ChickenBones: A Journal

for  Literary & Artistic African-American  Themes


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"It has been my good fortune," said President Taft, at the dedication of the Carnegie Library

of Howard University, "to stand with Mr. Carnegie and to speak with him from the same platform

at Tuskegee, at Hampton, and here, and to hear his accents of encouragement to the colored race . . ."



Writing Books and Libraries

 Glossary of Latin Terms


ARMARIUM, a closet or covered niche; a place for books.

ARMARIUS, a librarian (medieval).

ATRAMENTARIUM, an inkstand.


BIBLINUS, of; or made from, papyrus-from hiblus, poetical term for papyrus.

BIBLIOPOLA, a bookseller.

BIBLIOTHECA, a library.

BIBLIOTHECALIS THESAURUS, a repository for books.

BIBLIOTHECARIUS, a librarian (classical).

BIBLIOTHECULA, a small library.

BIBLUS, another word for papyrus.

CALAMUS, a pen.

CAMISIA, literally, a linen nightgown: a Cover for a box in which a codex or scroll was kept.

CAPSA, a chest or box.

CHARTA, a leaf of papyrus; a writing; a letter.

CHARTARIUS, a paper merchant

CHARTOPOLA, a paper merchant.

CODEX, literally, a block of wood: a: book, because a bound book looks like a block.

COLOPHON, colophon; literally the summit, or top--i.e., end--of a book. 

CUNEUS, literally, a wedge: the wedge-shaped space between panels in walls-a corner used for books; a nook.

DIPTYCHA, a writing tablet of two leaves the faces of which folded together, the outer surfaces forming a cover.

ESCHATOL, the last page of a codex.

GRAPHIATHECA, a case for a stilus.

HORREA CHARTARIA, a government warehouse for storing papyrus.

INDEX, a title or superscription.

LIBER, literally, the inner bark of a tree; a book.

LIBRARIOLUM, a small bookcase.

LIBRARIUM, a place to keep books.

LIBRARIUS, a scribe; a copyist.

MEMBRANA, a thin skin prepared for writing.

NIDUS, literally, a nest; a nook or small place for books.

PAGINA, a page.

PAPYRUS, papyrus.

PEGMA, a fixture made of boards; a bookcase.

PERGAMENTA, parchment.

PLUTEUS, a bookshelf; bookcase; also a desk used for books.

PROTOCOLLUM, first leaf of a codex.

PUGILLARES CERAR, wax writing-tablets-that which can be held in the hand.

RUBRICA, red color made from ocher; hence a red title, a rubric.

SCRINIUM, a case or box or chest in which to keep books or papers.

SEPIA, ink derived from the black fluid ejected by the cuttlefish.

SPONGIA, a sponge; an eraser.

STILUS, a style used for writing in wax, made of wood, ivory, or metal.


TABULAE, thin oblong-shaped sheets of wood covered with wax and having a raised edge all around to prevent the sheets from adhering and so obliterating the writing.

THECA, a case; sometimes a shelf for books.

TITULUS, a title or superscription; a ticket.

TOMUS, a tome or volume from Greek tomos.

UMBILICUS, the projecting end of the rod on which a manuscript was rolled, and used as a handle.

VOLUMEN, literally, something rolled up; a volume.

Source: James Westfall Thompson, Ancient Libraries. University of California Press, 1940.

*   *   *   *   *'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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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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Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power

By Zbigniew Brzezinski

By 1991, following the disintegration first of the Soviet bloc and then of the Soviet Union itself, the United States was left standing tall as the only global super-power. Not only the 20th but even the 21st century seemed destined to be the American centuries. But that super-optimism did not last long. During the last decade of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st century, the stock market bubble and the costly foreign unilateralism of the younger Bush presidency, as well as the financial catastrophe of 2008 jolted America—and much of the West—into a sudden recognition of its systemic vulnerability to unregulated greed. Moreover, the East was demonstrating a surprising capacity for economic growth and technological innovation. That prompted new anxiety about the future, including even about America’s status as the leading world power. This book is a response to a challenge. It argues that without an America that is economically vital, socially appealing, responsibly powerful, and capable of sustaining an intelligent foreign engagement, the geopolitical prospects for the West could become increasingly grave. The ongoing changes in the distribution of global power and mounting global strife make it all the more essential that America does not retreat into an ignorant garrison-state mentality or wallow in cultural hedonism but rather becomes more strategically deliberate and historically enlightened in its global engagement with the new East.

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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

Browse all issues

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


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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 4 February 2012




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Related files: Writing History    The Bible Itself A Library  What Is A Library?  Writing and Libraries