ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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Millions of Black Women / of African origin and decent / Millions of sisters

Stand by their Black Man / On African, Caribbean / Pacific and American Land

Throughout the African World / From the woman to the girl / Millions of beautiful

sisters / Assisting the Black Man / Brothers love our sisters / The best way you can!!



Third Annual African-American Spoken Word Festival

A Report by Larry Ukali Johnson-Redd


 So the Third Annual African-American Spoken Word Festival was broadcast about 20 minutes late due to technical difficulties but once it started it lasted 2 and half hours without a hitch. Larry Chew, a KPOO radio personality (, called and said the Festival was broadcasting loud and clear.

Ukali Flowing at the Second Annual African-American Spoken Word

Queen D

Queen D started it off with thoughtful smooth Spoken Word. Queen D was followed by smooth and cultural Charles Chatmon and Shakeel Ali with Lexo with some street level Hip Hop Spoken Word.  More to come on this sister that is for sure with her poise and confidence from a real sister’s heart!

I listened to the great Queen D, the Poet, on MP 3. She was clear as if she was in the room, I met this intelligent beautiful sister and heard her read some of her poems that had such a hard edge that I wanted to let the sister know we Black Men were not all bad. She read one evening (in January 2007) in Terry Moore’s The Show: the biggest clean mouth poetry show in Sacramento.

No doubt though this sister Queen D is an African Queen to her heart! Well, Queen D floated into the venue on a cloud with her fiancé. She belted out a couple of hard-edged pieces and then melted everyone at the end of her performance, viding on love! She did two lovely love-filled poems on African culture and one much more personal.

This prompted the Cameraman Brother Lyn interviewing her on the video to ask if she was in love and you have to see the video for this interview and to see how Queen D blushed while saying, yes. Black Love is not a dinosaur but alive and well. I wished we had a professional photographer there who could have taken a picture of Queen D with her man. You see, I too believe in Black Love!! May Black Love Flourish!! I wish Queen D and her Man all of the happiness in the world.

Charles Chatmon

Then came South Central Los Angeles born Charles Chatmon in a deeply cultural, contemporary and historical well-spoken presentation all acknowledging African-American History Month

Charles brought it to the audience from South Central with his honest sincere and heartfelt feelings and I strongly urge you to make plans to attend the June 14 2008 LA Black Book Expo in LA at 3980 Menlo to hear this brother and buy his books. I prefer The Voices from South Central but Charles delivered from both of his books and announced he is working on his third book.

The 07 LA Black Book Expo (LABBX) in August 07 was off the chain with Spoken Word, African authored books including children’s books! The next LABBX will also be off the chain so make plans now to be in LA June 14,2008 from 10 AM to 6 PM.

Charles Chapmon andChandra Adams

Charles next book is titled The Depths Of My Soul!

Shakeel Ali and Lexo

Shakeel and Lexo came on stage at first with classical Hip Hop moves and banging beat, aura, (Shakeel respectfully requested more bass but there was no more bass to be had in a library setting) and spoken word with Big Thingz! Then Shakeel began showing how heavy he is by free style rapping again with more Hip Hop music praising Joe Marshall Ph. D and Mc Arthur Foundation Black Genesis award winner and originator of Omega Boys Club-Potrero Hill- and Street Soldier. Shakeel and Lexo worked in praise for KPOO!

 Then Shakeel pointed out that this should be African History Month linking our identity to our motherland Africa saying also that Marcus Books was part of his university education, praised Haki Madhubuti of Chicago, the late John Hendric Clarke whom I met in Harlem years ago and saw speak in Oakland and Ivan Van Sertima. Then. Shakeel flowed about African pyramid builders, advised we buy relevant DVD’s and turnoff network TV, praised Fred Hampton Jr. and the POCC, their Block Radio Show, Minister of Information JR and Shakeel mentioned Audio Rebellion. Shakeel then switched to a jazzy beat and music while speaking about Pathways For Kids where he is doing big things as the program director and read a letter of award for a $50,000 grant from the Gap Foundation that mention him in particular for doing big things!

Terry Moore

It was now time for Terry Moore from Sacramento to step to the stage!  Terry arrived right at that moment, from Sacramento by car. So in order to give my brother Poet from Sac a few moments to build up his aura I jumped out after one of those great Pat Womack-Clarke introductions and did a couple of my Spoken Word pieces. When I thought Terry was ready and he appeared on stage I introduced Terry Moore and he brought it spoken word about love sisters his daughter and the loves past of his life including a salute to African-American History

Then Terry, who I met 4 years ago, brought it. He was hot passionate and with history and love for our Black women and his love for his daughter Tyra!

