ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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 a way to learn about world religions.…will touch your heart with its message of enlightened

tolerance and kindness….should be in every library and school



Books by M. Lavora Perry

Wu-Lung and I-Lung / Successful self-Publishing / Taneesha’s Treasures of the Heart

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 Taneesha’s Treasures of the Heart

By M. LaVora Perry

Illustrated by Chris R. Seaman



In author M. LaVora Perry’s Taneesha’s Treasures of the Heart, the main character, Taneesha Bey-Ross, learns about diabetes at the urban Hospital where her mother is a nurse. When Taneesha’s best friend, Carli, is taunted by a bullying older girl because of her physical disability, Taneesha defends Carli and becomes the bullying girl’s target. With faith, hope, courage and friendship, Taneesha helps the bullying girl uncover kindness inside her own heart.

Suzanne DeGaetano, Mac’s Backs Books, Cleveland Heights, Ohio, United States .…a way to learn about world religions.…will touch your heart with its message of enlightened tolerance and kindness….should be in every library and school.”

Jan Godwon, Author of Family Fun in Florida I feel enriched for meeting Taneesha….What with violence in schools, a book that offers concrete ideas on everybody getting along together, ought to be highly sought out by schools & families.”

Kathy Bernetich, Former Executive Director,  Editorial, American Greetings Corporation®, Cleveland Ohio, United States ...a warm and beautiful story of friendship and kindness.” 

Katsuji Nakamura, Lecturer of Japanese Language, School of Arts and Sciences, United States International University, Nairobi, Kenya “carefully constructed...full of humanism…easy to read.”

Melissa Bradford, K-8th grade Teacher, Shorewood, Illinois, United States My 9 year-old said, ‘I loved everything about this story.’ My eyes teared up when I read it.’” 

Ted Lardner, Associate English Professor, Cleveland State University, United StatesHow lovingly these best friends are created.” 

Jeanette Velez, Physician Liaison, Huron Hospital, East Cleveland, Ohio, United States “I think this story will really motivate kids.” 

Sue Garrett, Photographer and Web Designer, Pataskala, Ohio, United States Children will love this book for its honesty.”

Susan Andrus, Author of Beyond Mars and Venus: Lessons in Dialogue and Peace “…touching and powerful . . . clearly shows the pain behind many bullying situations.”

Jamie Upton, Timbuktu Bookstore and Afrikan Gallery, Cleveland Ohio, United States “…a fresh approach to peer conflict.”

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M. LaVora Perry former actress has appeared in film and stage productions in New York and Europe. In 1995 she graduated from Cleveland State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. That same year she became American Greetings Corporation’s® (AG’s) first African-American staff greeting card writer. Since then her writing has appeared on gift items in six countries and on three continents. She was the lead editorial conceptor for AG’s innovative In Rhythm card line. While at AG she earned Creative Excellence awards in the years 1999 and 2000 for writing and editing.

In the 1990’s LaVora was awarded in Cleveland Free Times and Ohio Writer Magazine contests for her short story, “Forgiving.” She has been a contributing writer for Living Buddhism journal and the World Tribune newspaper.

She also seeking a publisher for her new titles, Wu-lung & I-lung, a tender retelling of an ancient Chinese legend of a son’s loyalty to his deceased father and Pictures of My Days: An Art & Writing Book—a lively illustrated work book that helps the young and young at heart imagine and create the tomorrow of their dreams.

LaVora lives with her husband and their three children in Ohio, where she was born and raised. Visit her website for informative articles on Eastern wisdom, pages for children, teachers, parents and everyone and to learn more about her upcoming titles.

Chris R. Seaman is from Canton, Ohio. In fifth grade he once had a detention for drawing pictures instead of doing class work. However, he grew up to graduate at the top of his class at the Columbus College of Art and Design.

Chris illustrated the Harry Potter® collectable card game for Wizards of the Coast® in association with Warner Brothers Studios®. He currently is lives in his hometown of Canton, Ohio and is illustrating new books.

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Blessing the Boats

New and Selected Poems 1988-2000

By Lucille Clifton

Clifton's poems owe a great deal to oral tradition. Her work is wonderfully musical and benefits greatly from being read aloud: "It is hard to remain human on a day/ when birds perch weeping/ in the trees and the squirrel eyes/ do not look away but the dog ones do/ in pity." Her keen sense of rhythm, of the sound, tone, and texture of words, is delightful, a rare find in this day and age. The language is crystal clear and deceptively accessible. The poems are personal, but the distant thunder of history rumbles behind every line. As she says on seeing a photograph: "is it the cut glass/ of their eyes/ looking up toward/ the new gnarled branch/ of the black man/ hanging from a tree?" Clifton's work hearkens back to the days of the Black Arts Movement and sheds light on the new black aesthetic. These are economical slices of ordinary life, celebrations, if you will, of African American existence. With simple language and common sense, she writes of grace, character, and race by way of the personal and familiar. Clifton's voice, her unique vision and wisdom, make this book essential for any serious poetry collection.—Library Journal

*   *   *   *   *'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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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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Hopes and Prospects

By Noam Chomsky

In this urgent new book, Noam Chomsky surveys the dangers and prospects of our early twenty-first century. Exploring challenges such as the growing gap between North and South, American exceptionalism (including under President Barack Obama), the fiascos of Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S.-Israeli assault on Gaza, and the recent financial bailouts, he also sees hope for the future and a way to move forward—in the democratic wave in Latin America and in the global solidarity movements that suggest "real progress toward freedom and justice." Hopes and Prospects is essential reading for anyone who is concerned about the primary challenges still facing the human race. "This is a classic Chomsky work: a bonfire of myths and lies, sophistries and delusions. Noam Chomsky is an enduring inspiration all over the world—to millions, I suspect—for the simple reason that he is a truth-teller on an epic scale. I salute him." —John Pilger

In dissecting the rhetoric and logic of American empire and class domination, at home and abroad, Chomsky continues a longstanding and crucial work of elucidation and activism . . .the writing remains unswervingly rational and principled throughout, and lends bracing impetus to the real alternatives before us.—
Publisher's 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 23 February 2012




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