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for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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Mercy, would you wear my eyes to see

Crosswires training on my suspicious back?

Mercy, are you drunk with the blood of saints, 

Feasting on hate-blessed manna in the gated neighborhood?




Your Eyes Are Haunting Me

                                              By Jerry W. Ward, Jr.

Would you wear my eyes?—Bob Kaufman

Compassion, would you wear my eyes?

Did you say you’d wear my eyes?

Would you read the gothic tale of life

Leaking from the double helix of my skin?


Compassion, did you see what I saw

When you broke the fifth seal of the watch

So I could see death praying after me?

See what you have done.


Blood-blinding white

Around my invisible race:

America, old negated rainbow

Smeared on the paralyzed sky.


Mercy, would you wear my eyes to see

Crosswires training on my suspicious back?

Mercy, are you drunk with the blood of saints,

Feasting on hate-blessed manna in the gated neighborhood?


See what you’ve undone:

Sprigs of green dying in a sea of glass.

Love, would you wear my eyes?

Did God say you could wear my eyes?


Trayvon, your eyes are haunting me.

Essence of innocence is haunting me.

Afflicted with angers, now I see

The bullets that came for you are coming for me.


Your eyes are haunting me.

They’re watching the negated rainbow.

Compassion, mercy and love in your eyes are cheapened dust,

And I shall wear your eyes until revelations scream what is just.

23 March 2012

Would You Wear My Eyes (Bob Kaufman)

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Bob Kaufman (April 18, 1925 – January 12, 1986), born Robert Garnell Kaufman, was an American Beat poet and surrealist inspired by jazz music. In France, where his poetry had a large following, he was known as the "American Rimbaud." . . . His poetry made use of jazz syncopation and meter. The critic Raymond Foye wrote about him, "Adapting the harmonic complexities and spontaneous invention of bebop to poetic euphony and meter, he became the quintessential jazz poet."

Poet Jack Micheline said about Kaufman, "I found his work to be essentially improvisational, and was at its best when accompanied by a jazz musician. His technique resembled that of the surreal school of poets, ranging from a powerful, visionary lyricism of satirical, near dadaistic leanings, to the more prophetic tone that can be found in his political poems." Kaufman said of his own work, "My head is a bony guitar, strung with tongues, plucked by fingers & nails."

After learning of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Kaufman took a Buddhist vow of silence that lasted until the end of the Vietnam War in 1973. He broke his silence by reciting his poem "All Those Ships that Never Sailed," the first lines of which are

All those ships that never sailed

The ones with their seacocks open

That were scuttled in their stalls...

Today I bring them back

Huge and intransitory

And let them sail


Source: Wikipedia

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Text of Obama Comments on Trayvon Martin Case—The Associated Press—23  March 2012—Well, I'm the head of the executive branch, and the attorney general reports to me, so I've got to be careful about my statements to make sure that we're not impairing any investigation that's taking place right now.

But obviously, this is a tragedy. I can only imagine what these parents are going through. And when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids. And I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this, and that everybody pulls together — federal, state and local — to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened.

So I'm glad that not only is the Justice Department looking into it, I understand now that the governor of the state of Florida has formed a task force to investigate what's taking place. I think all of us have to do some soul-searching to figure out how does something like this happen. And that means that examine the laws and the context for what happened, as well as the specifics of the incident.

But my main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon. And I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and that we're going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.—NYTimes

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They killed my son and now they're trying to kill his reputation—Sybrina Fulton (26 March 2012)

 I never foresaw so much hate coming from the President, the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, every organization imaginable is trying to get notoriety or profit from this in some way.—Robert Zimmerman (28 March 2012)

For minutes it seemed Trayvon Martin knew he was being followed by this unidentified person behind him. At one point he said there`s this crazy white dude behind me. I don`t know why he`s following me. And this continues. He tries to run, and then he walks. And then he thinks he loses Zimmerman. And Zimmerman catches up to him. And then they had this confrontation, Trayvon Martin asking Zimmerman, why are you following me? Zimmerman responding, what are you doing here? And the next  thing that this 16-year-old girl says, Dee Dee, that she heard was a scuffle. Trayvon`s treasured phone falls to the ground. She hears the rustle in the grass, and then the phone cuts out.—Matt Gunman (28 March 2012)

I would like to extend my very deepest sympathies to the family and other loved ones of murdered teenager, Treyvon Martin. I am very sad today (and am certain the whole of Ireland is) to learn of poor Treyvon’s terrifying ordeal and horrified by the fact his known and named and admitted killer has not been arrested, despite the crime having taken place a month ago. This is a disgrace to the entire human race.


For those out there who believe black people to be less than pure royalty, let me inform you of a little known, but scientifically proven, many times over, FACT. Which after reading, you will hopefully feel both very stupid and very sorry. For you dishonor your own mothers and grandmothers.

EVERY human being on earth, no matter what their culture, creed, skin colour, or nationality, shares one gene traceable back to one African woman. Scientists have named it ‘The Eve Gene’. This means ALL of us, even ridiculously stupid, ignorant, perverted, blaspheming racists are the descendants of one African woman.

One African woman is the mother of all of us. Africa was the first world. You come from there! Your skin may be ‘white’.. because you didn’t need it to be black any more where you lived. But as Curtis Mayfield said.. ‘You’re just the surface of our dark, deep well’. So you’re being morons. And God is having the last laugh at your ignorant expense.

