ChickenBones: A Journal

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One truth anyone reading these pieces ought to get is the sense of

movement—the struggle, in myself, to understand where and who I am

 

 

 

 Books by Amiri Baraka

Tales of the Out & the Gone  / The Essence of Reparations / Somebody Blew Up America & Other Poems  / Blues People

 Autobiography of LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka / Selected Poetry of Amiri Baraka/LeRoi Jones / Black Music

*   *   *   *   *

LeRoi Jones: Black Man as Victim

 By Donald P. Costello

 

LeRoi Jones, in a 1962 address to the American Society for African Culture, insisted that the job of the Negro writer was to portray “the emotional history of the black man in this country: as its victim and its chronicler.”  Jones the dramatist has taken his own advice.  The black man is the victim in Jones’ plays, and Jones himself, with an increasingly strident voice, is the black man’s chronicler, and, perhaps, America’s chronicler.

The plays have been few.  In 1961, 16 performances of Jones’ Dante were presented at the Off-Bowery Theatre.  This was a short dramatization, a modern parallel of the False Comforters theme, from The Systems of Dante’s Hell, Jones’ book of fiction.  But 1964 was the big year for LeRoi Jones drama, with productions in New York of The Baptism, The Toilet, Dutchman, and The Slave.

The Baptism, presented at Writers’ Stage Theatre off-Broadway in 1964, is not a racial play.  It tries hard to be a comedy-of-cruelty, but it tries harder to be blasphemous.  Most of the action takes place on the altar of a Baptist church, with characters including a homosexual in red leotards who does ballet steps, who sprinkles the assembly with confetti, and jokingly asserts that he is “the Son of Man.”  A 15-year-old girlishly handsome boy comes to be baptized, to be forgiven for 1,095 masturbations, one of which is described in detail, and for which Jones delights in finding synonyms.  

The minister claims at the altar that his usherettes are “bride of the Lord’s son, our own Jesus Christ”; and they claim that the masturbating boy is actually the Lord’s son because “it was he who popped us.”  After the boy admits that he is the Son of God, he kills the usherettes, for “they had no charity.”  A motorcycle messenger from “The Man” comes to recall this Son of God who, although he was sent to save the earth, has been an absolute failure.  God is tired of the world’s mess, we are told, and plans to grenade the whole works.  

But the boy-Christ won’t leave, for his job is unfinished; so the messenger hits him with a tire iron and carries him off, home to God, on the back of the motorcycle.  In a few hours before the grenade will destroy the world, the homosexual decides to cruise the bars, wondering what happened “to that cute little religious fanatic.”  Jones strains to be shocking; and the play ends up incoherent and adolescent, with scatter-shot fury.  In his racial plays, his fury finds his target.

The Toilet is an ugly but affecting racial play.  It was presented at St. Mark’s Playhouse in a double bill with The Slave.  Jones tells us, in an “Introduction by the Playwright,” that “The Toilet is about the lives of black people.  White people tell me it is not.  They have no way of knowing, but they insist they do.”

In The Toilet, the victim—Jones again uses that word in his “Introduction”—is a black boy named Ray Foots who cannot express his love for a white boy named Karolis because of what Jones calls the “brutality” of the “social order.”  And one of the major achievements of the play is the stunning force with which that social order is shown to be brutal.  The specific social order created by the play is that of high school boys, most of them black.  And the setting is a stinking “latrine of some institution.”  Throughout the play, comment is made on the social order for boys who turn their backs to the audience to urinate into one of the urinals which make up the visual line of the set, and by a boy who goes behind a toilet partition and is found “pulling his watchamacallit,” and by verbal obscenities, some trite and some imaginative.

When Karolis is dragged into the latrine by a group of black boys, he has been beat up, is “crying softly, with blood on his shirt and face.”  Karolis has been dragged to the toilet to fight Foots, the leader of the Negro gang, because of a homosexual love letter which Karolis has sent Foots, a letter in which Karolis said that Ray Foots was beautiful.  Foots feels pity—and a kind of returned love—for Karolis, but because of social pressure from the gang, and because of Karolis’ own insistence, Foots does fight the already-beaten Karolis.  

