ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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 Popular culture prepared to perpetuate transition / from one tail to the other

Blind folded my attention like yours lost / Looking for the cause of mal intent so I

pin it on the jackass inaugurated every 4 years / I caught him in the 3rd eye

2nd time hearing it / believe it the 1st time / Never CHANGE



a generation that has yet to be heard...

By Second2Last Inc.

(Brian Polite, Aisha Bell, Akhigbade Francis, and  Johny Lashley)

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CHANGE the altered states of horror

 Sequel to Goree island dungeons

                                                of deception imprison my perception

Grand dragin’ me through

forty years of dark and stormy nights

saturate my atmosphere

afraid to

CHANGE _the channel

when there’s nothing on but re-runs of dangerous minds

offering good reception

To walk away from privilege is foreign in my direction

Here they come slumming, half-baked, grateful to be dead


hippie intentions of racial aggression charged me with bigotry

Needing force to vent vintage points of interest

I find this interesting.


Sounds like Caribbean roots

when putting your ear to the ground

captivating, the mood

tree break



Sun shining through reflecting the doom

Sickness reigns

“Rain-forest fever,” they call it

Running highway through unexplored territory to classify essence of being.


_God is CHANGE

Growth is CHANGE

As your eyes move from word to word there is CHANGE

As your ears receive each syllable there is CHANGE

Revolution that too is

CHANGE _your perception






















contacts lends suspicion

too concave to see the farther effects

Trivial?  True

Some truths need to CHANGE


_Slacks wearing

slackers want to feel the passion of







lives hard fought

boasting big deeds from the other side of the tracks

without paying dues

Moods ring true in bleeding heart fashion

Waiting, waiting, waiting, turning blue

Stussy stained, the body politic

as empathy broke my rhythm

tripping, on the good foot

Black and Proud my aura struck a pose pleading

Please, please, please

-change, change, CHANGE

I am

Every step I take

every breath I breathe brings me closer to death

I eat

I live

I grow


CHANGE _the weather

in this world, madness reigns

Tempted by the tempest to join self-hate’s hurricane

Mind BLOWN in a lightning quick flash of consciousness

conducting fourth eye inward and third upward

Earth, sky and I seeing pass clouded minds lined with silver

Screening my thoughts and stealing my humanity

Trying to make me into an ex-man

Cyclops beaming on my brain like

electrons on glass with no remote hope of control

get up and CHANGE


_Travel the lost highways of America

where Africans are still being lynched.

Swinging in the breeze from tree to shinning tree

caught unaware

stupidity framed supreme nausea.

Shifting my position, a prisoner of circumstance

my options proved limited

Aspirations disillusioned, I'm forced to bear witness

Witnessing animal behavior in danger

Oh dear! in the headlights

Ass-ed out, I side stepped too slow 

Eerrrk! BOOM

Caught in this liberal conversation


Change: to make or become different

Revolution: a sudden or complete change

The only thing that remains consistent, unaltered and steady is

Change _your values, allowing ugly heads to rear…


Migraines shift.

Sifting at close range.

Bleeding foreground color colored plastic,

some assembly required.

Little people play ‘follow the leader’

Snake eyes close when C-low losses

Second2Last is written without Brown

Epitaphs poured on concrete

bringing this message to the masses

Change is how we know we’re alive!


_Even in stagnation there is CHANGE

Not enough to make things better

Sometimes enough to make things worse

and baby, if it’s broke fix it!

This boat needs rockin’ ‘cause the ripples in the water mean

CHANGE _as we criss-cross the country with white chalk

Inner-city communities die a little at a time refusing to

CHANGE the subject;

expelled from society

Living just enough for the city

Where pookies had a fan club on every other corner since the 70’s


Rock-a-bye, motherfuckers fell for the popular catch phrase.

A new jack in a big city bought the confusion with a ten spot

Changing focus-ness, loosing consciousness

Don't sleep, too sound pay attention…


Unconscious conversations carry consequences

confusing family blood lines through time with mass resuscitation


Don't sleep


_Popular culture prepared to perpetuate transition

from one tail to the other

Blind folded my attention like yours lost

Looking for the cause of mal intent so I

pin it on the jackass inaugurated every 4 years

I caught him in the 3rd eye

2nd time hearing it

believe it the 1st time


_Two steps back and one step forward,

not enough to equate with revolution

yet and still it is

Change _is so simple,

It’s just so simple,

A Raison In The Sun made Langston Hughes a genius but

what is love?

and what's love got to do, got to do with this!


_Beliefs, culture

constitute, systems.

Right and wrongs identify themselves like

stares               across              crowded                       rooms.

Ancestral guidance under-estimated

Locked away in a dresser draw,

it was framed

that instant

caffeinate it so you can stay awake  

to focus on the problem at hand

keeping change constant ‘cause

HIGH TIDES CHANGE _when players want to be just like Ike


_Ike ain’t got no sense

and sometimes cents is change.


_Beyond thunder domes,

sweet talk ain’t nothing but a  ghetto lullaby

so don't we make a raggedy pair…


Jake and Chill

went up to the hill

to buy a bag of smack.

Chill turned round

caught a round in the round

and Jake smoked Chill in the back.


Birds don't sing the blues when brothers die,

dreams just fade away like grim fairy tales exhaled



exhaled             AND CHANGE YOUR STATION

exhaled             AND channel or

canal like Panama to break mental locks,

then Telemundo,

broadcasting the Univision

beyond the scope of simple satellites

who can’t see the change in the stars

Blackholes going supernova,

eclipsing dark times and raising the LOW TIDES CHANGE

*   *   *   *   *'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

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Jefferson's Pillow

The Founding Fathers and the Dilemma of Black Patriotism

By Roger W. Wilkins

 In Jefferson's Pillow, Wilkins returns to America's beginnings and the founding fathers who preached and fought for freedom, even though they owned other human beings and legally denied them their humanity. He asserts that the mythic accounts of the American Revolution have ignored slavery and oversimplified history until the heroes, be they the founders or the slaves in their service, are denied any human complexity. Wilkins offers a thoughtful analysis of this fundamental paradox through his exploration of the lives of George Washington, George Mason, James Madison, and of course Thomas Jefferson. He discusses how class, education, and personality allowed for the institution of slavery, unravels how we as Americans tell different sides of that story, and explores the confounding ability of that narrative to limit who we are and who we can become. An important intellectual history of America's founding, Jefferson's Pillow will change the way we view our nation and ourselves.

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Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007

By Matthew Wasniewski

Black Americans in Congress, 1870–2007 beautifully prepared volume—is a comprehensive history of the more than 120 African Americans who have served in the United States Congress. Written for a general audience, this book contains a profile of each African-American Member, including notables such as Hiram Revels, Joseph Rainey, Oscar De Priest, Adam Clayton Powell, Shirley Chisholm, Gus Hawkins, and Barbara Jordan. Individual profiles are introduced by contextual essays that explain major events in congressional and U.S. history. Part I provides four chronologically organized chapters under the heading "Former Black Members of Congress." Each chapter provides a lengthy biographical sketch of the members who served during the period addressed, along with a narrative historical account of the era and tables of information about the Congress during that time. Part II provides similar information about current African-American members. There are 10 appendixes providing tabular information of a variety of sorts about the service of Black members, including such things as a summary list, service on committees and in party leadership posts, familial connections, and so forth.

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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America.

This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as "the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field 'cut their teeth'."

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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.

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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

Browse all issues

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


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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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update 29 February 2012




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