ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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This thing we fight  / is it about capitalism / is it about neo-capitalism / stretching forth

 a creation aimed at the next millennium / is it about colonialism / is it about neo-colonialism




Slo' Dance

Poems by Ted Wilson

with an Introduction by Amiri Baraka

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A Real Long Look

(from Maurice Bishop 1984)

Space          unended space

needing to be filled

with time     sculpted

into something meaningful

there was a time we boasted newness

new blackness

now we find there is

only a reshaping of time

and a reordering of the priority

there can should and will be a new view

after careful re-view and a

discarding of the old way of being here

This thing we fight

is it about capitalism

is it about neo-capitalism


stretching forth

a creation aimed at the next millennium

is it about colonialism

is it about neo-colonialism

stepping back

a recreation of a fantasy that safely was

and re-was for the second half of the 20th century

How about imperialism totalitarianism fascism or



This thing we seek

is it about communism

is it about neo-communism


stretching forth

a creation to fight the creation aimed at exploitation

is it about socialism

is it about neo-colonialism?

how about marxism leninism trotskyism stalinism

a fantasy for a fantasy

show me yours, I'll show you mine-ism?


In this space needing to be filled

do we seek to sculpt it with

get all the gold

grab all the resources

harness all the energy

possess all the power

dominate the planet isms?

Is it Is it Is it Is it

about the pawns used in the isms

or about the isms used to recruit pawns?


is that the love lost of one's self

is that the love lost of one's family

(immediate and extended)

why has masochism become so attractive?


what of the love lost of one's Gods

who shall we worship this year

who shall we worship this decade

who shall we worship this generation?


This meaning we seek

is it about neo-one worldism


sculpting out

a meaningful amalgamation of skills resources views

philosophies cultures and the like

and under whose flag?


is it about workerism

is it about neo-workerism

how about peopleism          the greatest goodism

simple idealism utopianism or who's the bossism?


Has there been an obliteration of our memory sense

is there a drug that's been absorbed through some

21st century osmose regulated process

perfected in the twentieth century to cause mass

senselessness as to who what where and why

we are here and how we survive(d)?


Is it is it is it is it

that we have forgotten or pushed

out of our very heads our very beings

the memory of Goree Island

10,000,000 executed

never making the middle passage

and what of this middle passage

20,000,000 devoured by the sea

was it about theftism

was it about desecrationism

how about the spoils of war

that's-the-breaks imperialism?


Check this

do you remember King Leopold 9from the

belgian congo) and the western cartel

ten million executed and twice that number

dismembered and de-limbed

was it about population control-ism

or is it a mindbender to remember

Toussaint L'Ouverture versus Napoleon Bonaparte

or Nat Turner     Gabriel Prosser     Denmark Vesey

Esteban Montejo     Jose Marti     Montezuma     Cochise

Frederick Douglass     Monroe Trotter     The Scottsboro Boys

(and the strumpets they were accused of

defiling on a freight train

or the reason why     such a furor anyway)

was it disrespectfulism

or was it euro-american christian nationalism?


Has the wonder drug discharged from our memory

the missouri riots     new york massacres

Black wall street     the Aztec Empire

blown up bellies      twisted fee       gnarled hands

demented off spring     wrecked wombs

castration and sodomy for the sake of . . . 

was it about pure pleasure-ism or get-you-thing-off-ism

why has masochism become so attractive?


this thing we seek

is it about negro militarism

is it about neo-negro militarism?


who were the real Rough Riders

do you remember when they reappeared

in France, 1917, got the job done

was this about pure patriotism?


oh! how quickly we forget

no gig no grit no gratitude

was it about anti-workerism

anti-soldierism and cool-you-role-ism?


Let a race of men now rise and take control


Do you remember Adolph, not Memphis the slick

hollywood 40's character, the master race cat

who would rise and try to take control of

those who controlled us?

