ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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


My strong instinct for survival, so strong at times that I have done what the normal person

can not even imagine, indeed, I have done what I could not imagine, I have done

whatever was necessary—and you know that necessity is unsentimental and often

very, very ugly, if not sometimes downright amoral.



Books by Kalamu ya Salaam


The Magic of JuJu: An Appreciation of the Black Arts Movement  /   360: A Revolution of Black Poets

Everywhere Is Someplace Else: A Literary Anthology  /  From A Bend in the River: 100 New Orleans Poets

Our Music Is No Accident   /  What Is Life: Reclaiming the Black Blues Self

My Story My Song (CD)


*   *   *   *   *


4 Movements / 12 Moments

In the Life of an Ex-Slave—Long Live Assata!

 Short Story by Kalamu ya Salaam




I'm not afraid to die but I am afraid I'm going to die. Afraid that, outside of a grave, there will not be one square inch of earth on which I can reside; afraid that my enemies will not allow me to breathe unless concrete and steel coffin me; afraid that this sweet island, which has been my sanctuary, will be curdled into a tropical casket.


For we who have been political prisoners, long term incarceration in modern Amerika is a certain death—it is not like South Africa's Robben Island where a number of movement men came out stronger, and it is certainly not the same as for those who go in unconscious and fly out as dragons both their wings and their fierceness engendered by the education and self-education that one can extract from the school of captivity. No, I am thinking about those of us whom they want not merely to confine and control, but those of us whose spirits they want to thoroughly crush; we are never released from prison unscathed—if we escape that is different, but if they release us, our freedom inevitably means the authorities have successfully, in some nefarious way or another, reprogrammed us to accept the world as they have constructed society or to either self-destruct in fits of rage or in spasms of insanity.

I know what I am saying. I know Huey Newton was never the same after prison. I know many of my comrades who remained there for ten, for twelve, for twenty years, I know if and when they are released they are deranged even if they really believe they are still ready for the revolution. I would never publicly give the government the satisfaction of recognizing such effectiveness, but I know there is no life after prison for people like me. The mind games, the chemicals they feed us in substances they claim is food, the constant dehumanization of strip searches: fingers forced into your everywhere, beneath each fold of flesh, piercing each cavity. And not just the dignity stripping of naked meat inspection, but also the simultaneous twisting of the ephemeral web that is one's consciousness, one's sense of self. Literally who we are becomes different after we have been systematically and scientifically fucked with by experts at mind games.


So you see, it was either escape, which I did, or die.

I am a runaway slave in an era when the descendants of slaves are well paid in the employ of both consuming and perpetuating big house fantasies. An era where living on the edge seems totally nonsensical, totally unnecessary to those reared on television and cyberspace, corrupted by creature comforts as seemingly innocuous as fast food hamburgers and video games, sports events and evangelical churches.

The mantle of conformity fits us so snugly that those of us who choose naked resistance rather than wear the weave of exploitation, we appear to be no more relevant than homeless bag people existing on the fringe of society, scavenging to survive as we mutter incoherent inanities about how bad the good life is.

Indeed, the guardians of good times tell everyone that not only are we maroons crazy, but worse, because we refuse to join the parade of collaborators with the status quo, we are painted as failures who are afraid to grasp the success that is available to any and all of us who would pledge allegiance to taking advantage of others.

And where can I run to now that capitalism is global and the liberated zones are nearly all paved over and billboarded? If Cuba goes under where will I be able to stand tall? What other country would endure the economic whippings administered to anyone who shelters me? What other nation would (or could afford to) refuse the bounty the government of my tormentors offer for my head, my body?


Though I rose from the dead once before, I do not believe in miracles. I do not believe if they entrap me this time that I will be able to live within the grip of their murderous clutches.

My strong instinct for survival, so strong at times that I have done what the normal person can not even imagine, indeed, I have done what I could not imagine, I have done whatever was necessary—and you know that necessity is unsentimental and often very, very ugly, if not sometimes downright amoral. My strong instinct for survival will not allow me to be locked down by them and turned into a person who accepts the status quo, or worse, a person who insanely (and ineffectively) rages against the dark of 24-7-365 nightmares.