Eventually Karolis is jumped by all the gang and is left bleeding on the toilet floor, draped with wet toilet paper.  Karolis, the white boy, is more obviously—but to Jones less profoundly—a victim than is Foots, the black boy.  It is the white boy who is beaten.  But the meaning of the play comes from Karolis’ revelation that the black boy he really loves is a hidden beautiful boy named Ray, not the Foots of this stinking toilet who is visible to his gang members.  “Did I call you Ray in that letter—or Foots? . . .  That’s who I want to kill.  Foots . . . His name is Ray, not Foots.  You stupid bastards.  I love somebody you don’t even know.”

After Karolis is left bleeding on the toilet floor, Foots sneaks back in, kneels by Karolis’ form and, weeping, cradles his head in his arms as he wipes the blood from Karolis’ face.  For all of its ugliness, The Toilet is, as Jones has written, “a play about love.”  It is a play about a love between a white boy and a black boy, a love which, because of the social order in which the black people live, cannot be expressed on any level.  Brutality results, says Jones, in any social order, “if it is not an order which can admit of any man’s beauty.”  The beauty of Foots remains hidden.  Both the black and the white are therefore victims; and the chronicler, Jones, in this play talks—for the last time—about love.

The victim in Dutchman is Clay, and this is a play about hatred.  Dutchman was produced off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre, and it won the Village Voice’s Obie Award for the Best American Play of the 1963-64 season.  Subsequently it was presented at the Festival of Two Worlds, at Spoleto.  It is the most widely known of Jones’ works, primarily through the 1967 movie version, directed by Anthony Harvey.

In Dutchman, Jones again, as he had in The Toilet, speaks through controlled dramatic art.  He controls his form.  He embodies his hatred in two characters; he is still a dramatist.  In an interview, Jones said, “Dutchman is about the difficulty of becoming a man in America.”  The boy who is “desperately trying to become a man” is Clay, twenty-year-old Negro.  Lula, beautiful young white woman on the make, sits next to Clay on the subway.  In brilliant dialogue (by far the best art Jones has shown in any of his plays)  Clay’s lack of place is revealed to the audience.  He doesn’t belong, for he doesn’t acknowledge his blackness.  

Lula has him pegged:  “You’re a well-known type,” and “I know you like the palm of my hand.”  He’s a suburbanite, living in New Jersey with his parents; in college he thought of himself as Baudelaire.  Never did he think of himself as a black nigger.  He’s a poser, not a man; he doesn’t acknowledge what he is.  Lula takes hold of his jacket and shouts: “Boy, those narrow-shoulder clothes come from a tradition you ought to feel oppressed by.  A three-button suit and striped tie?  Your grandfather was a slave, he didn’t go to Harvard.”

Scene I ends with Lula’s insistence that she knows the truth about Clay.  Ivy League clothes won’t hide his blackness.  And his submission is only a pretense.  He cannot be free from his history, the heritage of slavery; and she cannot be free from her history, the heritage of oppression.  And simmering under the pretense of Clay’s submission to the white order is the necessity of the slave to murder his oppressor: “You’re a murderer, Clay, and you know it.”

By the end of Scene I the mood of the play is taut.  The victim will not stay victimized peacefully.  And by this time the observer hears obviously the voice of the chronicler, the tortured autobiographical gropings of LeRoi Jones himself faced with “the difficulty of becoming a man in America.”  

In a preface to a 1966 collection of essays, ironically called Home, Jones tells us something about that constant struggle of his own which, in Dutchman, is mirrored in the character of Clay: “One truth anyone reading these pieces ought to get is the sense of movement—the struggle, in myself, to understand where and who I am, and to move with that understanding.”  All these movements, Jones writes, “seem to me to have been always toward the thing that I had coming into the world, with no sweat: my blackness.”  And, he concludes, “by the time this book appears, I will be even blacker.”

In Scene II, Clay becomes blacker.  Lula goads him to it.  She mocks him, wildly, dancing in the aisle: “You middle-class bastard.”  “You liver-lipped white man.”  “You ain’t no nigger, you’re just a dirty white man.”  She commands Clay to do what Jones himself, in his dramatic career, has been doing:  “Get up and scream at these people.  Like scream meaningless shit in these hopeless faces.”  Clay finally answers back.  He slaps her across the mouth as hard as he can, and announces: “Now  shut up and let me talk.”  And then Clay launches into a long and obscene rage against Lula and against all whites who profess to understand the Negro.  Lula cannot understand: “You great liberated whore!  You fuck some black man, and right away you’re an expert on black people.”  