So we marched to the sands of Tripoli

and the shores of Iwo Jima

from Guam to Yokohama

with John Wayne leading each campaign (at MGM studios)

as the Buffalo soldiers do it again

only a reshaping of time and space

reordering priority


was this Patriot-Plus-ism or

this is our real shotism

gigless gritless and no gratitude

riding off into the sunset as they returned


could it be the love lost of one's self

could it be the love lost of one's family

could it be the love lost of one's Gods?


who shall we worship this year

Booker T. Washington     W.E.B. DuBois     Marcus Garvey

who shall we worship this decade     Patrice Lumumba

Kwame Nkrumah     Nelson Mandela     Steven Biko


who shall we worship this century

Malcolm X     Martin Luther King     Fidel Castro

who or maybe waht shall we worship

JFK     Bobby Kennedy     George Wallace

Marx Engels     Lenin     Mao

the right the left

the real American or the expensive import

is it about socialism

is it about communism?


It is is it is it about realism and

is realism about the pawns used to recruit isms

or about the isms used to recruit pawns

is realism about exploitation by all of the isms

or is it really       for us       about racism?


A narrow passageway

a window of despair

makes no sense

the choice should be obvious:

A new view after careful review and a

discard of the old way of being here


Source: Ted Wilson. Slo' Dance. Brooklyn, NY: Shamal Books, 2003 / Contact: Shamal Books, GPO Box 16, NYC 10116 (718) 622 4426


Ted Wilson, formerly with Pride and Liberator magazines,  is a writer, producer, and promoter, most recently with the Bread Is Rising poetry series in New York City.

A cultural worker since the 1960s Black Liberation/human rights movements, Ted's writings have appeared in several journals: The Black Nation; Black American Literature Forum; Callaloo; NOBO: Journal of African American Thought; and anthologies: Amiri Baraka: The Kaleidoscopic Torch (ed. J.E. Gwynne); In Defense of Mumia (eds. S.E. Anderson, T. Medina); Black Fire: An Anthology of Afro-American Writing  (eds. L. Jones, L. Neal); New Rain #9: Our Fathers/Ourselves (eds. G. Johnston, M. M'Buzi Moore)].

He also works as a Construction Manager Consultant and Developer currently involved in an effort to develop a Cultural/Arts district in Newark, New Jersey.

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Let Loose on the World
Celebrating Amiri Baraka at 75

Edited by Karen D. Taylor and Louis Reyes Rivera

intro by Mumia Abu Jamal 

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



#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 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


#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

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Greenback Planet: How the Dollar Conquered

the World and Threatened Civilization as We Know It

By H. W. Brands

In Greenback Planet, acclaimed historian H. W. Brands charts the dollar's astonishing rise to become the world's principal currency. Telling the story with the verve of a novelist, he recounts key episodes in U.S. monetary history, from the Civil War debate over fiat money (greenbacks) to the recent worldwide financial crisis. Brands explores the dollar's changing relations to gold and silver and to other currencies and cogently explains how America's economic might made the dollar the fundamental standard of value in world finance. He vividly describes the 1869 Black Friday attempt to corner the gold market, banker J. P. Morgan's bailout of the U.S. treasury, the creation of the Federal Reserve, and President Franklin Roosevelt's handling of the bank panic of 1933. Brands shows how lessons learned (and not learned) in the Great Depression have influenced subsequent U.S. monetary policy, and how the dollar's dominance helped transform economies in countries ranging from Germany and Japan after World War II to Russia and China today. He concludes with a sobering dissection of the 2008 world financial debacle, which exposed the power--and the enormous risks--of the dollar's worldwide reign.  The Economy

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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 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        


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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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ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more) 






update 29 February 2012 




Home  Amiri Baraka Table  Louis Reyes Rivera Table

Related files: Slo Dance Reviews   Celebrating the Release  Acknowledgements  Slo Dance Table   Slo Dance Introduction  A Real Long Look   The Protector Mobutu and Zaire

 From Gangs of the Ghetto to Gangstas of the Inner City