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a generation that has yet to be heard...

By Second2Last Inc.

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

 

 

a generation that has yet to be heard...

By Second2Last Inc.

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

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A DATE WITH THE M.T.A.

By Akhigbade Francis

O.K. check this out:

I'm running down the stairs

trying to avoid the cracks

of abuse they've endured over the years

left at the empty 40

right at the used condom

left at the bloody tooth

straight to

the token booth: An incredibly beautiful beacon of hope

situated in the middle of a public restroom surrounded by bars.

Transportation jump      started

my mood: stress in a bottle mixed with my profile

all shook up.

I can hear a familiar sound rumbling under ground

Grinding my nerves, that metal beast approaches with a vengeance

Urgently a sign blinks…

Next Train. Next Train. Next Train.

‘I'm going to be late,’ shined in large pixilated letters.

In line before me stood Mr. Rogers


(I swear, there was a resemblance).

Receiving his currency swiftly,

the token clerk was on the money

overflowing with liberal happiness.

Even I laughed in response

as if all was right with the world.

(They sure were tickled pink.)

You should have seen the way Mr. Rogers gleamed,

conversation was easy

playing with his name tag

“Tom” something teased like,

like an only child with a new toy.

The laughter was deafening,

they acted like bosom buddies.

 

Trying to stay cool,

a prisoner of sweat

I started noticing the heat

As the temperature reached the late 80's.

From outside of his blue and silver cabin I felt canceled.

Uncle Tom saw me and his smile disappeared like a phantom.

He was darker than me, so his actions reeked unnecessarily.

Just like that,

my mood moved steadily toward anxiety

nervously standing outside of this token’s world

as he thanked his albino brother with good service.

 

I smiled with style anticipating exit,

"One please" I said, not knowing my sin.

His taped glasses reflected melanin, so I grinned

Molasses was not his level of exertion to his massa

as casually self hate nicknamed Tom accepted my money.

Not caring about my dilemma, he took comfort in my pain


“Come on, please. I'm in a hurry.” I know he heard me

moving slowly under his breath, he cursed at me.

"I move on my own time, stupid darkey."

Not quite hearing his epitaph, I overlooked his reply

my train screaming approach

coming closer to take me to my destiny.

 

I guess I'm destined to be late for this date with this fine Sista.

I met her about a week ago.

It was a clear sunny day.

Incredibly, everything was going my way.

Spring was in the air

she smiled before I told her my name

she said she knew my face

perfectly accepting my glance and number…

I inhaled alive with pleasure

seven digits closer to heaven

yet again, thinking I was the man.

 

I moved slowly before this token booth encounter

High on life demanding my time

Mary Jane kissed my reply

forming clouds of heavy paranoia, I found time too late

 

So now I'm frantic right! Nahhhhh!

Not frantic,

guys don't get frantic unless you’re Harrison Ford.

Can I get a witness?

I'm telling you this girl is so fine

her dress alone made me jealous

stimulating my overactive imagination…

I'm getting pissed!

Seeing those legs walking with emotion

 

seductive like waves in an ocean,

one       foot      in          front     of         the        other

“Damn! Why me?” escaped my sigh…

 

Die, token clerk. Die!

Black only in skin,

he sits counting one dollar bills under his dirty collar

one      

dollar   

bills

the change to my twenty dollars.

As that metal beast ding dings, “Fuck!” ding ding

“I can't believe this, that son of a bitch!”

Swearing is about to become my second language

after all, my time is valuable.

"What ever happened to brotherly love Urkle?”

I think loudly.

“Unlike your antiseptic air, easy listening music

and that poster of Sidney Crawford just don't excite me

I got my own super model waiting for me!”

 

Holy catastrophe, Black man!

If only I had a bat,

I would do my best impression of Robert Deniro

reciting that scene from The Untouchables

"What ever happened to team work”  BANG

 

That flashback broke with a tap, tap, tap

Oooh, if this glass didn't separate us

a battle royal would begin as explosive as nitro.

I'll be damned If I'm gonna be degraded by a public servant

in a booth

corrupting protocol from a seat of insignificant power.


Feeling his superiority between one and eighteen fifty, …

a miscount,

“You got to be fucking kidding me!”

this can’t be happening,

Hell no!

Not now!

Furious, these hands banged on the bullet proof glass

as unacceptable syllables escape a mouth,

this mouth: once free of anger,

"Hold on, don't start over!

I've missed three trains waiting on you!" I yelled

“Do you have a problem with me?” I asked,

“You slow moving bastard.”

Cursing cause I'm a New Yorker

from Brooklyn -- Flatbush

where Jamaicans Buck, Buck, Buck,

everyday around my way, O.K.

Check this out,

I'm late for this date with this fine Sista.

 

Her mind and body are molded from spiritual clay.

She's a vision of genetic perfection wearing Kente.

Blurring my wisdom with anticipation

shifting through adrenaline to him,

high on some new and improved shit

humming with a smirk I can't get with

ever so slowly he slowed his pace.

Just like that the race was over.

 

With a shove through that little window

G, my train,

having had its fill of passengers

passed me by


trapped on the Pharcyde, I almost lost my mind.

So passively I accepted eighteen one dollar bills

Motherfucker! Eighteen one dollar bills

 

That vindictive brother spent whatever patience I had left within this frame

I knew I'd be lucky if I made my date

and he was to blame.

Shaking all over as he came spewing laughter.

See Tom enjoy his misdirected pleasure

hence my next gesture…

 

With the slightest pressure,

phlegm sped toward his domicile where it dripped

creating abstract imagery on glass

Life imitated Art

Jackson Pollak would have been inspired

admiring the depth of my masterpiece.

I will call it rude art,

fuck you, schooled his attitude

stunned in disbelief,

Tom’s expression turned Hulk: emerald green

as casually I hopped the turn style singing

 

Bite Me! Oh, Bite Me!

When you speak of this, Bite Me!

Bite Me! Oh, Bite Me!

my own personal love song.

*   *   *   *   *

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

*   *   *   *   *

 

 

Here lies Jim Crow: Civil rights in Maryland

 By C. Fraser Smith

Though he lived throughout much of the South—and even worked his way into parts of the North for a time—Jim Crow was conceived and buried in Maryland. From Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney's infamous decision in the Dred Scott case to Thurgood Marshall's eloquent and effective work on Brown v. Board of Education, the battle for black equality is very much the story of Free State women and men. Here, Baltimore Sun columnist C. Fraser Smith recounts that tale through the stories, words, and deeds of famous, infamous, and little-known Marylanders. He traces the roots of Jim Crow laws from Dred Scott to Plessy v. Ferguson and describes the parallel and opposite early efforts of those who struggled to establish freedom and basic rights for African Americans.

Following the historical trail of evidence, Smith relates latter-day examples of Maryland residents who trod those same steps, from the thrice-failed attempt to deny black people the vote in the early twentieth century to nascent demonstrations for open access to lunch counters, movie theaters, stores, golf courses, and other public and private institutions—struggles that occurred decades before the now-celebrated historical figures strode onto the national civil rights scene.

*   *   *   *   *

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'."

*   *   *   *   *

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.

*   *   *   *   *

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

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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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