ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

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

Google
 

They thanked Michelle because they feel they are completely represented in the White

 House.  Unlike before, they are now ontologically represented.  All dimensions of their

being are represented in Michelle.  Consequently, it is a total understanding . . .

 

 

ChickenBones Best Book of 2009

Go, Tell Michelle
African American Women Write to the New First Lady

Edited Barbara A. Seals Nevergold and Peggy Brooks-Bertram

*   *   *   *   *

 

Women Talking to Michele with One Voice

Vas-y, Parle à Michelle

Par: Jacqueline Jean-Baptiste

(Go, Tell Michelle; African American Women Write to the New First Lady; Compiled and Edited by Barbara A. Seals Nevergold and Peggy Brooks-Bertram; Excelsior Editions; State University of New York Press; Albany, New York)

Des femmes américaines, de descendance africaine; quelques-unes des Caraïbes et directement du continent africain ont exprimé, à Michelle Obama, à travers des lettres, poèmes et contes, leur profonde et joyeuse émotion à l’occasion de l’arrivée à la Maison Blanche, de la Première Famille de descendance africaine.

C’est une belle collection littéraire où la passion se mêle à l’histoire. Ces femmes ont invoqué le long continuum d’évolution des Noirs-américains, des ancêtres à aujourd’hui : De l’esclavage à la ségrégation, aux luttes acharnées pour les droits civils et les souffrances afférentes, à l’acquisition légale des droits, aux luttes pour la mise en oeuvre et le maintien de ces droits, à l’équité et à l’intégration jusqu’au 4 novembre 2008, journée de l’élection de Barack Obama à la présidence des États-Unis d’Amérique.

Très bien écrit; les auteurs sont : ingénieures, médecins, avocates, professeures d’université et d’autres institutions post secondaires, travailleuses sociales, ethnomusicologues, poètes et conteuses, artistes, actrices, mères de famille, organisatrices communautaires, présidente d’université, membres d’assemblées législatives et j’en passe…

De la Californie à New York, de la Floride à l’État de Washington en passant par la Géorgie, l’Utah et audelà; des Caraïbes, du Kenya, du Niger; toutes ces femmes ont parlé à Michelle Obama et, elles l’ont fait à l’unisson.

Elles ont remercié Michelle, parce que maintenant, elles sont complètement représentées à la Maison Blanche. Non pas parce qu’elles n’étaient pas représentées avant, mais parce que, cette nouvelle représentation n’est pas une simple représentation de nombre ou de genre. La représentation par Michelle est aussi une représentation ontologique. Toutes les dimensions de leur être sont représentées chez Michelle d’où une compréhension totale de part et d’autre.

À travers leurs lettres, les femmes ont honoré leur pays, Les États-Unis d’Amérique, de cette capacité de changement qui est la leur. C’est le seul pays au monde, selon les femmes, capable d’effectuer un changement si majeur. C’est le plus beau pays au monde selon ces femmes, parce que porteur de si grandes promesses. Ce sont après tout, les Blancs-américains qui ont rendu possible l’élection de Barack

Obama à la présidence des États-Unis.

Michelle s’est fait appeler : Excellence, Première Dame, Soeur, Tante, Mère. Elle est comparée à une chanson, un proverbe, un symbole même de dignité humaine. Remercier Michelle est une façon, pour les femmes, de reconnaître l’histoire de toutes ces grandes « reines » (les ancêtres) qui sont passées avant.

Les phrases sont puissantes par ce qu’elles expriment et laissent sous-entendre en même temps par ex :

« Thank you for the beautiful face of Black America you have presented to the world… What a wonderful picture you have drawn for the world ».

On le sait trop bien, l’image des Noirs dans les média a été pour la plupart, dégradante et horrifiante.

De vocabulaire soigné, élégant et parfois poétique; c’est un de ces livres qu’on prend plaisir à lire seul /e ou en compagnie, dans la cuisine, à haute voix, à notre mère pendant qu’elle prépare le repas. On peut commencer n’importe où. On peut lire une lettre ou un poème à la fois et refermer jusqu’à la prochaine lecture. Ne pas aimer lire ne peut-être invoqué comme excuse pour ne pas se le procurer.

La faiblesse de ce livre est qu’il s’adresse plutôt à des lecteurs avisés, c’est-à-dire, la génération des personnes d’un certain âge qui sont conscients de l’histoire et de la littérature des Noirs ou des Noirsaméricains.

