ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

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What are you laughing at? / the people aquarium paused

looking for a punch line / lost within a new zoo review

I felt a full moon move on. / Eyewitness news at 11:00 maybe 11:30

DNA ran the tape / Darwinian theory or proven fact?

 

 

a generation that has yet to be heard...

By Second2Last Inc.

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

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Crown

                         By Akhigbade Francis

 

I tongued your name

and the brush slithered lost in curve.

 

There is strength in line

exorcising my rite to privacy.

 

I view to kill this nexus from dizzy flights

waiting for Miles’ Revelation and Freedom.

 

Stretched to the limit, there is truth in canvas.

Attention spans through sheer force of will

reflecting a thought.

Life's dirty secret stained my masterpiece.

Still, a self proclaimed prophecy hung in disrepair

between Flatbush and Lincoln.

 

Fingering the midsection, my muse found a still life wet

from toe to fro locked insomnia.

 

Framed by an addiction to worn subjects

where Akademiks stumbled over inspiration’s forgotten abandon.

From a world safely ignorant, combinations lock heads expressionless

In hindsight, the eyes reminisce.

Atmosphere sprinkled red, white, blue

Donuts flashing activity after twelve

Uniformed monkeys didn't get the joke

Yuppies lost in laughter found my own

 

                                      “Hahahahaha”

What are you laughing at?

the people aquarium paused

looking for a punch line

lost within a new zoo review

I felt a full moon move on.

Eyewitness news at 11:00 maybe 11:30

DNA ran the tape

Darwinian theory or proven fact?

Evolution is the curse of an outsider attacked

No Justus, No Piece

turned my brown eyes blue.

Decked in that old black magic, the witching hour cried

"Send in the Clones!”

Colored my paper flesh

with broken crayons caked under my nails

“Never looked good in pink"

Picking scabs, white lines drain my crimson clear.

"Empathy bleeds"

under ill-kept hydrants,

through a v-neck picture

black cats jamming

quartet sessions with Mud foot

an Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s  wanton companion.

"Dreamer, transient, familiar birthstone"

One breath away from stranger.

"Hey Hey Hey!  It's Fat Albert"

Up rocking for food

Pan handling for perspective

Twisting in nervous energy.

"Come on Baby!"

Brotherhood is humane

Earthwalker

All too alien like fish swimming through dry land

Watch out for that second breath

assassinated the sloth

made Labrea immortal.

 

Exposing that third breath

                                  struggling, empathy slept

 

Exterminating Jurassic contenders wanting to be somebody

 

 

 

 

 

 

("they just wanted to be somebody").

That third breath ended a thought

that caught sewer water in its folds of warped wood

carved in Boogie Wonderland.

 

My heart is dry

My soul is damp

I want to live and

I can’t stop dying.

In the end,

impatient is the head that wears a heavy crown

and Basquiat swept the clouds           acrylic

painting my response on canvas

an epiphany focused through nightshade.   

Abstract expression on passion

slim like Pam Grier on her best day.

Video voyeur, is this real?

Buxom beauty dressed in green velour

Pin up this memory when Babylon burns

Don't look back! Still-born exhibitionist

‘samo’ documentary in pants

Breathe not to forget today is forever

Infinite, stretched to the horizon

 

Have faith in the unknown

don't look back

the end is a stage painted for future generations

when all is said and done, picture that event

Even if Lot's wife wanted my signature

placed on  full figured flesh

"I wouldn't look back"

Naked and exposed

honor is all a man really has

In search of a world dialog        braillin’ it

I can feel the truth

lurking

somewhere

like a siren threatening

calm moments

 

 

 

 

medicated personal growth

 

 

 

 

 

knew my limitations.

Knowledge is amnesia's child

still suckling neon tits.

Reason lost virginity to a city that never sleeps.

 

Time capsule

Magic miracle

Graffiti covered vagabonds

Stand to look around

clearly

artistic

I tongued your name

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#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 Eroticanoir.com 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

Non-fiction

#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

*   *   *   *   * 

Pictures and Progress

Early Photography and the Making of African American Identity

Edited by Maurice O. Wallace and Shawn Michelle Smith

Pictures and Progress explores how, during the nineteenth century and the early twentieth, prominent African American intellectuals and activists understood photography's power to shape perceptions about race and employed the new medium in their quest for social and political justice. They sought both to counter widely circulating racist imagery and to use self-representation as a means of empowerment. In this collection of essays, scholars from various disciplines consider figures including Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and W. E. B. Du Bois as important and innovative theorists and practitioners of photography. In addition, brief interpretive essays, or "snapshots," highlight and analyze the work of four early African American photographers. Featuring more than seventy images, Pictures and Progress brings to light the wide-ranging practices of early African American photography, as well as the effects of photography on racialized thinking.

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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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A History of the Black Press
By Armistead S. Pride and Clint C. Wilson II

In this work, Dr. Wilson chronicles the development of black newspapers in New York City and draws parallels to the development of presses in Washington, D.C., and in 46 of the 50 United States. He describes the involvement of the press with civil rights and the interaction of black and nonblack columnists who contributed to black- and white-owned newspapers. . . . Through reorganization and exhaustive research to ascertain source materials from among hundreds of original and photocopied documents, clippings, personal notations, and private correspondence in Dr. Pride's files, Dr. Wilson completed this compelling and inspiring study of the black press from its inception in 1827 to 1997.

This is a major and noteworthy contribution to scholarship on the African American press. As Washington Post columnist Dorothy Gilliam concludes in the foreword, “Pride and Wilson’s comprehensive history is a lasting tribute to the men and women within the black press of both the past and the present and to those who will make it what it will be in the future.

*   *   *   *   *

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        

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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update 29 February 2012

 

 

 

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