ChickenBones: A Journal

for  Literary & Artistic African-American  Themes

   

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Emily Blake, born a slave, was the mother  of musician, composer, performer Eubie Blake, whose parents

were both freed slaves. His father  worked as a stevedore on the Baltimore docks. Emily, his mother took in

washing to earn a few dollars. To supplement the family income, Eubie the teenager born in 1883

in Baltimore, Maryland sneaked out of the house every night to play piano at a bordello

 

 

 Books on A'lelia Walker

 

 Ben Neihart. Rough Amusements: The True Story of A'Lelia Walker, Patroness of the Harlem Renaissance's Down-Low Culture. 2003

 

Tananarive Due. The Black Rose: The Dramatic Story of Madam C.J. Walker, America's First Black Female Millionaire. 2001

A'Lelia Bundles. On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker. 2002

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Forgotten & Under-Appreciated Black Women

They Kept America Cleaned and Pressed

 

 

Businesswoman

Sarah Breedlove Walker (1867-1919)

Registered Nurse 

Mary Eliza Mahoney (1845-1926)

Philanthropist

Oseola McCarty (1908-1999)

Methodist Evangelist, Missionary, Temperance Reformer

Amanda Berry Smith (1837–1915)

Mother of a Poet

Matilda Jane Dunbar (d. 1943)

Oscar Winning Actress 

Hattie McDaniel (1895-1952)

 To 'Joy My Freedom  

Vanishing Washerwoman  

Washerwomen 

Sons & Daughters 

Amanda Smith Autobiography 

Washerwomen in Brooklyn  

Washer-Woman Poem   

Washerwomen in Baltimore  

John Henrik Clarke   

Fifty Influential Figures

 

Mother of a Composer/Musician, Eubie Blake

Emily Blake, born a slave, was the mother  of musician, composer, performer Eubie Blake, whose parents were both freed slaves. His father  worked as a stevedore on the Baltimore docks. Emily, his mother took in washing to earn a few dollars. To supplement the family income, Eubie the teenager born in 1883 in Baltimore, Maryland sneaked out of the house every night to play piano at a bordello in Baltimore's tenderloin district. he made more in a night than his father made in a week.

Bibliography

Bundles, A'Lelia Perry. Madam C.J. Walker. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1991.

 

Due, Tananarive. The Black Rose: The Magnificent Story of Madam C.J. Walker, America's First Black Female Millionaire. New York: Ballantine Publishing Group, 2000.

 

Eldred, Sheila Mulrooney. "Inventing Dreams: Sarah Breedlove Walker (18671919)." New Moon, January/February 1998.

 

Leavitt, Judith A. American Women Managers and Administrators. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1985.

 

Snodgrass, Mary Ellen. Late Achievers: Famous People Who Succeeded Late in Life. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 1992.

 

Vare, Ethlie Ann, and Gret Ptacek. Mothers of Invention from the Bra to the Bomb: Forgotten Women and Their Unforgettable Ideas. New York: Morrow, 1988.

 

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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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On Her Own Ground

The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker

By A'Lelia Bundles

On Her Own Ground is the first full-scale, definitive biography of Madam C. J. Walker— the legendary African American entrepreneur and philanthropist—by her great-great-granddaughter, A'Lelia Bundles. The daughter of slaves, Madam C. J. Walker was orphaned at seven, married at fourteen and widowed at twenty. She spent the better part of the next two decades laboring as a washerwoman for $1.50 a week. Then -- with the discovery of a revolutionary hair care formula for black women—everything changed. By her death in 1919, Walker managed to overcome astonishing odds: building a storied beauty empire from the ground up, amassing wealth unprecedented among black women and devoting her life to philanthropy and social activism. Along the way, she formed friendships with great early-twentieth-century political figures such as W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington. On Her Own Ground is not only the first comprehensive biography of one of recent history's most amazing entrepreneurs and philanthropists, it is about a woman who is truly an African American icon. Drawn from more than two decades of exhaustive research, the book is enriched by the author's exclusive access to personal letters, records and never-before-seen photographs from the family collection. Bundles also showcases Walker's complex relationship with her daughter, A'Lelia Walker, a celebrated hostess of the Harlem Renaissance and renowned friend to both Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston.

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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)

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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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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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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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update 14 February 2012

 

 

 

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Related files:   To 'Joy My Freedom   Vanishing Washerwoman   Washerwomen  Sons & Daughters  Amanda Smith Autobiography  Washerwomen in Brooklyn  

Washer-Woman Poem    Washerwomen in Baltimore   John Henrik Clarke    Fifty Influential Figures