ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

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This is a path-breaking, imaginative, comprehensive, indeed magisterial, analysis of

the ways in which death functions in the construction of black subjectivities

in Richard Wright's fiction, autobiographies, and journalism.

 

 

Books by Richard Wright

 

Richard Wright: Early Works  / Black Boy  / Native Son  / Uncle Tom's Children / 12 Million Black Voices  / Richard Wright: Later Works

 

The Outsider  /  Pagan Spain Black Power  /  White Man Listen!  / The Color Curtain Savage Holiday / The Long Dream

Eight Men: Short Stories  / Haiku / American Hunger / Lawd Today!  /  A Father’s Law

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The Death Bound Subject

Richard Wright's Archaeology of Death

 

By Abdul R. JanMohamed

 

During the 1940s, in response to the charge that his writing was filled with violence, Richard Wright replied that the manner came from the matter, that the "relationship of the American Negro to the American scene [was] essentially violent," and that he could deny neither the violence he had witnessed nor his own existence as a product of racial violence.

Abdul R. Jan Mohamed provides extraordinary insight into Wright's position in this first study to explain the fundamental ideological and political function of the threat of lynching in Wright's work and thought. JanMohamed argues that Wright's oeuvre is s systematic and thorough investigation of what he calls the death-bound-subject, the subject who is formed from infancy onward by the imminent threat of death.

Jan Mohamed shows that with each successive work, Wright delved further into the question of how living under a constant menace of physical violence affected his protagonists and how they might "free" themselves by overcoming their fear of death and redeploying death as the ground for their struggle. The Death-Bound-Subject is a stunning reevaluation of the work of a major twentieth century American writer, but it is also much more. In demonstrating how deeply the threat of death is involved in the formation of black subjectivity, JanMohamed develops a methodology for understanding the presence of the death-bound-subject in African American literature from the earlier slave narratives forward.Publisher, Duke University Press

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This is a path-breaking, imaginative, comprehensive, indeed magisterial, analysis of the ways in which death functions in the construction of black subjectivities in Richard Wright's fiction, autobiographies, and journalism. It both expands our understanding of Wright's achievement and models a way in which the spectre of violence, lynching, and death may be seen to shadow and shape a trajectory of African American cultural production.Valerie Smith, author of Not Just Race, Not Just Gender: Black Feminist Readings

 

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Abdul JanMohamed reworks the concept of "social death" to read Richard Wright in comprehensive and provocative ways. At the same time, he offers a new account of slavery, rewriting Hegel and psychoanalysis along the way to rethink "lordship and bondage" as the "death contract" and to discern the precise and various ways in which autonomy and freedom are asserted. This book is enormously impressive in its sweep, its detailed consideration of Wright's corpus, its theoretical ambitions, and the new and compelling paradigm it offers for rethinking slavery, death, and resistance.Judith Butler, Maxine Elliott Professor at the University of California, Berkeley

 

Abdul R. JanMohamed is Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley. he is the author of Manichean Aesthetics: The Politics of Literature in Colonial Africa and a coeditor of The Nature and Context of Minority Discourse

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We Flew Over the Bridge

The Memoirs of Faith Ringgold

 

In We Flew Over the Bridge one of the country's preeminent African American artists and award-winning children's book authors shares the fascinating story of her life. Faith Ringgold was born in Harlem in 1930. Her artworksstartling "story quilts," politically charged paintings and morehang in the Studio Museum of Harlem, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and other major museums around the world. Her children's books, including the Caldecott Honor Book Tar Beach, have sold hundred of thousands of copies. but Ringgold's path to success has not been easy. in this gorgeously illustrated memoir, she looks back and shares the story of her struggles, growth, and triumphs.Ringgold recollects how she had to surmount a wall of prejudices as she worked to refine her artistic vision and raise a family. At the same time, the story she tells is one of warm family memories and sustaining friendships, community involvement, and hope for the future.Publisher

Faith Ringgold was born in Harlem in 1930, She began painting more than forty years ago, and has exhibited in museums in the United States, Europe, South America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. In addition to Tar Beach, the children's books she has written and illustrated include Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky, If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks, and My Dream of Martin Luther King. Ringgold has received more than seventy-five awards, fellowships, citations, and honors, including seventeen honorary doctorates. She lives in Englewood, new Jersey.Faith Ringgold   Faculty at The Visual Arts Department of UCSD

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Faith Ringgold: Paints Crown Heights / Faith Ringgold: Quilting as an Art Form  / Faith Ringgold, artist

World-renowned artist and writer Faith Ringgold discusses her evolution as an artist and the influence her mother had on her art in this 1998 interview for State of the Arts. Ringgold's exhibit, The French Connection at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York is presented.

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Tar Beach (Ringgold) / Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky (Ringgold)

 

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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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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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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 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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posted 12 June 2005

 

 

 

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