ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

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There are many generations of uneducated misery / between me and my resilient ancestors.
Their wilted souls like broken bones / provide blood in our red soil.

 

 

Books and CDs by Glenis Redmond

Gwendolyn Knight: Discovering Powerful Images  /  Backbone  / Steam Dreams, an Anthology

Glenis on Poetry (CD)  Monumental (CD)

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Village Cry

By Glenis Redmond

I am living under the dread
of the confederate flag.
In my heart I know…
 
I am taller than plantation pillars.
I am taller than academic towers.
I am taller than the confederate flag flying.
I’ve lasted through five-hundred years of slavery.
 
There are many generations of uneducated misery
between me and my resilient ancestors.
Their wilted souls like broken bones
provide blood in our red soil.
 
I look back.
I don’t see no trail blazed in glory,
just blood soaked cotton.
They tell me roots are lovely.
How would I know?
I can’t touch them.
I can’t hold them.
I can’t see them.
I’ve only held them in my mystical hand.
I’ve seen how they shrivel and shrink
when ripped from familiar soil.
 
They cannot breathe
as I cannot breathe.
I look back…
I don’t see no trail blazed in glory,
just my last name forced on by slavery.
R-E-D-M-O-N-D is too fragile to stretch across these
atlantic waters.
I don’t have no last name,
neither does any other African brought to this american
soil.
There is nothing affirmative action can repair or replace in
thirty years.
Count them!
Five Generations of blood soaked cotton!
The new south cannot stand on the pillars of the old south.
We can dress her up
with Magnolias, Camellias,
Honeysuckle vines.
Blood soaked cotton carries a stench.
I will not close my eyes to it.
I will not go gently.
I will do as Dylan Thomas says.
I will rage.
I will rage.
I will rage.
 
The Berlin Wall toppled.
Apartheid did too.
This flag will go down!
 
And I will be standing taller…
 
taller than plantation pillars.
taller than academic towers.
taller than the confederate flag flying.
 
This flag will go down.
It will be gone with the wind.
There will be no sequel Scarlett,
because, frankly I do give a Damn!

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posted 23 January 2008

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Glenis Redmond is an award-winning performance poet, praise poet, teacher, and writer. For the past twelve years, she has traveled both domestically and abroad, performing and teaching.

Her poetry has won the Carrie McCray literary award 1995, NC Literary Artist Fellowship 2005, Denny C. Plattner Award for Outstanding Poetry, 2005. She is also the two-time recipient of fellowships from both the Vermont Writing Center and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Glenis has been published in numerous literary journals and publications including Stanford University's Black Arts Quarterly, Obsidian II: Black literature in Review, Emrys Journal, Bum Rush The Page: Def Poetry Jam, Appalachian Journal, Appalachian Heritage and African Voices

As a performer, Glenis Redmond was the Southeast Regional Individual Poetry Slam Champion in 1997 and 1998, and placed in the top ten twice in the National Individual Slam Championships. She currently presents a variety of performances for audiences of all ages in venues ranging from top performing arts centers to juvenile detention centers. Glenis has performed in many diverse locations including the Paddington Arts Festival in England, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York City, the Poetry Circus Festival in Taos, New Mexico, and the Peace Center in her native South Carolina.

As a teacher, Glenis Redmond has recently been invited to join the national touring roster for the Kennedy Center's Partnership in Education Teacher Training. She helps both professional and amateur writers from 9-90 find their own poetic voices through workshops and classes across the nation.  Email:  poetica11@aol.com and Website: www.Glenisredmond.com 

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The Blight That Is Still With UsThey still honor Benjamin Tillman down here, which is very much like honoring a malignant tumor. A statue of Tillman, who was known as Pitchfork Ben, is on prominent display outside the statehouse.

Tillman served as governor and U.S. senator in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A mortal enemy of black people, he bragged that he and his followers had disenfranchised “as many as we could,” and he publicly defended the murder of blacks.

In a speech on the Senate floor, he declared:

We of the South have never recognized the right of the negro to govern white men, and we never will. We have never believed him to be the equal of the white man, and we will not submit to his gratifying his lust on our wives and daughters without lynching him.

Real change is more than problematic in a state so warped by its past that it can continue to officially admire a figure like Tillman.

The host of a dinner party I attended was Bud Ferillo, a white public relations executive who produced and directed a documentary called “Corridor of Shame” to call attention to the terrible neglect of rural schools in South Carolina.

If you were to walk into some of those schools — which are spread along a crescent-shaped corridor on either side of Interstate 95 from the southern edge of North Carolina to the northern edge of Georgia — you might forget that you were in the United States.

A former South Carolina commerce secretary, Charles Way, talks in the film about the time his car broke down near one of these schools and he went inside to use a phone.

“I just couldn’t really believe my eyes,” he said. “It was the most deplorable building condition that I’ve ever seen in my life. How the hell somebody could teach in an environment like that is really just beyond me.”

Among many other problems, ancient plumbing has resulted in raw sewage backing up into some schools, bringing in vermin and unbearable odors. The first school profiled in “Corridor of Shame” was built in 1896. Bob Herbert, NYTimes

AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#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 Eroticanoir.com 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

Non-fiction

#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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The Last Holiday: A Memoir

By Gil Scott Heron

Shortly after we republished The Vulture and The Nigger Factory, Gil started to tell me about The Last Holiday, an account he was writing of a multi-city tour that he ended up doing with Stevie Wonder in late 1980 and early 1981. Originally Bob Marley was meant to be playing the tour that Stevie Wonder had conceived as a way of trying to force legislation to make Martin Luther King's birthday a national holiday. At the time, Marley was dying of cancer, so Gil was asked to do the first six dates. He ended up doing all 41. And Dr King's birthday ended up becoming a national holiday ("The Last Holiday because America can't afford to have another national holiday"), but Gil always felt that Stevie never got the recognition he deserved and that his story needed to be told. The first chapters of this book were given to me in New York when Gil was living in the Chelsea Hotel. Among the pages was a chapter called Deadline that recounts the night they played Oakland, California, 8 December; it was also the night that John Lennon was murdered. Gil uses Lennon's violent end as a brilliant parallel to Dr King's assassination and as a biting commentary on the constraints that sometimes lead to newspapers getting things wrong. —Jamie Byng, Guardian / Gil_reads_"Deadline" (audio)  / Gil Scott-Heron & His Music  Gil Scott Heron Blue Collar  Remember Gil Scott- Heron

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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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Enjoy!

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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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ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)

  

 

  

 

 

update 15 February 2012

 

 

 

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