After all is said and done, I am a human being who loves life, the beauty of quiet moments, the joy of conversation and sincere touch, the exhilaration of sweating as I labor, as I make love, as I exercise. My instinct for survival is no impulse merely to breathe, my instinct is to live, to love life freely and to be free to love life, and I will never accept slavery no matter how comfortable.

*   *   *   * 


she followed instructions. got out with her hands up. and then the world exploded. she was on the ground, bullets in her. and she did not really know what happened.

a person caught up in the chaos is the most unreliable witness there is.

perhaps if she had been the bullet, she might have seen the whole scene more clearly, or if she were the gun, she would have known who the targets and who was calling the shots. or if she had been the finger on the trigger she might have known the time table, the sequence of events, but she was only the target, and before she was struck had no warning that the bullet was coming, after all, as the medical experts testified at her trial, given her wounds there was no doubt her hands were up in the gesture of surrender, she was following instructions.

she was not the bullet. so at that moment she did not know it had entered her torso, missed vital organs, and ended up lodged near her neck, leaving a mess of rented flesh in its wake, thin streams of thick blood seeping from the open door of the entry point.

nor did she know that the first bullet had a companion who followed closely on its heels like a younger sibling trailing an idolized big brother.

the impact of the first slug spun her around like a rapist sadistically intent on anal penetration.

the second bullet burrowed into her back.

immediately afterward, in the distance she could hear noises and voices. and thankfully so, for although the voices sounded muffled like that time as a child she had an ear infection and her mother poured some heated liquid in her ear and then plugged it with cotton and all day she kept losing her balance and asking people "what did you say?" she was thankful because at this moment it was strangely comforting, reassuring even, to hear the words "she ain't dead yet" and to know that the "she" who was alive was her.


life is full of choices, most of them are minor, trivial details and inconsequential chains of events, but kernelled in the ordinary are those little nodes on which turn one's whole existence. why would an assata surrender? perhaps she did not see herself surrendering. perhaps this was just a momentary hassle, a stop and delay tactic. perhaps her gesture was meant to be a diversion. who knows. life is like that. sometimes we ourselves don't know what we are doing even though the doing will have profound and far reaching consequences. who knows. how can anyone know the future?


the discovery of the future is always an evaluation of the past. we only learn what the future means once it is over, once we have experienced it, once it has become history. and by then it is too late to change anything. we can never fully know anything, least of all exactly what we did and why. our ability to sense reality is too limited to take in everything. we can only ever grasp a small part of the totality of our existence. the trooper with the gun drawn, barking orders, at that moment what was assata thinking?


have you ever faced a gun beaded on you, an enemy hollering at you? do you know what you would do if you were shot and on the ground, or in the hospital chained to a gurney, or even in a courtroom and lie after lie after lie after lie was going on record against you, and the judge threatens to throw you out of the courtroom if you don't be quiet, and every fiber of your being is quivering with the urge to resist, even though enchained, even though guards are over you, and what do you do?

assata was removed from the courtroom and her comrade too. they were shunted into a side room while the trial proceeded and during that isolation they made love.

your enemies are kangarooing you to an almost certain death sentence or at least life imprisonment and you make the decision. to make love. think about choosing love as an act of resistance at that moment. then think about the bravery to make love.

you are a prisoner. on trial. armed agents are standing just outside the door. most of us would never even have thought of making love. and very few, very, very few of us would have had the bravery to bare our nakedness knowing that at any moment the guards could have busted us in the middle of getting it on.

oh, the adrenaline rush, to steal the sweetness of sex under such conditions. now if there was ever a definition of revolutionary fucking, that was it.


but every act has its consequence. every movement carries us somewhere else then where we were when we started. and sometimes we think we are ready to travel, but we really don't have a clue as to the magnitude of the trip we blissfully, or blithely, or unknowingly started on.

did assata know that she would become pregnant?

how many times did they do it in the dock?

and now it is decades later and kakuya, a girlchild, has grown up without the emotional anchor of a father's familiar words, without the rudder of a mother's daily teachings. a daughter has been reared by extended family. did assata reckon on that? of course not. sometimes we throw our rage at the state without a thought of where we will be thirty years later, who we will become, how our actions will affect those not yet born.

