ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

Home  ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)

Google
 

If I ainít African / how come my feet do this African dance? 

How come every time / Iím in New Orleans or Charleston 

I fall into a trance? 

 

 

Books by Asa G. Hilliard, III

 

Teachings of Ptahhotep: The Oldest Book in the World The Maroon Within Us  / SBA: The Reawakening of the African Mind

 

African Power  / Young Gifted and Black: Promoting High Achievement

 

*   *   *   *   *

 

If I Ain't African 

By Glenis Redmond 

If I ainít African 

someone tell my heart 

to stop beating like a djembe drum. 

 

If I ainít African 

someone tell my hair 

to stop curling up like the continent 

it is from. 

 

If I ainít African 

someone tell my lips 

to stop singing a Yoruban song. 

Someone speak to my hips, 

tell them their sway 

is all wrong. 

 

If I ainít African 

how come I know the way home 

along the Ivory Coast? 

Feel it in my breast of bones. 

 

If I ainít African 

how come my feet do this African dance? 

How come every time 

Iím in New Orleans or Charleston 

I fall into a trance? 

 

If I ainít African how come 

I know things Iím not supposed to know 

about the middle passage-slavery 

feel it deep down in my soul? 

 

If I ainít African 

someone tell their gods 

to stop calling on me, 

Obatala, Ellegba, Elleggua, 

Oshun, Ogun! 

 

Tell me why I faint 

every time 

there is a full moon. 

 

 

If I ainít African 

how come I hear 

Africa Africa Africa 

everywhere I go? 

Hear it in my heartbeat 

hear it high 

hear it low. 

 

If I ainít African 

someone tell my soul 

to lose itís violet flame. 

Someone tell their gods 

to call another name. 

Someone take this drumbeat 

out of my heart. 

 

Someone give my tongue 

a new mouth 

to part. 

 

If I ainít African 

someone tell my feet 

to speak to my knees 

to send word to my hips 

to press a message on to my breast 

to sing a song 

to my lips 

to whisper in my ear, 

 

If I ainít African 

If I ainít African 

If I ainít African 

 

PLEASE 

 

tell my eyes 

Ďcause if I ainít African, 

I ainít liviní, and 

God knows, 

I ainít 

 

ALIVE! 

 

posted 16 August 2007

*   *   *   *   *

Glenis Redmond is an award-winning performance poet, praise poet, teacher, and writer. For the past twelve years, she has traveled both domestically and abroad, performing and teaching.

Her poetry has won the Carrie McCray literary award 1995, NC Literary Artist Fellowship 2005, Denny C. Plattner Award for Outstanding Poetry, 2005. She is also the two-time recipient of fellowships from both the Vermont Writing Center and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Glenis has been published in numerous literary journals and publications including Stanford University's Black Arts Quarterly, Obsidian II: Black literature in Review, Emrys Journal, Bum Rush The Page: Def Poetry Jam, Appalachian Journal, Appalachian Heritage and African Voices

As a performer, Glenis Redmond was the Southeast Regional Individual Poetry Slam Champion in 1997 and 1998, and placed in the top ten twice in the National Individual Slam Championships. She currently presents a variety of performances for audiences of all ages in venues ranging from top performing arts centers to juvenile detention centers. Glenis has performed in many diverse locations including the Paddington Arts Festival in England, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York City, the Poetry Circus Festival in Taos, New Mexico, and the Peace Center in her native South Carolina.

As a teacher, Glenis Redmond has recently been invited to join the national touring roster for the Kennedy Center's Partnership in Education Teacher Training. She helps both professional and amateur writers from 9-90 find their own poetic voices through workshops and classes across the nation.  Email:  poetica11@aol.com and Website: www.Glenisredmond.com 

  *   *   *   *   *

Responses

Glenis, What a really marvelous poem - so apt, so heart-touching, soul-stirring, identity-affirming, so much of what Africans need to hear - continental and diasporan!  Congrats! óDr. Rose Ure Mezu

AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books

For July 1st through August 31st 2011
 

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 Ė 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

*   *   *   *   *

 

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 Mammyís behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folksí domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own familyís 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.

*   *   *   *   *

 

Sex at the Margins

Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry

By Laura MarŪa AgustŪn

This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura AgustŪn makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. "Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality."óLisa Adkins, University of London

*   *   *   *   *

The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Boisí Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

*   *   *   *   *

Ancient African Nations

*   *   *   *   *

If you like this page consider making a donation

online through PayPal

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues


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

Enjoy!

*   *   *   *   *

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

*   *   *   *   *

The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

*   *   *   *   *

*   *   *   *   *

 

 

 

 

 

 updated 16 October 2007 

 

 

 

Home E Ethelbert Miller   Jamie Walker Table

Related files: Lifting   Mama's Magic  / She /   Mango /  If I Aint African / Village Cry  /  ClassWhat We CarryPlaying the Race Game in South Carolina