And neither can any whitey understand or help a black man come to an image of himself.  So, Clay insists, through his teeth: “Let me be who I feel like being.  Uncle Tom.  Thomas.  Whoever.  It’s none of your business.”  It’s as simple as that.  Whitey can tell the black man nothing because whitey can understand nothing.  As early as 1961, Jones had written: “Liberals think that they are peculiarly qualified to tell American Negroes and the other oppressed peoples of the world how to wage their struggles.”  In Dutchman, the Jones reply to whitey is “It’s none of your business.”

Clay knows that it is insane to conceal his blackness, but Jones gives him two alternatives.  He can continue the insanity of living half-hidden in whitey’s world; or he can relieve his insanity by asserting his blackness through murder: “Murder.  Just murder!  Would make us all sane.”  He warns Lula not to teach the black man the way of the white man, not to talk too much about the advantages of Western rationalism or the great intellectual legacy of the white man, because if the black man does learn the lesson of the white man, he will adopt his weapon: “All of those ex-coons will be stand-up Western men, with eyes for clean hard useful lives, sober, pious and sane, and they’ll murder you.”  

Clay chooses to avoid the easy, luxurious way of murder (“It takes no great effort.  To kill you soft idiots.”)  He chooses, instead, to stay in his insanity, to deny his blackness, to deny the murder that would liberate him: “Ahh, shit, who needs it?  I’d rather be a fool.  Insane.  Safe with my words, and no deaths, and clean, hard thoughts.”

But in the Jones world murder is inevitable once white and black confront each other.  So, although Clay decides to remain insane by not murdering, Lula turns him into the complete victim by plunging a knife into his chest.  In a ritual act, with the collaboration of the rest of the congregation in the subway, whitey kills the black man as indeed whitey has been doing all along.  The black man who refuses to murder is himself murdered.

If Clay is the black man, if Clay is Jones (Jones has written often that everything he writes is necessarily written specifically as a black man), who is Lula?  She is of course America, especially white liberal America who interferes with the black man, who professes friendship as it murders.  Jones insists that Clay and Lula are not symbols; but then he goes on to talk of them as if they are.  Lula, he insists, “does not represent anything—she is one.  And perhaps that thing is America, or at least its spirit.”  When the critics complained that Lula is too crazy, extreme, neurotic, Jones replied, “You remember America, don’t you, where they have unsolved murders happening before your eyes on television.  How crazy, extreme, neurotic, does that sound?  Lula, for all her alleged insanity, just barely reflects the insanity of this hideous place.”

Harold Clurman has pointed out that if Dutchman is angry, The Slave is rabid.  Anger, he says, has a definite form; rage only smolders and explodes.  The form of The Slave is supposedly a fable in which a debate takes place.  But rather it is a tirade delivered by Walker, a Negro who is leading a violent murderous black rebellion which is in the midst of blowing up “this city . . . this country . . . or world.”  Walker talks at Easley, the white liberal intellectual who is now married to Walker’s white ex-wife.  

But it is not a debate.  It is merely pages of invective in which Walker speaks Jones’ doctrine of race violence.  “This hideous place” is no longer encompassed into a dramatic space small enough for Jones to control.  Here he does not reflect America through a few boys in a toilet or through a white-black couple on a subway; he tries to reflect America in huge, amorphous, prophetic rhetoric.  He ignores his own artistic principle that art must reflect man within a “defined world.”  The chronicler takes up the role of self-conscious Prophet and shouts hatred.

The Slave holds dramatic interest only in the fact that Jones, as in his other plays, makes the black man a victim, this time—and Jones fully know this—a victim of his own philosophy.  Walker delivers a prologue during which he is dressed as an old field slave; and at the end of the play, as the city explodes, he is again a slave—enslaved by mutual hatred, hatred received and returned.  All has been made rotten, we are told again, as we were in Dutchman, by the hatred in the heritage of slavery.  The Negro writer is, Jones has written, “a chronicler of the Negro’s movement from African slave to American slave.”  The central doctrine of the prologue is “We are liars, and we are murderers.”

