ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

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  My neighbor on my left just moved the other day / junk scattered in the alley out back

 

 

 

The street I live on is dying

By Rudolph Lewis

 

There’s a summer-league basketball court, rec center,

just right up across the street where I live, hoppers come.

The sun is hot in the long evenings. But they don’t live on

 

this street like politicians who stay elsewhere. Down on

Whitlock, on a pole, blue light flashing—across from a Korean

Cut-Rate that used to belong to Little Willie, now in his 90s—

 

snapping me with a bottle in a brown skin bag, boys in baggy

pants & long t-shirts they got stories of rollers & snitches.

My neighbor on my right he died a year ago My neighbor on

 

my left just moved the other day—junk scattered in the alley

out back. Down a little, old man with vicious dog. Houses

boarded up down by Retreat. There are no children who laugh

 

on this street. I heard a noise down in my kitchen, one man

in the alley with a shopping cart, another at my iron door with

crow bar, bending, I ask him what the mf he doing—he did not

 

run he thought the house abandoned. I said man get the fuck out

my yard. He walked slow back to the alley & his shopping cart.

This street I live on is dying as my hair grows gray and thin . . .

posted 27 November 2005

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Responses 

Rudy, you have really captured the "feel" of that street, the sense of decay, of the downward spiral, with details that the reader can see:  the kids in baggy pants, the guy with the shopping cart, and the one with the crowbar.  I know the Druid Hill area, which used to be filled with working class folk who had hopes & dreams.  I wonder how long it'll be before the White folk move in with their sheet rock and two by fours—or their bulldozers—and take back the neighborhood, like they're doing in Dee Cee around Florida and U Street, an area that the Black middle class abandoned, didn't want.  Gentrification is in full swing there now.—Miriam

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

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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.

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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

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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

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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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updated 24 February 2012

 

 

 

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Related files: For Stan Tookie Williams   Postcard from Hell  Ode to Bowling Balls   When They Flooded New Orleans   The street I live on is dying  Will the people ever wake up?   I Choose Us: The African