*   *   *   *


I am a warrior and I tell you I hate war. There have been so many times when I have had to go one on one with despair, and it was not always a given that I would win. Sometimes I battle day after day, other times, rare times, I have whole weeks, occasionally a month or two, when I am good to go, well, at least I am ok with being on the periphery of normalcy. My daily diet is the stress of uncertainty.

I know life back in the world is different from when I went underground. I know my people seem freer and hence less consciousness—the intoxication of options, the addiction of material acquisitions, the disorientation of commodification. People even come to Cuba for a vacation. A photograph with me becomes a trophy. It is hard not to be bitter.


The struggle has become so convoluted, so complex. I can understand the seduction of comfort corruption . . . even these words seem like so much political rhetoric.

When I was locked down, I kept myself defiantly alive, poised to escape. Now that I have escaped, I find that I am still in captivity, a qualitatively different captivity, a captivity where my range of motion is, of course, much, much wider, my ability to speak out significantly broader, and certainly my opportunities to love life infinitely greater, but I can not fool myself . . . as long as those who measure life by counting possessions and grading bottom lines are in charge of most of the earth, I remain either in captivity or on the run, never surrendering, constantly resisting, measuring how alive I am by how long, how well I am able to fight until death. What a hard way to live… but this is my life. My. Life.

*   *   *   *  


the embargo is real. some times sanitary items are non-existent. there is nothing romantic about resistance. nothing romantic about the grind of constant vigilance, ceaseless struggle. romance is idealism. resistance is realism.

if you read about the struggle many years after, when victories are celebrated in textbooks, when most of the ugliness is erased, when the human costs are barely reckoned or recognized, if you only read about struggle then you can think of its beauty. but the runaway often literally stinks; they do not have the daily luxury of bubble baths or clean fluffy towels after a long, hot shower. the vegetarianism of a subsistence diet of beans and rice, or beans and tortillas is not a trendy choice. very few relationships last a life time in the field, or perhaps, that is the more brutal truth, such relationships only last the shortness of life in the field—life on the run is seldom very, very long and elderly runaways are rare.

people nostalgically talk about the good old days when the political struggle was on fire in the united states, but how many people are rushing to cuba to volunteer to live in exile with assata? we all like to dream, to fantasize about being heroes and to romanticize those individuals whom we consider our heroes. but, oh, the reality of being a runaway is a state embraced by only a very strong few, only a few, very, very few… while the rest of us rationalize about choosing to remain cocooned in the materialism of our relatively comfortable captivity.

Source: WordUp

*   *   *   *   *

Assata: An Autobiography

By Assata Shakur

This black activist's memoir is like a freeze frame of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Though the polemical rhetoric is dated, the book is an otherwise compelling tale of the impact of white racism on a sensitive and powerful young black woman. Born Joanne Chesimard, she took an African name to confirm her commitment to black liberation, joined militant organizations, and was ultimately convicted of the murder of a New Jersey highway patrol officer in 1977. Her descriptions of life in prison and the vagaries of the court system are especially wrenching. Living now in Cuba as an escaped felon, she continues her utopian plea for revolution. Recommended for large libraries and specialists.—Anthony O. Edmonds, Ball State Univ., Muncie, Ind., Library Journal

*   *   *   *   *

Assata Olugbala Shakur ["Assata Olugbala Shakur" means "she who struggles—love for the people—the thankful one" in Arabic] (born July 16, 1947 as JoAnne Deborah Byron), married name Chesimard is an African-American activist and escaped convict who was a member of the Black Panther Party (BPP) and Black Liberation Army (BLA). Between 1971 and 1973, Shakur was accused of several crimes, of which she would never be charged, and made the subject of a multi-state manhunt.