The slave, who is Walker, who is the black man, who is Jones, is destroyed as well as destroying.  The wife knows that the black man has been robbed (like Clay in Dutchman) of his image of himself: “I don’t even think you know who you are any more.  No, I don’t think you ever knew. . . .  It must be a sick task keeping so many lying separate uglinesses together . . . and pretending they’re something you’ve made and understand.”

However certain this black man is of his hatred, he is also certain what it has cost him.  Hatred has cost the black man everything else that has desired from life, and it has cost him all his art.  The black man has chosen to promote “a bloody situation where white and black people are killing each other . . . despite the fact that I would rather argue politics, or literature, or boxing, or anything, with you, dear Easley, with you.”  And the black artist has chosen bloody rebellion knowing “I have killed for all times any creative impulses I will ever have by the depravity of my murderous philosophies.”

The leader of the black rebellion knows that another tyranny will result after the rebellion; he is not the Marxist visionary preparing for the happy day after the revolution.  The harvest of slavery, with so much hatred, must be bitter; the revolution is only a case of “you had your chance, darling, now these other folks have theirs.”  He knows it’s ugly; but in “this hideous place” there is no alternative to murder and violence.  Jones no longer admits Clay’s alternative, no longer sees a possible alternative in choosing to remain insane by denying violence.  The black man instead seeks the sanity that comes from murder.  “God, what an ugly idea,” says the white liberal; head in hands, the black man replies, “I know.  I know.”

Throughout the text of The Slave, Jones has the characters talk about “ritual drama.”  But the play never ascends to the level of ritual drama, to any cleansing emotion.  It rants.  It establishes no bond between author and audience.  It speaks with only one human dimension, racial hatred; its people are partial.  The play doesn’t even have verisimilitude: Why do the white man and his wife leave their children in the midst of a bombardment?  Why does Walker sit around and talk while he should be leading his troops?  Why does Walker tell his wife that their children are dead although we hear them scream at the end of the play?  Real ritual drama affects one as a transcendent filling up, it exists throughout or even outside of time; this play freezes.

I don’t think that The Slave, or the bigger question of LeRoi Jones the dramatist, can be understood without examination of Jones’ dramatic credo, called “The Revolutionary Theatre,” published in Liberator, the journal of the Afro-American Research Institute.  In 1965, the year after his four off-Broadway productions, Jones reasserts that “Clay in Dutchman, Ray in The Toilet, Walker in The Slave are all victims.”  

And because the black man is victimized by society, the role of black theater is clear: “The Revolutionary Theatre must Accuse and Attack anything that can be accused and attacked.  It must Accuse and Attack because it is a theatre of Victims.”  And that is the difference between The Slave on the one hand and Dutchman and The Toilet on the other.  In The Slave, Jones is writing “Revolutionary Theatre.”  Tension is gone because he has made up his mind to Attack and Accuse.  Dutchman and The Toilet are controlled by containing form; Jones is still probing, and the result is the tension that allows art.  But in the Attacking and Accusing of The Slave, tension is relaxed, form is gone; and propaganda, the Revolutionary Theatre, takes over.

Jones’ Liberator essay is itself incoherent, frantic, filled with sentences in upper case, with quintuple question marks and double exclamation points.  Much of it is inexplicable: “  The Revolutionary Theatre must function like an incendiary pencil planted in Curtis Lemay’s cap.  So that when the final curtain goes down brains are splattered over the seats and the floor, and bleeding nuns must wire SOS’s to Belgians with gold teeth.”  

But its central doctrine of hatred is clear enough: “White men will cower before this theatre because it hates them. . . .  The Revolutionary Theatre must hate them for hating. . . .  The Revolutionary Theatre must teach them their deaths.”  

And clear, too, is its call for destruction: “It is a political theatre, a weapon to help in the slaughter of those dim-witted fatbellied white guys who somehow believe that the rest of the world is here for them to slobber on. . . .  It must crack their faces open to the mad cries of the poor. . . .  Americans will hate the Revolutionary Theatre because it will be out to destroy them and whatever they believe is real. . . .  The play that will split the heavens for us will be called THE DESTRUCTION OF AMERICA.”