Terry Moore, what can you say, the folks in Sacramento give Terry so much love and support that San Francisco could not compare to that. So Terry asked why the sisters in the audience were so quiet.  One sister answered they were in awe of the 6 foot-plus Slam Champ award winner, who has won so many awards every type they are too many to mention. Check him out at

He Said She Said Black Relationship Forum

Charles Chatmon, author of Voices of South Central, read a piece he stated was appropriate for the He Said She Said about the status of Black Love. Charles asked our sisters “to stand common ground not elevated ground.” The combination of Charles Chatmon and Mrs. Patricia Womack-Clarke and their rotating rapid fire of questions made this the best He Said She Said yet!

Charles Chatmon introduced Pearl and it was on. Charles and Patricia Womack Clark began rotating asking—shooting questions at Pearl Jr and with their 2-minute limit on time to answer their questions

 enjoyed presenting his Spoken Word and the reception after the flow of his Spoken Word at the Third Annual African-American Spoken Word Festival at the San Francisco Public Library earlier!

Larry Ukali Johnson-Redd, Patricia Womack-Clarke, and Charles Chatmon

The time went so fast that we ran through our Question-and-Answer period proving we would need to do another San Francisco Bay Area again to allow for more audience participation. We could not get it all done and said in that time frame but we made a good down payment on it.

The Feast

Then we the Festival Poets, Artists and Participants feasted on a great and healthy meal by Southern Hospitality Caterers operated by Chef Lester Clarke and his wife Patricia Womack: We had bite size Sweet Potato Pie and Pecan pies that could not be resisted!

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area contact Chef Lester and Patricia to cater your affair at 510-932-8337 or at!!! Thank you Chef Lester.

Looking Forward

Many thanks to Charles, Pearl (and her Man/Video person Cecil) for coming up to San Francisco from Los Angeles and keeping it real! When they do return I hope the San Francisco Bay Area will come out and support the effort as well as buy their great books.

Because we had a great Festival and many people heard it around the Bay Area and around the world through and KPOO FM 89.5! Many thanks to the KPOO Radio Station Management.

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Ukali on YouTube

Ukali Flowing at the Second Annual African-American Spoken Word

Loving Black Women, Part 1 / Larry Ukali Johnson-Redd Live In Nigeria 2005

Larry Ukali Johnson Redd on Lovin Black Woman

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Announcement for

The Third Annual African-American Spoken Word Festival

Saturday February 9, 2008 from 2 PM to 5 PM

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2:20 PM to 2:40 PM

Queen D and Clarity 

Clearly Queens -- a sister Spoken Word Group\

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 2:40 PM to 3:00 PM

 Charles Chapmon

Poet from South Central Los Angeles

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3:00 PM to 3:25 PM

Terry Moore

From Sacramento, California

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 3:25 PM to 3:30 PM

 Introductions by He Said She Said Moderators 

Wanda Sabir, and Charles Chatmon and Patricia Womack



Pearl Jr

Author of Black Women Need Love Too Love from Los Angeles, California

Larry Ukali Johnson-Redd

 author-poet and novelist

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4:10 PM to 4:45 PM

Open Mic and Autographing of books


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Soul Truth

By Larry Ukali Johnson-Redd

I love your

Dark deep tone

And your light brown skin

Really turns me on


Love your

Hazel to dark eyes

Love your curves

And historically close ties


Love to see you while

I'm walking down the street

Really love to see you

Even if we do not speak


Dark and lovely

Light and out of sight

And every sister in between

Know what I mean


Sister you are 

Sweet and tight

One race, one destiny

You know that's right


Springing from

A common root

Black Women are beautiful

And that's the soul truth

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Millions of Black Women

 By Larry Ukali Johnson-Redd

Millions of Black Women

With us on the ship

Millions of Black Women

Together we made the trip

Millions of Black Women

Fine, beautiful and intelligent

 You are heaven sent

We can share a house

Or even a tent

Millions of Black Women

of African origin and decent

Millions of sisters

Stand by their Black Man

On African, Caribbean

Pacific and American Land

Throughout the African World

From the woman to the girl

Millions of beautiful sisters

Assisting the Black Man

Brothers love our sisters

The best way you can!!

Brothers say it loud

We love you

And my sisters

We need you too

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5 Reviews by 5 Strong Black Women

Of  Loving Black Women

By Larry Ukali Johnson-Redd

*   *   *   *   *'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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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

*   *   *   *   *

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 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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Related files: Report on Leimart Park Village Book Fair