Pour une personne de culture autre, pour qui jusque-là, l’intérêt pour les Noirs était absent; pour les très jeunes personnes même aux États-Unis, non instruits de l’histoire des Noirs-américains ou des Noirs, une bonne lecture de ce document, sans guide, reste inaccessible.

À travers le livre, on peut constater comment Michelle Obama est scrutée à la loupe. Elle est citée mot à mot. Elle est déjà remerciée pour des promesses qu’elle a faites avant de devenir la Première Dame. Cette très grande effusion d’amour inquiète. Michelle est d’abord et avant tout un être humain, elle commettra des erreurs; elle ne tiendra peut-être pas toutes ses promesses. Michelle est aussi la Première Dame des États-Unis, une population de plus de 300 millions d’habitants, dont les Noirs sont moins de quinze pour cent. Pourra-t-elle répondre aux attentes, et espoirs de cette minorité. Cette passion, survivra-t-elle aux attentes non comblées, aux espoirs déchus. Est-ce une lune de miel? Qu’arrivera-t-il après? C’est l’inquiétude provoquée par la lecture de cette oeuvre littéraire pourtant si agréable.

Fortement recommandé.

Go, Tell Michelle Blog    Facebook Go, Tell Michelle

*   *   *   *   *

Women Talking to Michele with One Voice

Go, Tell Michelle; African American Women Write to the New First Lady

Compiled and Edited by Barbara A. Seals Nevergold and Peggy Brooks-Bertram;

Excelsior Editions; State University of New York Press; Albany, New York.

Book Review by Jacqueline Jean-Baptiste

 

African American women as well as others from the Caribbean and the African continent express their deep and joyful emotions to Michelle Obama through letters and poems and stories.  They are all elated with the arrival of the first African American First family to the White House.  This compilation of letters and poems is a fantastic literary collection where passion mingles with history and represents a long continuum of evolution of African Americans from the ancestors until today.  These letters capture events from slavery to segregation.  They describe hard struggles for civil rights and the suffering that accompanied the struggle up to the winning of rights and the struggle for implementation and maintenance of those rights.  They carry the reader to the struggles for equity, to integration and to November 4, 2008 and the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States of America.

The letters are very well written.  The authors are lawyers, physicians, university professors, social workers, ethno-musicologists, community activists, university presidents, artists, mothers politicians and many more.  They represent every region of the United States from California to New York, from Buffalo, New York to Florida and beyond.  Letters came from the Caribbean, and the African Continent.  On the African continent, they wrote from Kenya, Cameroon, Liberia and Niger and all these women talked to Michelle Obama with one voice.

They thanked Michelle because they feel they are completely represented in the White House.  Unlike before, they are now ontologically represented.  All dimensions of their being are represented in Michelle.  Consequently, it is a total understanding that stretches from her to them.  Through their letters the women honored the United States for this ability to effect such a momentous change.  It is the only country in the world, according to these writers that is capable of such a major change.  It’s the most wonderful country in the world because it has so many promises to fulfill and Michelle Obama as First Lady is one of those promises. These writers saw this change as an achievement brought about by all of the people because a broad and diverse group of Americans worked together to make such a change possible.

The writers addressed the First Lady with numerous titles.  They called her Michelle, Your Excellency, First Lady, Sister, Auntie and Mother.  They made numerous comparisons describing the First Lady as a song or a proverb and saw her as symbolizing human dignity.  “Thanks Michelle” was a way for these women to recognize all those great “queens” who came before.  Their sentences are powerful not only by what they express but by what they did not expressly say.  For example, “thank you for the beautiful face of Black America you have presented to the world . . .what a wonderful picture you have drawn for the world.”  We know too well how images of Blacks in the media are for the most part degrading and horrifying.

They wrote in many voices with a refined vocabulary which was elegant and sometimes poetic.  It is the kind of book one has the pleasure to read alone or in company in the kitchen, out loud to a mother while she prepared dinner.  One can start anywhere, read one letter and close it until the next reading.  Even if one does not like to read this would not be an excuse for not having this book.