If you hate black people, its yourself you hate. And the mother who bore you. If you kill or wish ill on black people, its yourself you kill and wish ill on. As well as the mother who bore you.—Sinead O’Conner

It is a tragedy and it is a shame that we're sitting here 33 days later and there hasn't been an arrest, or

questioning of what actually happened.  It's a tragedy and it is a shame and we all know it.—Oprah Winfrey


We are very—we are a very sick country. And our racism is a manifestation of our illness and the ways that we don’t delve into our own wrecks. You know, I mean, we—as a country, we are a wreck. And part of it is that we have never looked to see where it was we went off the trail, you know. So, as shocking, as painful—I could barely look at what had happened for several days. And now I am looking at it, and I just—you know, I feel so much for this young man, because he was beautiful, and he was ours. And I don’t mean just, you know, ours, black people, but all of ours. I mean, these children, they are our future, and they have to be protected.

And I also feel that what is happening, people seem so mystified about why Zimmerman has not been arrested. But if he’s arrested, the police department is in big trouble. So, he knows so much about that police department. And I would think, too, that he should be under some kind of guard now. And if I were his family, that is what I would be concentrating on, if they care about him, keeping him alive, so that whatever happens, he will be able to speak.—Alice Walker 

I think "walking while black" for men, they’re more in fear of being killed. We, as women, are disrespected. And I think I wrote about that in my article. I was taken for—if I was standing on the street at a certain—at night, or even sometimes in the daytime, if I’m standing alone, I was immediately—there was an assumption that I was a prostitute sort of plying my trade, and I was approached very disrespectfully by white men, mostly. African-American men, as I’ve said, are more in fear for their lives. I was just insulted constantly. And it’s something that’s in the back of your mind all the time. You’re a little bit nervous about how you’re being perceived, so you’re always trying to behave—you’re always trying to be better than or even trying to be—as Mamie told us, you’re going to have to be superior. You’re going to have to do so much better than anybody else would have to do, because people immediately expect you to be—they have a stereotype of you, and you’re going to have to defy that. And you have that feeling all of the time. And that’s for black men and black women. . . .

I don’t feel as though—I mean, I live with this every day, and I think a lot of people forget this. I don’t know how much progress has been made. We look—every now and then we see someone who makes it. We have Obama. We have these—we have things like that. But your everyday life, your day-to-day life, if you’re an African-American woman or man, you still feel the things that my parents felt. You’re still nervous about the things that my parents were nervous about. You’re still mistaken—or, you’re still treated the way that my parents were afraid that I would be treated. It’s just an everyday thing for me. So, for those who think that it’s over, they’re not walking in our shoes. We know what goes on every day. We feel this every day.—Cynthia Dagnal-Myron


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Justice, Not Drama, for Trayvon Martin (Margaret Kimberley) / Evidence Of A Police Cover-Up (Lawrence O"Donnell)

Lawrence O'Donnell Interviews Norton Bonaparte, Jr. / Trayvon's Persons at New York Rally

Three men plead guilty to federal hate crimes in Mississippi killing / Jonathan Turley explains the danger of Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law

Obama Speaks On Trayvon Martin  / Castle Doctrine: Bo Morrison Murdered (Ed Show)

*   *   *   *   *'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

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#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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Faces At The Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism

By Derrick Bell

In nine grim metaphorical sketches, Bell, the black former Harvard law professor who made headlines recently for his one-man protest against the school's hiring policies, hammers home his controversial theme that white racism is a permanent, indestructible component of our society. Bell's fantasies are often dire and apocalyptic: a new Atlantis rises from the ocean depths, sparking a mass emigration of blacks; white resistance to affirmative action softens following an explosion that kills Harvard's president and all of the school's black professors; intergalactic space invaders promise the U.S. President that they will clean up the environment and deliver tons of gold, but in exchange, the bartering aliens take all African Americans back to their planet. Other pieces deal with black-white romance, a taxi ride through Harlem and job discrimination. Civil rights lawyer Geneva Crenshaw, the heroine of Bell's And We Are Not Saved (1987), is back in some of these ominous allegories, which speak from the depths of anger and despair. .—Publishers Weekly

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Becoming American Under Fire

Irish Americans, African Americans, and the Politics of Citizenship

During the Civil War Era

By Christian G. Samito

In Becoming American under Fire, Christian G. Samito provides a rich account of how African American and Irish American soldiers influenced the modern vision of national citizenship that developed during the Civil War era. By bearing arms for the Union, African Americans and Irish Americans exhibited their loyalty to the United States and their capacity to act as citizens; they strengthened their American identity in the process. . . . For African American soldiers, proving manhood in combat was only one aspect to their quest for acceptance as citizens. As Samito reveals, by participating in courts-martial and protesting against unequal treatment, African Americans gained access to legal and political processes from which they had previously been excluded. The experience of African Americans in the military helped shape a postwar political movement that successfully called for rights and protections regardless of race. For Irish Americans, soldiering in the Civil War was part of a larger affirmation of republican government and it forged a bond between their American citizenship and their Irish nationalism. For Love of Liberty

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The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama's political success and Oprah Winfrey's financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today... than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don't know the truth about mass incarceration—Publishers Weekly

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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 23 March 2012




Home  Jerry W. Ward Jr. Table   Criminalizing a Race

Related files: Letter to Bob Kaufman  Bob Kaufman Bio   Would You Wear My Eyes    Trayvon Martin Murdered by Wannabe Cop