ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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Help Save ChickenBones—Our Literary Journal

An Appeal by The Committee to Keep ChickenBones A Journal


Mackie Blanton                                                                                                                                                                   Floyd Hayes              

Send contributions to: ChickenBones: A Journal /  2005 Arabian Drive / Finksburg, MD 21048


I became aware of Rudy Lewis’ labor of love a few short months ago during a visit to Kalamu ya Salaam’s e-drum listserv. As soon as I saw the title of the journal I knew it was about Black folks, and the power of the written word.  A quick click took me into a journal that’s long on creativity, highlighting well-known, little known, and a little known writers, and commitment to the empowerment of Black folks. I contacted Rudy to ask if he’d consider publishing some of my work. His response was immediate, and a couple of days after I’d forwarded some poems to him—they were part of ChickenBones. What I didn’t know was that this journal has been surviving for the last five years with very little outside financial support. . .  If we want journals like this to “thrive” we need to support them with more than our website hits, praise, and submissions for publication consideration.—Peace, Mary E. Weems (January 2007)


Rudy, I don't know if I've mentioned it recently but 'bones looks great.  There's not much out there to compete with it as a presenter of Black literary and philosophical thought. I'm constantly referring folk to it.—Chuck (9/28/07)



Dear Friends of ChickenBones

We have all been blessed over the last several years by the on-line journal known as ChickenBones: A Journal . We have had everyday access to original intellectual work by some of the most important artists and theorists of the past 100 years, made possible by the dedicated and selfless labor of the singular Rudy Lewis.

Rudy has been performing the same kind of cultural labor that earned Langston Hughes his respect as a midwife of the Harlem Renaissance and Dudley Randall his own as the man behind Broadside Press and the Black Arts Movement. One glance at the ChickenBones website is enough to convince anyone of this idea.

We cannot forget that behind every great artist there is a whole army of talented everyday workers such as Rudy who, like Dudley Randall did, takes the greatest pleasure in simply raising up other artists, and who has no problem with the anonymity that often comes with this kind of behind-the-scenes labor. And yes, like the great Dudley Randall was in his life, Rudy is a librarian. 

Rudy is hardly anonymous to those of us who know him and depend personally on his work at ChickenBones, but, for the million readers who visited the site last year, he probably is. This year ChickenBones was visited by 1.5 million people, and this coming year we expect even more. For information about the basic facts of ChickenBones, read the Conversation on ChickenBones Survival

What most readers of ChickenBones do not know is that Rudy carefully maintains the website without any financial support from readers or grant-giving institutions. The time has come for things to change here, because we simply cannot lose ChickenBones, it's not an option.

There are essential infrastructural improvements that must be made. For example, there is an urgent need for new hardware, software, DLS internet provider, web hosting and security services, as well as technical assistance.   Our fund-raising goal is $25,000. But, even more important, there is the fact that Rudy needs to be compensated for his valuable editorial labors. We are asking folk to join us in helping to support Rudy and his irreplaceable work at ChickenBones.

In concluding his great book The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual , Harold Cruse wrote that the intellectual horizons of the black intelligentsia have been so narrowed in scope and banalized by the American corrosion that Negro creativity has been diminishing since the 1920s. The staying power of Rudy Lewis's work at ChickenBones is the way he has helped to reverse this trend, all by himself, by broadening our horizons each and every day. Tell Rudy you know this by cutting him a check.

Donations (check or money order) should be made out to ChickenBones: A Journal and sent to: 

ChickenBones: A Journal

2005 Arabian Drive

Finksburg, MD 21048

ChickenBones Statistical Activity

ChickenBones is not listed as a charitable organization. Patrons will need to make individual decisions regarding how they wish to claim for income tax purposes.

Thank you for your support.


The Committee to Keep ChickenBones Alive

            Rudolph Lewis, Founding Editor 

            Miriam DeCosta-Willis

            Jerhretta DaFina Suite

            Eugene B. Redmond

            Jeannette Drake

            Joyce E. King

            Louis Reyes Rivera

            Jonathan Scott

            Patricia Jabbeh Wesley

            Sandra L. West


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Responses from Friends



African American Writers Meet Rudolph Lewis
  The man behind ChickenBones

  By Jane Musoke-Nteyafas
 First published: April 18, 2006

The Death of a Prophet, of Creative Militancy  / The Heart & Soul of America Are at Stake -- Which Way Now?  / Remember Cheikh Anta Diop

*   *   *   *   *'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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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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Scorched Earth: Legacies of Chemical Warfare in Vietnam

By Fred A. Wilcox  and  Introduction by Noam Chomsky

Scorched Earth is the first book to chronicle the effects of chemical warfare on the Vietnamese people and their environment, where, even today, more than 3 million people—including 500,000 children—are sick and dying from birth defects, cancer, and other illnesses that can be directly traced to Agent Orange/dioxin exposure. Weaving first-person accounts with original research, Vietnam War scholar Fred A. Wilcox examines long-term consequences for future generations, laying bare the ongoing monumental tragedy in Vietnam, and calls for the United States government to finally admit its role in chemical warfare in Vietnam. Wilcox also warns readers that unless we stop poisoning our air, food, and water supplies, the cancer epidemic in the United States and other countries will only worsen, and he urgently demands the chemical manufacturers of Agent Orange to compensate the victims of their greed and to stop using the Earth’s rivers, lakes, and oceans as toxic waste dumps. Vietnam has chosen August 10—the day that the US began spraying Agent Orange on Vietnam—as Agent Orange Day, to commemorate all its citizens who were affected by the deadly chemical. Scorched Earth will be released upon the third anniversary of this day, in honor of all those whose families have suffered, and continue to suffer, from this tragedy. Noam Chomsky & Fred Wilcox Book-TV

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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 21 November 2011



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