If we are to believe our courts, Jones’ life has followed both his art and his theatrical credo.  For all of the certitude in The Slave that armed rebellion would ruin the artist, the hero-victim of that play took to the streets with guns.  And the courts tell us, so did Jones take to the streets with guns in Newark during last summer’s black rebellion.  In The Slave, the black man has made up his mind to pay the price; in the streets of Newark, Jones apparently made up his mind to pay a similar price.  The Slave is fearful in its foretelling: in it Jones announces—before Watts and Newark—what will happen and what he will do.  

Before the riots, Newsweek concluded that LeRoi Jones “writes and harangues himself out of the company of civilized men.”  And the magazine went on to say, he therefore “forfeit all claim to serious attention.”  It is, rather, because Jones has decided to leave the company of civilized men that he demands our attention, if not for our interest in art, then for our interest in humanity.

How can the white liberal critic—interested in art and humanity—react to the drama of LeRoi Jones?  Jones certainly does not expect acceptance:  “My ideas revolve around the rotting and destruction of America, so I can’t really expect anyone who is part of that to accept my ideas.”  

Jones intimidates.  He predicts that the white liberal critic will attack him on aesthetic grounds.  And he’s right.  That’s just what any critic who refuses to abdicate his critical judgment must do in the face of Revolutionary Theatre like The Slave.

Jones further intimidates the white liberal critic by insisting—as do black revolutionists both literary and non-literary—that whitey can never understand the black man.  Again I suppose that Jones is right.  When Jones says, “You cannot understand me,” I will not deny it.  I am afraid to be patronizing by saying, “I understand.” I don’t expect to come to understand the foul indignities heaped for centuries on the black man, not to understand their result—for my skin is white.  

So how do we react, all boxed in, cowering like a Calvinist sinner before a God who has already decided he is damned?  Can the critic do nothing but stand here and plead, “What do you want of me?  You, LeRoi Jones, carry your heritage of slavery; I carry my heritage of guilt.  Do you just stand here and stare at each other until the murder starts?”

The suffering involved in standing mute while Jones proposes mutual murder seems to be peculiarly the kind of suffering which many white liberals enjoy.  When Jones singles out the white liberal as the black man’s particular enemy, little response is heard from the self-flagellating liberal who thinks such suffering is good for us.  We white liberals might indeed need the expiation which Jones offers for our guilt.  But if we accept the inevitability of his prophecies, we will be as destructive as Jones.

I think that the white liberal who refuses to give up his rationality must see that Jones’ art and philosophy are suicidal as well as murderous.  His philosophy is ultimately a betrayal of all of humanity, and particularly of the black man.  In fury and despair, Jones says that the black man must accept the white man’s way of suppression and murder.  This is a betrayal not only because it proceeds on the incredible assumption of The Slave that the black man could win an armed rebellion.  (The white ghetto will not stand still, enjoying its punishment, as do we white liberals.)  

But the Jones philosophy is also a betrayal because it denies the black man the moral superiority over the white man, the moral superiority of non-violence.  The conclusion of The Slave is that the answer for the black man is to find himself, and at the same time destroy himself, through killing the white man.  But there is no finding there.  There is only loss, and a madness.  The victim would remain a victim.

So, in spite of the fact that Jones has the power to intimidate into paralysis, the only sane response is to break out, to challenge the rules as Jones has laid them down.  I will attack his art on aesthetic grounds, for when form is shattered in art, no shared experience results.  And although admitting that full understanding between white and black may be impossible, movement toward understanding must be continued, for we all know that it has been started.  We can all still remember the “We Shall Overcome” days.

I don’t think that Jones, deep down, believes himself when he insists that no understanding is possible.  For he writes.  He lets white men produce his plays for white audiences.  If he truly felt that we could never come to know each other, he might as well talk to a tape recorder.  He wears African robes; he insists on calling himself an Afro-American: but he has come to us in his writing.  We must assume that he has something to say to us.

We hear obviously enough the hatred for which he has willingly sacrificed his art.  Our human reaction is that his vision is so hate-ridden that it is insane, and that we must reject it, must not stand mute before it and watch racial hatred become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  But after I reject him, I still am left with fear.  That cannot be escaped or rejected.  And maybe fear finally is the one shared experience that Jones communicates.  Perhaps, at this point, poised for the horror which is promised for the summer, the shared experience of fear is what he has to say to us.  Perhaps it can shake us into the doing—which could bring effective change within the political order.

