Making Contributions to Public
on Africans in Cyber-World
has gone from the stage of building an audience to trying to
analyze what we have achieved. You have played a role in its
development. How do you see your contribution to CBJ? Part of an
extension of the Black Revolution of the 1960's? Or part of a
new wave of politics and culture being promoted by the
web/internet? In other words, are we creating something new on
the web or are we just re-packaging the old?
Junious: Thanks for
asking. Actually I see it as both. I am a child of the 60's
Civil Rights/Black Arts/ Black Nationalism/Black Power
Movements. I was a part of it in college
the Black Student
League, protests, demonstrations, etc. I even went to jail (on
bogus charges and was lucky to have had them dropped). I was
greatly influenced by that but at the same time I feel I am part
of a new movement using advanced technology, namely, the
Internet/Internet Radio, to expand the parameters of
consciousness about the world and attempt to get our people to
think beyond the lies
the PR, Propaganda, and Brainwashing matrix
created by the corporate-owned media, at the behest of the
Conditions have changed so
we are not repackaging the old; racial oppression is more subtle
and cloaked in platitudes like "colorblind society" and
"level playing field"--today's versions of
yesterday's "Separate but Equal" nonsense. Unlike
yesterday, nowadays there are no racial apartheid and caste laws
on the books.
However, the values, intent
and patterns are still alive and well and the Neocons want to
return AmeriKKKa to the 19th Century (with monopoly businesses,
pliant government, and racial subordination). Where once the
white media depicted us as coons and pickaninnies and our
parents were forced to endure characters like Mantan Moreland
and Step 'n Fetchit who were caricatures out of a thoroughly
racist mindset, today our own children demean and devalue
themselves and our race by writing, producing. and performing
socio-pathic material. "It's all about the Benjamins,"
they say. So this is an aspect we haven't had to fight before,
our own people degrading us on such a large scale.
these issues and more, the Site is "elder" friendly
and more intergenerational than most others, which is good. From
what Rudy says many college-aged students are finding the site
and returning once they find it.
So I see my contributions
as part of that opportunity/awakening/movement, more
political and psychological than artistic but nevertheless it
fits into, in my view, the overall theme you've
established for the Site.
Sharif: If you see
the web as part of something new, do you see the
websites/internet as a place where a new kind of revolutionary
consciousness in a post-industrial world is being brought about?
By this, I mean that industrialism brought new radical forces
into play. Do you see the internet bringing any new players on
the scene that are significantly different from what already
Junious: I do see
the Internet bringing new players on set with a vast array of
skills and talents. The industrial and technological revolutions
upped the ante and stakes, people are coming with more talents
and options, ChickenBones being one of them. I first
heard about the site from Jamie Walker who is a self-published
author who was thrilled you guys printed her piece defending
Consider this, I came to
the Internet from print and terrestrial radio mainly as a
volunteer. Most of the papers I write (or wrote for) don't pay
and many of them are no longer around!! I never received a dime
for doing the radio show for ten years and I was kicked to the
curb shortly after the station changed its ownership.
Originally, I started writing “Positively Black” to promote
the radio show of the same name but discovered more people
read my column than listened to the show, which was on a low
wattage black owned AM station in Philly. A guy from Philly who
was volunteering for Don Rojas, the creator of The Black
World Today, started posting my column. I found out about
it, contacted them and that opened an opportunity to contribute
on a regular basis.
I had some name recognition
via the NNPA, which was syndicating my column to over 200 black
newspapers, but the Internet opened a whole new world for me.
When TBWT started streaming music and then added a talk channel
that opened more opportunities to produce
a show for them and use talents I learned from radio, but many
new skills I learned on the fly.
So to me the Internet is
not only cutting edge it has provided an opportunity to be a
part of a new vanguard of raising consciousness and rumblin'
against global white supremacy as well as black acquiescence,
lethargy, and fear. The Internet offers a "freedom"
unencumbered by advertising or political restraints.
It is costly as you well
know but its impact is far more potent that any other media
other than satellite because it can travel so much further on
less. Photographers, graphic artists, editors, writers, poets,
animators, HTML and Web designers all can find a home on the
'Net whereas before there were only so many slots at a newspaper
or radio station available.
For many of these people
this is an avocation and the Internet allows them to ply their
skills on a variety of projects. Technology has opened many
avenues. The new challenge is for people like you and Rudy to
find profitability in what you do, if that is possible. I hope
to be a part of the continued growth of the Site.
Sharif: Since you
have such sharp perspectives on so many issueswhat would the
political landscape be if there were ten to twenty more CBAJ-like
websites across the country? This is one of our goals: To get
other to build their own websites on the CBAJ model
independent but all linked
a national front of progressive
consciousness throughout the country and the world! What do you
is this possible?
Junious: Of course
your idea is possible and feasible. Black media started as an
organ for public advocacy. The first editorial of Freedom
Journal proclaimed "We Wish To Plead Our Own
Cause." Frederick Douglas's North Star was
implacable about ending slavery. Ida B. Wells was run out of
Memphis because she was relentless in her opposition to
lynching. Marcus Garvey's Negro World, the NOI's Muhammad
Speaks and the Black Panther Party for Self Defense were
strong outspoken pro-black papers. Where is that editorial
Also, we must be mindful of
the climate we are in now, everyone isn't as bold as you are.
Many folks are afraid. Certain media and national politicians
were targeted with anthrax letters immediately following 9-11.
The Bush administration and media hold a great deal of sway on
the public consciousness. No one wants to be portrayed as
"soft on Communism." For now the phrase is "soft
So the mainstream media
message/policy is, go along with the official program or else.
Dissent is not tolerated. Remember no Republicans received
anthrax letters after 9-11 only the Democratic
"leadership." Media people have been fired or
targeted for abuse/criticism and ads have been pulled or
threatened to be pulled if papers and stations didn't go along
with the war.
There are several sites out
there that do in fact contribute to the public discourse in an
intellectual way, they may not be as well known or popular as
CBAJ but I'm sure they would be willing to link up with you on
some level. For example, GlobalBlackNews and www.thetalkingdrum.com
are two very good sites as is HYPE Information Services which is
down at the moment.
and The Black Commentator seem fairly popular. However, I don't
know if they would be willing to partner with anyone else.
As to your question, such a
link up/partnership would go a long way to inform and stimulate
our community. When you look at the black press and "black
radio," on the key issues other than affirmative action
they are MIA.
Where is the black press on
the rising black suicide rate, HIV/AIDS, disproportionate
sentencing and incarceration policies? Where is the black press
on the health issue, on depression, STD, fratricide, and
violence? The more profitable papers in my area don't address
these issues they focus on the "bling bling,"
celebrities, and bougie lifestyles. As for the radio stations
forget about it.
So you are on to something,
how big it will grow and how long it will stay together remains
to be seen. Feel free to post my responses on the Site.
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* * * * *
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.—
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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
The World and Africa, 1965
By W. E. B. Du Bois
W. E. B. Du Bois’
Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization
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Ancient African Nations
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Negro Digest /
Browse all issues
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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
George Jackson /
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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg
Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804
January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of
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update 30 January