In May 1973, Shakur was involved in a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike, during which New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster and BLA member Zayd Malik Shakur were killed and Shakur and Trooper James Harper were wounded. Between 1973 and 1977, Shakur was indicted in relation to six other alleged criminal incidents—charged with murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, bank robbery, and kidnapping—resulting in three acquittals and three dismissals. In 1977, she was convicted of the first-degree murder of Foerster and of seven other felonies related to the shootout.

Shakur was then incarcerated in several prisons, where her treatment drew criticism from some human rights groups. She escaped from prison in 1979 and has been living in Cuba in political asylum since 1984. Since May 2, 2005, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has classified her as a "domestic terrorist" and offered a $1 million reward for assistance in her capture. Attempts to extradite her have resulted in letters to the Pope and a Congressional resolution. Shakur is the step-aunt of the deceased hip hop artist Tupac Shakur (the sister of his stepfather, Mutulu Shakur). Her life has been portrayed in literature, film, and song.

Shakur was born in Jamaica, Queens, New York City on July 16, 1947, where she lived for three years with her parents and grandparents, Lula and Frank Hill. After her parents divorced in 1950, she spent most of her childhood in Wilmington, North Carolina with her grandmother until her family relocated to Queens when she was a teenager. For a time, she ran away from home and lived with strangers until she was taken in by her aunt, Evelyn Williams, later her lawyer. She dropped out of high school, but later—with her aunt's help—earned a general equivalency diploma (GED). She attended Borough of Manhattan Community College and then the City College of New York (CCNY) in the mid 1960s, where she was involved in many political activities, protests, and sit-ins.

Shakur was arrested for the first time in 1967 (along with 100 other Manhattan Community College students) on charges of trespassing, after the students chained and locked the entrance to a college building, protesting a curriculum deficient in Black Studies and a lack of black faculty. She married Louis Chesimard, a fellow student-activist at CCNY, in April 1967 and divorced him in December 1970. Shakur devotes only one paragraph of her autobiography to her marriage, attributing its termination to disagreements related to gender roles.

After graduation from CCNY at the age of 23, Shakur became involved in the Black Panther Party (BPP), eventually becoming a leading member of the Harlem branch. Prior to joining the BPP, Shakur had met several of its members on a 1970 trip to Oakland, California. One of Shakur's main activities with the Panthers was coordinating a school breakfast program; however, she soon left the Party complaining about the macho behavior of male members of these organizations, but did not go as far as other female Panthers like Regina Jennings who left the organization over sexual harassment. Instead, Shakur's main criticism of the Black Panther Party was its alleged lack of focus on black history:

The basic problem stemmed from the fact that the BPP had no systematic approach to political education. They were reading the Red Book but didn't know who Harriet Tubman, Marcus Garvey, and Nat Turner were. They talked about intercommunalism but still really believed that the Civil War was fought to free the slaves. A whole lot of them barely understood any kind of history, Black, African or otherwise. [...] That was the main reason many Party members, in my opinion, underestimated the need to unite with other Black organizations and to struggle around various community issues.

That same year she changed her name to Assata Shakur and joined the Black Liberation Army (BLA), “a politico-military organization, whose primary objective (was) to fight for the independence and self-determination of Afrikan people in the United States.” In 1971, Shakur joined the Republic of New Afrika, an organization formed to create an independent black majority nation composed of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. . . .

