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for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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Voodoo Princes I’m not but I been tryna conjure up a spell

For happiness / Yellin’ 108 mantras for 45 days

After I pray / Knees bare from THANK U JESUS when I’m able to crack a smile



Baring My Soul

By Stacey Tolbert

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What's Goin On

                          (Thank u Marvin Gaye for the inspiration)

By Stacey Tolbert


War shoots at the core of my existence

Cuz we got weapons of mass destruction at the local café

Right next to red white and blue YMCA Rec centers

Fatigues tire me

And men in blue tote quiet machine guns to unsuspecting victims

Crack cocaine is the lullaby


politicians and CEO’s

Rock on…

The president has gone out to play

Golf balls hit my favorite tree

And it has invisible lynch marks on it as ancestors watch on

Brown boys hang themselves with phat farm belts and cell phone chargers


Where have all the elders gone?


Pre pubescent shawties push baby carriages while they pop bubblegum and scoff at chipped nails

Babies come pre-disposed with heifer tendencies

Cuz mama grazed on government owned hormonal farms

13 gave her ironed new growth, hip-hop hips, C cup breast,

            BeyonceBritneyJlo booty and newly covered Scooby snack coochie

And folk, my folk, our folk, your folk laugh, point, stare, glare,

be furiously fumin’ at them B.E.T. clothes she wear

But…here’s the catch: 

pops picked em out,

he be scout of all exotic clothing for HIS baby girl

pimp with the plan, curator of the seed, the reason for the bleed,

                     daddy’s lil girl be doin’ homework after oral sex and u, we, us always ask

“chald yo parents know u dressed like that?”

Elementary teachers sayin’ the world is not black and white but shades of gray

does that mean there’s no room for brown, for colors, for rainbows?

Where have all the elders gone?

Millennium kindergartners are clueless about big wheels

Half can’t tell you nuthin’ bout 2 plus 2

But 80 percent can school u on  PS2

Books are on the endangered species list right next to world peace

In times of depression I ponder being a couch potato but

There is no more good television

Or maybe filling my frustrations with good but

McDonald’s fries are still the best but not like they used to be

Voodoo Princes I’m not but I been tryna conjure up a spell

For happiness

Yellin’ 108 mantras for 45 days

After I pray

Knees bare from THANK U JESUS when I’m able to crack a smile

I keep stirrin’ the pot but pieces of joy keep stickin’ to the bottom of the pan

Optimistic spatula already been reality melted down

Some rich robe wearin’ leaders be conservatively preachin’

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy while they

make altar boy’s stay after

but I know a local headliner who gets no story leads…

father “Leroy Jones” don’t neva make the news although his lil shack in the village 

be savin’ souls on the daily

he don’t make altar boys stay after, cuz he makin’ alter calls

he be janitor by night

playin headphones songs of “Victory is mine….victory is mine…vic to ry today is mine…”

but u, we, us

don’t know who Brother Leroy is

cuz his donations come in the form of thanksgiving baskets

for his flock

or love offerins’ of OJT while doin’ OJP, ie; (on the job trainin’ while doin’ on the job prayin”)

and it’s not important that next door is a liquor store

cuz them cats on the corner are always there for Wednesday night Bible study

Where, where have all the elders gone?

Use to be chico stick, now o lator, later gater corner stores and miss Johnson would always

Peek out the door “baby, you on your way home cuz u know yo mama strict bout them street lights,

                         now come get this sweet potato pie I cooked for ya Aunt Mackey’s funeral

                         and tell e’rybody the Johnson’s send there love.”

aint no more elders doin’ that no more.

Hell, we don’t even know our neighbors

I don’t even know my neighbors

Do you even know your neighbors?

Who are your neighbors?


*Copyright 2003 Stacey Renee Tolbert, the brown suga poet*  Anastacia Tolbert Table

*   *   *   *   *'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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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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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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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 1 January 2012




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