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for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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Yes, the world has long heard of the power of Athenian women. But we have yet to

feel and recognize the full impact that black women have had on the cultural and political

life of the United States. Those past and living generations . . .will gather mystically



ChickenBones Best Book of 2009

Go, Tell Michelle
African American Women Write to the New First Lady

Edited Barbara A. Seals Nevergold and Peggy Brooks-Bertram

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Las Acciones Simples se Pueden Desarmar

By Rudolph Lewis


A veces, en el medio de las complejidades del mundo diario, las acciones simples se pueden desarmar. Por ejemplo en la obra Lysistrata por Aristophanes, las mujeres Atenienses retractaban finanzas y sexo para establecer paz y salud para sus hijos y maridos belicosos. Es una gran comedia y crítica de la mente Greciana. El proyecto literario de Aristophanes fue inmenso. Se puede decir que un proyecto literario contemporáneo—Go, Tell Michelle—por Barbara A. Seals Nevergold y Peggy Brooks-Bertram de Buffalo, sin exageración, puede alcanzar más allá que la obra imaginaria del dramaturgo Greco en su impacto social inmediato y influencia perdurable en una nación.

En el libro Go, Tell Michelle, hay 100 autoras Africana-Americanas—incluyendo Barbara A. Seals Nevergold y Peggy Brooks-Bertram—que reflejan en la relevancia de la entrada (20 January 2009) de la señora Michelle Obama y su familia en La Casa Blanca, que un poeta ya ha renombrado “La Casa Arcoiris.” Sí, desde largo tiempo el mundo ha conocido el poder de las mujeres Atenienses. Pero todavía no hemos sentido o reconocido el impacto completo que mujeres Africana-Americanas han tenido en la vida política y cultural de los Estados Unidos. Aquellas generaciones pasadas y vivientes (aquellas reinas no coronadas) reunirán místicamente en este momento: por la agencia de este libro,Go, Tell Michelle, yo creo que nosotros—mujeres Africana-Americanas y sus maridos—salirán del túnel obscuro y encenderán los cielos.

Esta obra muy anticipada, fue construida en 34 días por Barbara y Peggy y 98 otras obreras culturales Africana-Americanas, con la ayuda de SUNY Press. Es de esperar que esta semana se pueda conseguir Go, Tell Michelle, y estará en los estantes de las librerías por este fin de semana. Este libro dará nueva forma de la consciencia femenina de mujeres Africana-Americanas (tanto como “Go, Tell it on the Mountain”) para muchos más años.  Invocada aquí es la influencia de diez generaciones (y mas) de mujeres Africana-Americanas y sus descendientes en la creación de lo que es el mejor en la cultura y política Americana.

Americanos y ciudadanos del mundo verán, en la persona de Michelle Obama y en el trabajo de estas 100 mujeres Africana-Americanas, una obra literaria que será clásica tanto como Lysistrata por Aristophanes.

Insisto que todos consigan su copia de Go, Tell Michelle. Está destinado a ser un Bestseller de New York Times.

Translated by Lillian Bertram

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The Simplest Acts Are Disarming

By Rudolph Lewis

Sometimes in the complexities of today's world the simplest acts are disarming, as in Aristophanes Lysistrata when Athenian women by the withdrawal of finances and sex seek and establish peace and health for their war-like sons and husbands. It was grand comedy and a critique of the Grecian mindset. Aristophanes' literary project was stunning. One can say that a current literary project—Go, Tell Michelle—by Barbara A. Seals Nevergold and Peggy Brooks-Bertram of Buffalo, without exaggeration, might indeed go far beyond the imaginative work of the Greek dramatist in its social impact in the short term and in its enduring influence on a nation.

In Go, Tell Michelle we have 100 African American female writers—including Barbara A. Seals Nevergold and Peggy Brooks-Bertram—reflecting on the significance of the entry 20 January 2009 of Michele Obama and her family into the White House, which one poet has renamed the "Rainbow House." Yes, the world has long heard of the power of Athenian women. But we have yet to feel and recognize the full impact that black women have had on the cultural and political life of the United States. Those past and living generations (those Uncrowned Queens) will gather mystically at this moment: through the agency of this book Go, Tell Michelle I believe we—black women and their men—will come out of a dark tunnel and light up the heavens.

This work pulled together in 34 days by Barbara and Peggy and 98 other black female cultural workers, with the help of SUNY Press, is greatly anticipated. Hopefully Go, Tell Michelle will be available this week and on the shelves by this weekend. It will reshape black female consciousness (as much as “Go, Tell It on the Mountain”) for many years to come. Invoked here is the influence of ten generations (and more) of African women and their descendants in the creation of that which is best in American culture and politics.

Americans and citizens of the world will see it in the person of Michele Obama and in the work of these 100 African American women in a literary work that will become as much of a classic as Aristophanes Lysistrata.

I urge you to get your copy of Go, Tell Michelle. It is destined to be a NYTimes Bestseller."

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



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Sex at the Margins

Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry

By Laura María Agustín

This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. "Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality."—Lisa Adkins, University of London

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The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama's political success and Oprah Winfrey's financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today... than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don't know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

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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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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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posted 22 March 2009




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