your child to recognize his name in print

Play games and sing songs to help your child with the alphabet

Make up stories with simple text to read to your child

Read fairy tales, poems, chants, and informational text to your child

Play word games with common household items

Have your child retell stories including family stories

Have discussions about the story with your child, ask such questions as--

What do you think the author wants us to know? Do you agree with the author? Why? Do you like books dealing with this subject?

Encourage your child when he or she tries to read and write.

Subscribe to children's magazines



for Assisting Students in Grades 1 & 2


Play games to help your child learn basic sight words (memory, bingo, concentration etc.)

Purchase or make phonics games to help your child with letter sounds

Read aloud to your child books about different cultures and ask questions about the author and text

Question your child about the beginning, middle, and end of stories

Allow your child to read lots of different materials with assistance as needed (sports magazines as well as other magazines, newspapers, library books, comics, poems and plays

Read books to your child by African-American authors

Allow your child to help you prepare food and read family recipes

Subscribe to children's magazines

Read material from the Internet to your child



for Assisting Students in Grades 3, 4 and 5


Review basic sight words through games , chants, raps and plays

Read aloud challenging books that deal with real life situations

Read books by African-American authors

Have your child explain the beginning, middle and end of stories heard or read

Help your child use the WWW and e-mail to find information

Allow your child to read from different genres

Help your child summarize what he has heard or read

Review writing for different purposes with your child (to inform, to persuade, to express personal ideas)

Encourage your child to write letters to friends and or family members


Dolch Basic Sight Words

The Dolch word List represents 220 basic sight words chidden should know by the end of the primary grades. These are high frequency words that appear many more times than others in ordinary reading material.


PRE PRIMER Sight Words

a and away
big  blue can
come down find
for funny go
help here I
in is it
jump little do
he look make
me not one
play red run
said see the
three to two
up we where
yellow you


Primer Sight Words

all am are
at ate be
black brown but
came did eat
four get good
have into like
must new no
now on our
out please pretty
ran ride saw
say she so
soon that there
they this too
under want was
well went what
white who will
with yes



after again an
any as ask
by could every
fly from give
going had has
her him his
how just know
let live may
of old once
open over put
round some stop
take thank them
then think walk
were when



always around because
been before best
both buy call
cold does don't
fast first five
found gave goes
green its made
many off or
pull read sing
sit sleep tell
their these those
upon us use
very wash which
why wish work
would write your



about better bring
carry clean cut
done draw drink
eight fall far
full got grow
hold hot hurt
if keep kind
laugh light long
much myself never
only own pick
seven shall show
six small start
ten today together
try warm




Grades K-2


Grades 3-5

It is our hope that our children with the assistance of family members and friends will utilize all available resources to learn and excel at high levels. For us to reach our maximum potential as a people we must teach our children the importance of achieving well in our current academic settings. Yes, we must know our past , but we also must set goals for the future regardless of the difficulties circumstances of poverty and racism.


Yvonne Terry, vice principal of Waverly Elementary School, prepared this document for ChickenBones: A Journal for the 2002-2003 school year. We thank and praise  her dedication and sacrifice to the uplift of all children. -- Ed. R. Lewis

*   *   *   *   *

Sister Grief: Defined and Conquered in Jesus

By Yvonne Terry-Lewis

"Sister Grief: Defined and Conquered in Jesus" is an engaging book that confronts the universal experience of living with death and dying. The author personifies the personal loss of loved ones as "Sister Grief." The book, partly autobiographical, provides a holistic plan for conquering grief through faith, through a special relationship with Jesus. This plan is designed to help navigate one through the grieving process. The book includes personal stories, poetry, testimonials, letters, practical suggestions, and strategies based on a love for the divinity in one's life. Although the circumstances that cause grief may be sad, this book is filled with love, encouragement, and hope that lead one towards spiritual health and wholeness.

*   *   *   *   *'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

*   *   *   *   *

Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.” Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake. She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.—WashingtonPost

*   *   *   *   *

The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance

Destroyed Our Jobs, Pensions, and Prosperity—and What We Can Do About It

By Les Leopold

How could the best and brightest (and most highly paid) in finance crash the global economy and then get us to bail them out as well? What caused this mess in the first place? Housing? Greed? Dumb politicians? What can Main Street do about it? In The Looting of America, Leopold debunks the prevailing media myths that blame low-income home buyers who got in over their heads, people who ran up too much credit-card debt, and government interference with free markets. Instead, readers will discover how Wall Street undermined itself and the rest of the economy by playing and losing at a highly lucrative and dangerous game of fantasy finance. He also asks some tough questions:  Why did Americans let the gap between workers' wages and executive compensation grow so large? Why did we fail to realize that the excess money in those executives' pockets was fueling casino-style investment schemes? Why did we buy the notion that too-good-to-be-true financial products that no one could even understand would somehow form the backbone of America's new, postindustrial economy? How do we make sure we never give our wages away to gamblers again? And what can we do to get our money back? In this page-turning narrative (no background in finance required) Leopold tells the story of how we fell victim to Wall Street's exotic financial products. Readers learn how even school districts were taken in by "innovative" products like collateralized debt obligations, better known as CDOs, and how they sucked trillions of dollars from the global economy when they failed. They'll also learn what average Americans can do to ensure that fantasy finance never rules our economy again. The Economy

*   *   *   *   *

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 1 March 2012




 Home     Yvonne Terry Table  Educating Our Children  TableEdHistNegro