On November 2, 1979 she escaped the Clinton Correctional Facility for Women in New Jersey, when three members of the Black Liberation Army visiting her drew concealed .45-caliber pistols, seized two guards as hostages and commandeered a prison van. The van escaped through an unfenced section of the prison into the parking lot of a state school for the handicapped, 1.5 miles (2 km) away, where a blue-and-white Lincoln and a blue Mercury Comet were waiting. No one, including the guards-turned-hostages left in the parking lot, was injured during the prison break. Her brother, Mutulu Shakur, Silvia Baraldini, former Panther Sekou Odinga, and Marilyn Buck were charged with assisting in her escape; Ronald Boyd Hill was also held on charges related to the escape. In part for his role in the event, Mutulu was named on July 23, 1982 as the 380th addition to the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, where he remained for the next four years until his capture in 1986. State correction officials disclosed in November 1979 that they had not run identity checks on Shakur's visitors and that the three men and one woman who assisted in her escape had presented false identification to enter the prison's visitor room, before which they were not searched. Mutulu Shakur and Marilyn Buck were later convicted in 1998 of several robberies as well as the prison escape. . . . 

Shakur fled to Cuba by 1984; in that year she was granted political asylum in that country. The Cuban government pays approximately $13 a day toward her living expenses. In 1985 she was reunited with her daughter, Kakuya, who had previously been raised by Shakur's mother in New York. She published Assata: An Autobiography  which was written in Cuba, in 1987. Her autobiography has been cited in relation to critical legal studies and critical race theory. The book does not give a detailed account of the events on the New Jersey Turnpike, except saying that the jury "Convicted a woman with her hands up!" The book was published by Lawrence Hill & Company in the United States and Canada but the copyright is held by Zed Books Ltd. of London due to so-called Son of Sam laws, which restrict who can receive profits from a book. In the six months prior to the publications of the book, Evelyn Williams, Shakur's aunt and attorney, made several trips to Cuba and served as a go-between with Hill. Shakur's autobiography is one of only two by a female Black Panther, along with Elaine Brown's A Taste of Power.

In 1993, she published a second book, Still Black Still Strong, with Dhoruba bin Wahad and Mumia Abu-Jamal. Shakur's writings have been widely circulated on the Internet. For example, the largely Internet-based "Hands Off Assata!" campaign is coordinated by Chicago-area Black Radical Congress activists. As early as 1998, Shakur has referred to herself as a "20th century escaped slave." In the same open letter, Shakur calls Cuba "One of the Largest, Most Resistant and Most Courageous Palenques (Maroon Camps) that has ever existed on the Face of this Planet." Shakur is also known to have worked as an English-language editor for Radio Havana Cuba.Wikipedia

*   *   *   *   *

Eyes of the Rainbow

Like most poor people in the United States, I have no voice. The Black press and the progressive media, as well as Black civil rights organizations, have historically played an essential role in the struggle for social justice. We should continue and expand that tradition. We should create media outlets that help to educate our people and our children, and not annihilate their minds. I am only one woman. I own no TV stations or radio stations or newspapers. But I believe that people need to be educated as to what is going on and to understand the connection between the news media and the instruments of repression in America. All I have are my voice, my spirit and the will to tell the truth. But I sincerely ask those of you in the Black media, those of you in the progressive media and those of you who believe in truth and freedom to publish my story.—Assata Shakur

A song for Assata / Common—A Song for Assata Shakur  / Eyes of the Rainbow: Assata Shakur Documentary

*   *   *   *   *


Black Routes

 Legacy of African Diaspora

By Brian A Belton

The Cointelpro Papers

Documents from the FBI's Secret Wars

against Dissent in the United States

By Ward Churchill and James Vander Wall

Black Liberation in the Americas

Edited by Fritz Gysin and Christopher Mulvey

"Militant Autobiography: The Case of Assata Shakur”


Liberation, imagination

and the Black Panther Party

 A new look at the Panthers and their Legacy

Edited by Kathleen Cleaver and George N. Katsiaficas

Imprisoned Intellectuals

America's Political Prisoners

Write on Life, Liberation, and Rebellion.

