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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.



Making Contributions to Public Discourse


Sharif Interviews Junious

on Africans in Cyber-World


Sharif: ChickenBones 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 liesthe PR, Propaganda, and Brainwashing matrix created by the corporate-owned media, at the behest of the ruling elites.

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.

ChickenBones raises 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 exists?

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 Amiri Baraka!!

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 modelall independent but all linkeda national front of progressive consciousness throughout the country and the world! What do you thinkis 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 philosophy today?

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 on Terrorism."

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  are two very good sites as is HYPE Information Services which is down at the moment.

Also, 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.

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



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#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

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#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
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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.—WashingtonPost

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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

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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

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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 30 January 2012




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