Is there time for such change?  Jones says the political change is only the liberal game, “palliatives and symbols to remind him of his own good faith.”  So the fear remains.  Is there time?  And the prospect of mutual madness.

*   *   *   *   *

Donald P. Costello, a previous contributor to these pages, was Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Notre Dame.

Source: Commonweal  ·  28 June 1968

*   *   *   *   *

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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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The Warmth of Other Suns

The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

By Isabel Wilkerson

Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, a sharecropper's wife, left Mississippi for Milwaukee in 1937, after her cousin was falsely accused of stealing a white man's turkeys and was almost beaten to death. In 1945, George Swanson Starling, a citrus picker, fled Florida for Harlem after learning of the grove owners' plans to give him a "necktie party" (a lynching). Robert Joseph Pershing Foster made his trek from Louisiana to California in 1953, embittered by "the absurdity that he was doing surgery for the United States Army and couldn't operate in his own home town." Anchored to these three stories is Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Wilkerson's magnificent, extensively researched study of the "great migration," the exodus of six million black Southerners out of the terror of Jim Crow to an "uncertain existence" in the North and Midwest.

Wilkerson deftly incorporates sociological and historical studies into the novelistic narratives of Gladney, Starling, and Pershing settling in new lands, building anew, and often finding that they have not left racism behind. The drama, poignancy, and romance of a classic immigrant saga pervade this book, hold the reader in its grasp, and resonate long after the reading is done.

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Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change

By John Lewis

The Civil Rights Movement gave rise to the protest culture we know today, and the experiences of leaders like Congressman Lewis have never been more relevant. Now, more than ever, this nation needs a strong and moral voice to guide an engaged population through visionary change. Congressman John Lewis was a leader in the American Civil Rights Movement. He was chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and played a key role in the struggle to end segregation. Despite more than forty arrests, physical attacks, and serious injuries, John Lewis remained a devoted advocate of the philosophy of nonviolence. He is the author of his autobiography, Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of a Movement, and is the recipient of numerous awards from national and international institutions, including the Lincoln Medal; the John F. Kennedy “Profile in Courage” Lifetime Achievement Award (the only one of its kind ever awarded); the NAACP Spingarn Medal; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, among many others.

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So Rich, So Poor: Why It's So Hard to End Poverty in America

By Peter Edelman

If the nation’s gross national income—over $14 trillion—were divided evenly across the entire U.S. population, every household could call itself middle class. Yet the income-level disparity in this country is now wider than at any point since the Great Depression. In 2010 the average salary for CEOs on the S&P 500 was over $1 million—climbing to over $11 million when all forms of compensation are accounted for—while the current median household income for African Americans is just over $32,000. How can some be so rich, while others are so poor? In this provocative book, Peter Edelman, a former top aide to Senator Robert F. Kennedy and a lifelong antipoverty advocate, offers an informed analysis of how this country can be so wealthy yet have a steadily growing number of unemployed and working poor. According to Edelman, we have taken important positive steps without which 25 to 30 million more people would be poor, but poverty fluctuates with the business cycle.

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Negro Comrades of the Crown

African Americans and the British Empire Fight the U.S. Before Emancipation

By Gerald Horne

Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston, said, the American revolt of 1776 against British rule “was basically a successful revolt of racist settlers. It was akin to Rhodesia, in 1965, assuming that Ian Smith and his cabal had triumphed. It was akin to the revolt of the French settlers in Algeria, in the 1950s and 1960s, assuming those French settlers had triumphed.” Dr. Horne explores the racist roots on the American Revolution in his new book, Negroes of the Crown. “It was very difficult to construct a progressive republic in North America after what was basically a racist revolt,” said Horne. “The revolt was motivated in no small part by the fact that abolitionism was growing in London…. This is one of the many reasons more Africans by an order of magnitude fought against the rebels in 1776, than fought alongside them.”In this path-breaking book, Horne rewrites the history of slave resistance by placing it for the first time in the context of military and diplomatic wrangling between Britain and the United States.

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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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update 24 June 2012

 

 

 

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