By Joy James

 Autobiography as Activism

Three Black Women of the Sixties

By Margo V Perkins

Still Black Still Strong

By Assata Shakur,  Dhoruba bin Wahad,  

and Mumia Abu-Jamal

Voices of a People's History of the United States

By Howard Zinn and AnthonyArnove


Her Best Shot

Women and Guns in America

By Laura Browder

The Black Panther Party (reconsidered)

Edited by Charles Earl Jones

My life as a radical lawyer

By William Moses Kunstler

Forced Passages

Imprisoned Radical Intellectuals

and the U.S. Prison Regime

By Dylan.Rodriguez

Assata: An Autobiography

By Assata Shakur

Inadmissible Evidence

The Story of the African-American Trial Lawyer

Who Defended the Black Liberation Army

By Evelyn Williams

Wall Tappings

An International Anthology

of Women's Prison Writings, 200 A,D. to the Present

Judith A. Scheffler

A Taste of Power: A Black Woman's Story

By Elaine Brown

Black Women's Blues

A Literary Anthology, 1934–1988

By Rita B Dandridge


*   *   *   *   *

Video: "South Side Story" Ta-Nehisi Coates author of The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood discusses Michelle Obama with Paul Coates an outspoken publisher and former Black Panther—his father.

“American Girl" (Ta Nehesi Coates)

When Michelle Obama told a Milwaukee campaign rally last February, "For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country," critics derided her as another Angry Black Woman. But the only truly radical proposition put forth by Obama, born and raised in Chicago's storied South Side, is the idea of a black community fully vested in the country at large, and proud of the American dream.

*   *   *   *   *

Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement

 A Radical Democratic Vision

By Barbara Ransby

One of the most important African American leaders of the twentieth century and perhaps the most influential woman in the civil rights movement, Ella Baker (1903-1986) was an activist whose remarkable career spanned fifty years and touched thousands of lives. A gifted grassroots organizer, Baker shunned the spotlight in favor of vital behind-the-scenes work that helped power the black freedom struggle. She was a national officer and key figure in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, one of the founders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and a prime mover in the creation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

Baker made a place for herself in predominantly male political circles that included W. E. B. Du Bois, Thurgood Marshall, and Martin Luther King Jr., all the while maintaining relationships with a vibrant group of women, students, and activists both black and white.

In this deeply researched biography, Barbara Ransby chronicles Baker's long and rich political career as an organizer, an intellectual, and a teacher, from her early experiences in depression-era Harlem to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Ransby shows Baker to be a complex figure whose radical, democratic worldview, commitment to empowering the black poor, and emphasis on group-centered, grassroots leadership set her apart from most of her political contemporaries. Beyond documenting an extraordinary life, the book paints a vivid picture of the African American fight for justice and its intersections with other progressive struggles worldwide across the twentieth century. UNC Press

*   *   *   *   *

Who Was Ella Baker—Ella Baker began her involvement with the NAACP in 1940. She worked as a field secretary and then served as director of branches from 1943 until 1946. Inspired by the historic bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955, Baker co-founded the organization In Friendship to raise money to fight against Jim Crow Laws in the deep South. In 1957, Baker moved to Atlanta to help organize Martin Luther King's new organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). She also ran a voter registration campaign called the Crusade for Citizenship.

On February 1, 1960, a group of black college students from North Carolina A&T University refused to leave a Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina where they had been denied service. Baker left the SCLC after the Greensboro sit-ins. She wanted to assist the new student activists because she viewed young, emerging activists as a resource and an asset to the movement. Miss Baker organized a meeting at Shaw University for the student leaders of the sit-ins in April 1960. From that meeting, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)  was born.

Adopting the Gandhian theory of nonviolent direct action, SNCC members joined with activists from the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) to organize in the 1961 Freedom Rides. In 1964 SNCC helped create Freedom Summer, an effort to focus national attention on Mississippi's racism and to register black voters. . . .

