ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

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This poem is for those who moaned out to empty air 

 only to have nothing answer back in return. 

Those living their whole lives housed in misery’s shack 

without a drum, / without a fluid tongue

 
 

 

Books and CDs by Glenis Redmond

Gwendolyn Knight: Discovering Powerful Images  /  Backbone  / Steam Dreams, an Anthology

Glenis on Poetry (CD)  Monumental (CD)

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Lifting

      Tribute for Kenilworth Slave Cemetery 

By Glenis Redmond

 

Many don’t know but brown hands 

did toil in the Blue Ridge 

beneath the appalachian sun. 

Chained to nothing, a cruel familiar crumbling, 

they would never own— 

only to be buried like cast offs under the same nothing. 

This poem stands. 

This poem stands for those. 

Those laid low in their living. 

Those never lifted to the height anyone deserves, human dignity high. 

Higher than hardships rising only to crash relentlessly 

pressed down like a heavy lash on sickled backs. 

 

This poem is for those who moaned out to empty air 

only to have nothing answer back in return. 

Those living their whole lives housed in misery’s shack 

without a drum, 

without a fluid tongue. 

So they retained the hum and the motherland’s call 

and the motherland’s response into songs. 

Those same songs 

the ones if you call out to them even today will answer. 

They will call back 

will bid us to wait on low swung chariots 

bid us to ride even when we feel motherless 

or bowled over by fatherless grief. 

But our legacy lies in hymns hummed in shackled pain, 

chain links so strong they linger on 

releasing a moan until we feel the ache of land lynched beneath our feet. 

No this poem don’t make up for what was done. 

It is not forty acres and a mule, 

but a tarried step in the right direction. 

This poem could be confused for a cotton seed dropped, 

a tobacco plant hung and cured, 

or corn plucked, shucked and stacked 

but this has been already been done. 

 

This poem is a new generation 

lifting bone embedded soil 

turning its thickness over and over 

into a better day, an intentional beacon 

a long time in coming marker, 

a purposeful monument 

singing with many mouths 

radiating all kinds of hues 

confessing how this place has stood 

mountainsong silent about brown hands far too long. 

In these hills let this day ring with a slave anthem 

a bell singing, a healing balm easing wounded air. 

Let this litany of words tend to all our sorrows, 

caress our unease, while lifting that which has never 

been lifted before. 

 

Let this poem sprout Sankofa’s wings, 

from the mythical ancestral bird looking back 

from the land where our courage was born. 

Let our tongues, hearts, minds and hands 

grant airborne blooms so they may never be buried 

or laid so low their stories are forgotten again. 

19 June 2006

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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  

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

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 – 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

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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 Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s 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.

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Sex at the Margins

Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry

By Laura María Agustín

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 Agustín 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."Lisa Adkins, University of London

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Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War

By Tony Horwitz

Plotted in secret, launched in the dark, John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry was a pivotal moment in U.S. history. But few Americans know the true story of the men and women who launched a desperate strike at the slaveholding South. Now, Midnight Rising portrays Brown's uprising in vivid color, revealing a country on the brink of explosive conflict. Brown, the descendant of New England Puritans, saw slavery as a sin against America's founding principles. Unlike most abolitionists, he was willing to take up arms, and in 1859 he prepared for battle at a hideout in Maryland, joined by his teenage daughter, three of his sons, and a guerrilla band that included former slaves and a dashing spy. On October 17, the raiders seized Harpers Ferry, stunning the nation and prompting a counterattack led by Robert E. Lee. After Brown's capture, his defiant eloquence galvanized the North and appalled the South, which considered Brown a terrorist.

The raid also helped elect Abraham Lincoln, who later began to fulfill Brown's dream with the Emancipation Proclamation, a measure he called "a John Brown raid, on a gigantic scale." Tony Horwitz's riveting book travels antebellum America to deliver both a taut historical drama and a telling portrait of a nation divided—a time that still resonates in ours.

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Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin

By John D'Emilio

Bayard Rustin is one of the most important figures in the history of the American civil rights movement. Before Martin Luther King, before Malcolm X, Bayard Rustin was working to bring the cause to the forefront of America's consciousness. A teacher to King, an international apostle of peace, and the organizer of the famous 1963 March on Washington, he brought Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolence to America and helped launch the civil rights movement. Nonetheless, Rustin has been largely erased by history, in part because he was an African American homosexual. Acclaimed historian John D'Emilio tells the full and remarkable story of Rustin's intertwined lives: his pioneering and public person and his oblique and stigmatized private self.

It was in the tumultuous 1930s that Bayard Rustin came of age, getting his first lessons in politics through the Communist Party and the unrest of the Great Depression.

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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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update 19 June 2012

 

 

 

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