ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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A slave is enslaved / Can be enslaved by unwisdom 

Can be re-enslaved while in flight from the enemy

Can be enslaved by his brother whom he loves



Books by Mari Evans

Continuum: New and Selected Poems / Black Women Writers (1950-1980)

A Dark and Splendid Mass  /  Jim Flying High

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Speak the Truth to the People

By Mari Evans

Hearing the truth can free the mind so people can concentrate on constructive work. This poem admonishes blacks to be truthful in speech so audiences can "identify the enemy," distance themselves from conventions that enslave African Americans, and build a strong black nation with its own ideals.


Speak the truth to the people

Talk sense to the people

Free them with honesty

Free the people with Love and Courage for their Being

Spare them the fantasy

Fantasy enslaves

A slave is enslaved

Can be enslaved by unwisdom

Can be re-enslaved while in flight from the enemy

Can be enslaved by his brother whom he loves

His brother whom he trusts whom he loves

His brother whom he trusts

His brother with the loud voice

And the unwisdom

Speak the truth to the people

It is not necessary to green the heart

Only to identify the enemy

It is not necessary to blow the mind

Only to free the mind

To identify the enemy is to free the mind

A free mind has no need to scream

A free mind is ready for other things

To BUILD black schools

To BUILD black children

To BUILD black minds

To BUILD black love

To BUILD black impregnability

To BUILD a strong black nation


Speak the truth to the people

Spare them the opium of devil-hate

They need no trips on honky-chants.

Move them instead to a BLACK ONENESS.

A black strength which will defend its own

Needing no cacophony of screams for activation

A black strength which will attack the laws

exposes the lies, disassembles the structure

and ravages the very foundation of evil.

Speak the truth to the people

To identify the enemy is to free the mind

Free the mind of the people

Speak to the mind of the people

Speak Truth

posted 7 April 2006

Mari Evans Bio


Born 16 July 1923 in Toledo , Ohio

Attended the University of Toledo

Lives in Indianapolis, Indiana

Like any good People's Poet, Evans is a sharp observer and an honest person. . . .  Just as fortunately for us, she is careful that all she does tell is the truth. The whole truth, the poetic truth. The truth for, about and to the people.”  -- Maya Angelou


Served as the Distinguished Writer and Assistant Professor of the African American and Resource Center at Cornell University

Taught at Indiana University, the State University of New York at Albany, the University of Miami at Coral Gables and at Spelman College, Atlanta


Books of Poetry

A Dark and Splendid Mass (Harlem River Press, 1992)

Nightstar: 1973-1978 (1981)

I Am a Black Woman (1970)

Where Is All the Music? (1968)


Black Women Writers (1950-1980): A Critical Evaluation (Contributor and Editor, 1984)

Books for Children

Dear Corinne, Tell Somebody! Love, Annie: A Book about Secrets (1999)

Singing Black: Alternative Nursery Rhymes for Children (1998, illustrated by Ramon Price)

Jim Flying High (1979, illustrated by Ashley Bryan)

Rap Stories (1974)

J.D. (1973, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney)


Eye (1979), an adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God

River of My Song (1977)


Fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the National Endowment for the Arts, the John Hay Whitney Fellowship

Black Academy of Arts and Letters First Poetry Award (1975)

Zora Neale Hurston Society Award for Outstanding Contributions to Literature (1993), Alain Locke-Gwendolyn Brooks Award for Excellence in Literature (1995)

Celebrated with her photo on a Ugandan postage stamp (1997)

Inducted into Chicago State University's National Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent (1998)

Received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Martin University (1999)

Other Sites:   

*   *   *   *   *'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

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#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
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#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
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#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All

By Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons knows firsthand that wealth is rooted in much more than the stock  market. True wealth has more to do with what's in your heart than what's in your wallet. Using this knowledge, Simmons became one of America's shrewdest entrepreneurs, achieving a level of success that most investors only dream about. No matter how much material gain he accumulated, he never stopped lending a hand to those less fortunate. In Super Rich, Simmons uses his rare blend of spiritual savvy and street-smart wisdom to offer a new definition of wealth-and share timeless principles for developing an unshakable sense of self that can weather any financial storm. As Simmons says, "Happy can make you money, but money can't make you happy."

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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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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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