With Ella Baker's guidance and encouragement, SNCC became one of the foremost advocates for human rights in the country. Ella Baker once said, "This may only be a dream of mine, but I think it can be made real." Her audacity to dream big is a cornerstone of our philosophy. Her influence was reflected in the nickname she acquired: "Fundi," a Swahili word meaning a person who teaches a craft to the next generation. Baker continued to be a respected and influential leader in the fight for human and civil rights until her death on December 13, 1986, her 83rd birthday.—EllaBakerCenter

*   *   *   *   *'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

*   *   *   *   *


Representations of Black Feminist Politics

By Joy James

James rejects the liberalism of conventional black feminism for a radical agenda, which, in the tradition of black feminists Ella Baker and Ida B. Wells, targets capitalism and the state as perpetuators of race, class, and gender oppression. Their legacy of radicalism and activism is juxtaposed to the black feminist praxis and thought of Angela Davis, Assata Shakur, and Elaine Brown. This book successfully demonstrates that black feminism is authentically rooted in the black community. Especially enlightening is James's discussion on "distinctions between black men championing black females as patriarchal protectors and black men championing feminism to challenge sexism." An interdisciplinary and well-analyzed representation of radical black women fighting for rights and visibility. Recommended for women's studies, African American studies, or political collections.—Library Journal

*   *   *   *   *

Let Freedom Ring:  A Collection of Documents

from the Movements to Free U.S. Political Prisoners

By Adolfo Perez Esquivel and Matt Meyer

Within every society there are people who, at great personal risk and sacrifice, stand up and fight for the most marginalized among us. We call these people of courage, spirit and love, our heroes and heroines. This book is the story of the ones in our midst. It is the story of the best we are.—Asha Bandele, poet and author of The Prisoner's Wife

As a convicted felon, I have been prevented from visiting many people in prison today. But none of us should be stopped from the vital work of prison abolition and freeing the many who the U.S. holds for political reasons. Let Freedom Ring helps make their voices heard, and presents strategies to help win their release.—
Daniel Berrigan SJ, former Plowshares political prisoner and member of the FBI Top Ten Wanted List.

Contributors include Mumia Abu-Jamal, Dan Berger, Dhoruba Bin-Wahad, Bob Lederer, Terry Bisson, Laura Whitehorn, Safiya Bukhari, The San Francisco 8, Angela Davis, Bo Brown, Bill Dunne, Jalil Muntaqim, Susie Day, Luis Nieves Falcon, Ninotchka Rosca, Meg Starr, Assata Shakur, Jill Soffiyah Elijah, Jan Susler, Chrystos, Jose Lopez, Leonard Peltier, Marilyn Buck, and many more.

*   *   *   *   *

Race, Incarceration, and American Values

By Glenn C. Loury

In this pithy discussion, renowned scholars debate the American penal system through the lens—and as a legacy—of an ugly and violent racial past. Economist Loury argues that incarceration rises even as crime rates fall because we have become increasingly punitive. According to Loury, the disproportionately black and brown prison populations are the victims of civil rights opponents who successfully moved the country's race dialogue to a seemingly race-neutral concern over crime. Loury's claims are well-supported with genuinely shocking statistics, and his argument is compelling that even if the racial argument about causes is inconclusive, the racial consequences are clear.

Three shorter essays respond: Stanford law professor Karlan examines prisoners as an inert ballast in redistricting and voting practices; French sociologist Wacquant argues that the focus on race has ignored the fact that inmates are first and foremost poor people; and Harvard philosophy professor

Shelby urges citizens to break with Washington's political outlook on race. The group's respectful sparring results in an insightful look at the conflicting theories of race and incarceration, and the slim volume keeps up the pace of the argument without being overwhelming.—Publishers Weekly

*   *   *   *   *

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)

*   *   *   *   *

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        


*   *   *   *   *

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

*   *   *   *   *

The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

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

*   *   *   *   *

*   *   *   *   *

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






posted 5 December 2010 




Home  Kalamu Table

Related files: Preface: It Aint Easy    Women's Rights Are Human Rights    Revolutionary Struggle/Revolutionary Love    Debunking Myths     Rape: A Radical Analysis

 Impotence Need Not Be Permanent   If the Hat Don't Fit     Defection of Eldridge Cleaver   Demythologizing Huey Newton   Revolutionary Suicide  

Letter to Barack Obama:  Adolfo Perez Esquivel