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for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

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Grandpa turned on Youtube and found the site with Langston Hughes reading his classic poem. Meantime Jahmiel found a tape dispenser and pulled off a piece. Gonna tape my mouth. Not now, Jah Amiel, you gonna read with Langston.

 

 

Books by Marvin X

Love and War: Poems  / In the Crazy House Called America / Woman: Man's Best Friend Beyond Religion Toward Spirituality

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The Education of Jah Amiel

By Marvin X

 

Jah Amiel went out the backdoor of his house and knocked on his grandpa's door. Grandpa was lying down proofreading but got up when he heard his grandson at the door. He had to get up for the little savior of the world, as his grandson told him he was going to be.

He opened the door and Jah Amiel came in on a mission as he nears his third year on earth, May 31. "I want to see the American," he told his grandpa excitedly.

What?
The American!
What?
The American!
What?

I want to see the American! His grandpa had no idea what he was talking about, until Jah Amiel pointed to the large poster of Langston Hughes on the wall.

Oh, Langston Hughes?
Yeah. On the computer.
Oh, you want to see Langston Hughes read “I, Too, Am America?”
Yeah.
Ok, ok.

Grandpa turned on Youtube and found the site with Langston Hughes reading his classic poem. Meantime Jahmiel found a tape dispenser and pulled off a piece. Gonna tape my mouth. Not now, Jah Amiel, you gonna read with Langston. Ok. He stopped for a moment to read along with Langston.

I, too, sing America

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes.
But I laugh
And eat well.
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me
"Eat in the kitchen,"
Then.

Besides,
They'll see how beautiful we are
And be ashamed—
I, too, am American.


After reading the poem once, he told his grandpa to play it again and he again recited with Langston, then he put the tape over his mouth.

Lately, Jah Amiel doesn't accompany his grandpa downtown to his Academy of Da Corner. The people ask grandpa where's Jah Amiel? But his mother put him in Montessori school. She told her dad Jah Amiel could come to his school on the weekends.

After he went to school, his grandpa asked him what he learned?

How to play in the sand box.
That's all?
Yeah.

Grandpa thought about it. He figured this might be an important lesson, since many people never learn how to play in the sand box without throwing sand in other people's face and eyes throughout their life.

What did you do today at school, Jah Amiel?
I been working at school and I'm tired.
What kind of work did you do?
I worked. I'm tired.
Well, you better go home to yo mama.
Ok. See you later alligator!
His grandpa replied, after while, crocodile!

20 April 2010

Source: The Education of Jah Amiel

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

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Non-fiction

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#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

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#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
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#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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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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Hopes and Prospects

By Noam Chomsky

In this urgent new book, Noam Chomsky surveys the dangers and prospects of our early twenty-first century. Exploring challenges such as the growing gap between North and South, American exceptionalism (including under President Barack Obama), the fiascos of Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S.-Israeli assault on Gaza, and the recent financial bailouts, he also sees hope for the future and a way to move forward—in the democratic wave in Latin America and in the global solidarity movements that suggest "real progress toward freedom and justice." Hopes and Prospects is essential reading for anyone who is concerned about the primary challenges still facing the human race. "This is a classic Chomsky work: a bonfire of myths and lies, sophistries and delusions. Noam Chomsky is an enduring inspiration all over the world—to millions, I suspect—for the simple reason that he is a truth-teller on an epic scale. I salute him." —John Pilger

In dissecting the rhetoric and logic of American empire and class domination, at home and abroad, Chomsky continues a longstanding and crucial work of elucidation and activism . . .the writing remains unswervingly rational and principled throughout, and lends bracing impetus to the real alternatives before us.—
Publisher's 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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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 20 April 2010

 

 

 

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