ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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Collectively, we were a Role Model for transforming

blood, pain, and death into Jazz-Art-Renaissance.

Dialectical Transformation, lead into golden wonder.



Books by Askia M. Touré

From the Pyramids to the Projects: Poems of Genocide and Resistance!  / Dawnsong:The Epic Memory of Askia Toure


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Three for “O” in Light and Shadow

                                     By Askia M. Touré


Young “O” stormed out of the Illinois plains,

a modern Nefertari striding by his side,

the salvation of a nation his quest-like goal,

as precious to his soul as his dusky bride…**


Sideways: Zen/Karma


Mostly, it seems, this life—this sacred, subtle,

ominous life—is itself a kind of karma.

Each of us human with a fixed number of breaths,

can, like Barack, attempt

to change our

zany World.   Disciplined, serious,

dedicated, motivated adults—

like Barack and Michelle—moving

through karma—and that

will to move, that

motivation to speak,

reach out—to the human

family—a karmic response.


Myself these days, in serious

burn-out. Oh, the overall

response, warrior-instincts

are there, riding

the waves of outrage,

passion, social conscience. But,

somehow something

inside has pulled the plug

motivation-wise—and now,

I don’t desire to move

that way anymore.

Now it’s “another When,”

Sideways. Zen. “another

When.” Balmy, blue skies,

Breezes along familiar shores.


Rain, drizzle, puddles

among dazzling flowers.

The whole Mother

Earth motivation;

and young hearts,

minds, souls,

pure ones,

future lives

growing inside

our longing

for daybreak

beyond climactic

overkill.   Youths are

The actual future

growing like tender,

green shoots and

tiny buds gaining

color, perfume,

among us.

And perhaps

We humans can

finally get it

right. Barack

and Michelle, in

cool, spring rain,

holding Sasha’s and

Malia’s hands.




     The Love-Fires Burning



Glow in your Nefertiti golden

dress, Michelle, my love, address

the Euro Ideal with soulful Chicago

Jazz, Michelle Robinson of the Southside,

Now Queen of America! First Lady of millions

liberated from Malcolm’s

American Nightmare. The tall, amber

man, dignified beyond belief, strides

boldly beside you, while millions cheer,

thrilled and dazzled by the splendor

of their massive Direct Action, in bleak

neighborhoods, Bushified by poverty’s talons.

Beautiful dreams by multi-millions

of democratic decency. Norman Rockwell,

maybe? But if millions dream it and live it,

then it grows from vision to national fact.

Right now, Comrades, don’t remind me of

sinister politicos pulling strings—from Wall St.

to State St.; shadowy “operatives” bugging

phones, making hit-lists headed by a slim,

charismatic poet-orator with a mean,

left-hand jump-shot from mid-court.

Children’s eyes sparkle from Watts, Harlem,

Chinatown, to the Barrios; they reflect

those of Sasha and Malia.

Tomorrow, the hard-core Race/Class analysis.

Tonight, this tall, voluptuous queen in

shimmering white gown, dancing with

Mister Wonderful, while Beyonce echoes

the soul vibrations of millions: At Last!



Jeremiah Wright: A Warning


In this great, virgin land, “America,” we have

been the black oil bubbling beneath the soil—

not the bottom soil, the bedrock, no,

the oil beneath it—three fifths of a human being.

Through centuries of struggle, toil, sacrifice, we arose,

with our blood, to the black bottom soil. Through

three and a half centuries, we have inched

our way, but always being the Shadow, the lowest

of the low. Because this structure we climbed through

was the vicious, murderous Anglo-American mind.

Like Sisyphus, we had our infamous rock; though

Douglas, Delany, Tubman, and Ida Wells

might’ve imagined Prometheus chained to the evil

Rock of Color. Mainly though, we endured, and in

surviving, created some of the World’s greatest Art—

today’s Blues, Jazz, Gospel and Soul, birthing

a new Paradigm for human survival.


Collectively, we were a Role Model for transforming

blood, pain, and death into Jazz-Art-Renaissance.

Dialectical Transformation, lead into golden wonder.

Always the voices of our Djalis (griots) led us, lit our

Paths, whether as Johnson’s “God’s Trombones,” or

the trumpet blasts of Garvey, Dr. King, or Malcolm X.

The suffering, Dialectical Transformation, and

the sacred/secular Djalis, Ma Rainey, Joe Williams,

Aretha, Mahalia, Odetta, Robeson, Jeremiah Wright.

Djalis, embodying Ancestor voices. . . . Reverend Wright

Is like my community; I could no more renounce him

than renounce my family. Ancestor voices.

God speaking through the flesh; from the bubbling

oil beneath the soil, oil beneath the bloody bed-

rock of our Being. Voice of Nat Turner, Frederick

Douglas’ Fourth of July, Malcolm X’s “The Ballot

Or the Bullet”; expressing Dr. King’s Vietnam,

American Nightmares, Toni Morrison’s “Playing in

the Dark.” Renounce your Ancestor voices at a

Terrible price. Beware the Furies of Apocalypse!

** From “O”, an Urban Folk-epic (work-in-progress).

Nefertari, Nefertiti, famous historic queens of Nile Valley African Antiquity.

Askia Muhammad Touré, right alongside Amiri Baraka , Larry Neal, Sonia Sanchez, Audre Lorde, June Jordan, etc., is considered one of the principal architects of the 1960s Black Arts/Black Aesthetic movements. A member of the legendary Umbra Group and of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Touré has remained an activist poet of conscience throughout his years. His other books include Earth (1968), JuJu: Magic Songs for the Black Nation (with playwright Ben Caldwell / 1970), Songhai! (1972), and From the Pyramids to the Projects (1990), which won an American Book Award. Widely published in Black Scholar, Soulbook, Black Theatre, Black World, and Freedomways, his poems and essays have embodied the ideology of a people seeking to reclaim their images and history. His recent publications include two collections of poetry Mother Earth Responds: Green Poems and Alternative Visions (Whirlwind Press), and African Affirmations: Songs for Patriots (Africa World Press). 

*   *   *   *   *'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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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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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as "the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field 'cut their teeth'."

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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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posted 12 February 2009




Home     Mau Mau Aesthetics   Black Arts and Black Power Figures

Related files:  Dawnsong Reviews   Rudy Interviews Askia Touré      Rudy Interviews Askia Touré 2    Osirian Rhapsody: A Myth    Askia on Pan Africanism   Ashe a Poem for Iya Barbara Ann Teer