If I had any concerns for this lovely book, it would be that the book might benefit from a reading guide so that those not quite aware of African and African American history might be better informed to savor the full depth of the writings.  Further, these writers wish for so much from Michelle and they seem to observe the First Lady through many lens.  They already thank her for things she promised to do before becoming First Lady.  This large expression of love is not without its dangers.  Like each of us, Michelle Obama is a human being subject to making mistakes.  She may not be able to hold all her promises.  Because she is the First Lady for all the people one hopes that the passion expressed in these letters will survive expectation if those expectations are not met.  One wonders.  These are my concerns for this extraordinary book and I highly recommend it.

Go, Tell Michelle Blog    Facebook Go, Tell Michelle

*   *   *   *   *

Read This Book

By Enoch Root

Go, Tell Michelle—African American Women Write to the New First Lady

Compiled and Edited by Barbara A. Seals Nevergold and Peggy Brooks-Bertram  

© State University of New York Press, Albany

 

On November 11, 2008, one week after the election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States of America, two women, Barbara A. Seals Nevergold and Peggy Brooks-Bertram, sent out a call to their black sisters. The call was for letters to the new First Lady, Michelle Obama, with the idea of presenting them in book form. Hundreds of responses poured in through November and December of 2008. The result was this volume of about one hundred letters from women the world over, from all walks of life and across the economic spectrum, from students, academics, mothers and senior citizens.

The overwhelming spirit of all the letters is one of joy, celebration and shared pride in the achievement of one of their own, in having an African American woman as First Lady of The United States of America. Many of the messages are poems. All are clearly written from the heart. They speak of the institutional memory of the time when their ancestors were brought to America, captured, in chains and forced to work to feed and care for the people who enslaved them. They howl at the torment their ancestors felt as their children were sold away from them. And yet the idea emerges that all of that was in preparation for this day, when one who shares these memories, who has faced the daily indignities imposed on their people, could be elected to lead us all.

Read this book! If you are a white male who thinks he has an intellectual understanding of how African Americans feel, both about their past and their hope for their future, read it to begin to understand this in your gut.

Read this book! If you think your country has made a vast mistake with this change in political and cultural direction, read it to at least feel part of the hope this event has brought to an important segment of the population, and of how their past has affected you, even if you don't realize it.

Read this book! If you are an African American woman, read it to share in the joy and celebration of your sisters.

Read this book! It can not help but to bring joy and hope to any heart by sharing the joys and hopes expressed in these letters.

Barbara A. Seals Nevergold and Peggy Brooks-Bertram are co-founders of The Uncrowned Queens Institute for Research and Education on Women, Inc. at University at Buffalo, State University of New York. More information is available at Uncrowned Queens.

Source: http://everything2.com/node/1978315

*   *   *   *   *

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

*   *   *   *   *

The Persistence of the Color Line

Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency

By Randall Kennedy

Among the best things about The Persistence of the Color Line is watching Mr. Kennedy hash through the positions about Mr. Obama staked out by black commentators on the left and right, from Stanley Crouch and Cornel West to Juan Williams and Tavis Smiley. He can be pointed. Noting the way Mr. Smiley consistently “voiced skepticism regarding whether blacks should back Obama” . . .

The finest chapter in The Persistence of the Color Line is so resonant, and so personal, it could nearly be the basis for a book of its own. That chapter is titled “Reverend Wright and My Father: Reflections on Blacks and Patriotism.”  Recalling some of the criticisms of America’s past made by Mr. Obama’s former pastor, Mr. Kennedy writes with feeling about his own father, who put each of his three of his children through Princeton but who “never forgave American society for its racist mistreatment of him and those whom he most loved.”  His father distrusted the police, who had frequently called him “boy,” and rejected patriotism. Mr. Kennedy’s father “relished Muhammad Ali’s quip that the Vietcong had never called him ‘nigger.’ ” The author places his father, and Mr. Wright, in sympathetic historical light.

*   *   *   *   *

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

*   *   *   *   *

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)

*   *   *   *   *

Ancient African Nations

*   *   *   *   *

If you like this page consider making a donation

online through PayPal

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues


1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        

Enjoy!

*   *   *   *   *

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

*   *   *   *   *

The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

*   *   *   *   *

*   *   *   *   *

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

posted 4 March 2009

 

 

 

Home Uncrowned Queens Project Table

Related files:  Dear Michelle Letters    Go, Tell Michelle: African American Women Write to the New First Lady  (book)

Obligation to Fight for the World as It Should Be   The Crossings  Wilson's Obama Poem  Why White America Perhaps Fears Michelle More Than Barack