ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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


Marvin X has made a courageous difference. In this book he shares the wondrous vision

of his spiritual explorations. His eloquent language and rhetoric are varied—

sophisticated but also earthy, sometimes both at once.



Books by Marvin X

Love and War: Poems  / In the Crazy House Called America / Woman: Man's Best Friend Beyond Religion Toward Spirituality

*   *   *   *   *

Marvin X Book Tour Report 2007


Marvin X Marches into Harlem, 39 Years Later

After 39 years since a public appearance in Harlem, Marvin X returned to celebrate the birthday of Malcolm X this past Saturday, May 19, 2007. He got off the A train at 8th Ave. and 125th Street, and before he knew it was caught up in the annual march to shut down 125th Street in honor of Harlem's greatest son, Malcolm X,  organized by the December 12th Movement. But march he did, waving the red, black and green flag along with other protesters who were accompanied by New York's finest. And the march was 99% successful as merchants shuttered their businesses from 1 to 4pm.

After an hour up and down 125th Street, Marvin departed from the march at 125th and Malcolm X Blvd. (Lenox Ave.) and headed to the Schomburg Library to participate on a panel discussion of Malcolm X as a writer. The panel was organized by activist Sam Anderson and the Malcolm X Museum Trustees. The event begfan with aq video message from Maya Angelou, a long-time friend of Malcolm and Betty Shabazz. She read from a letter she had received from Malcolm before his tragic death. The letter revealed his humor and sense of urgency that was his style.

After a recitation of Sura Al Fatihah by brother Amir, libation by Camille Yarbrough and greetings by Sister Aisha Al Adawiya of the Schomburg and the Malcolm X Museum, panelist were seated: Johanna Fernandez, Cheryll Greene, Ester Iverem, Ewuare Osayande, Kevin Powell, Askia Toure, Camille Yarbrough and Marvin X. Moderator was journalist, author Herb Boyd.

The first round was introductions but realizing time was limited, some panelists decided to expound on Malcolm X as writer/activist. They told how Malcolm influenced them and others in the liberation struggle or as writers in general. Since all the panelists were writers, I will let them give their report in their words.

After the first round, there was only time for three-minute closing remarks. The following is a summary of my remarks: We must put Malcolm X in the context of history, after all, he didn't jump out of a box but was part of a radical tradition. We can understand him by examining the writings of David Walker in his Appeal, 1829, Henry Highland Garnett, Martin Delaney and other radical writer/activists from the 19th century. Further, we must study the slave narratives, especially the Muslim slave narratives because, after all, Malcolm was a Muslim, so we must see him for the Islamic literary tradition. His biography was yet another Muslim slave narrative—on the theme of how I got ovah. Of course his autobiography may be considered the foundation of what is now being studied in academia as the genre of Muslim American literature, although black scholars have been sleeping on this genre because of their Islamic bias, even though Muslim American literature begins with North American Africans as Dr. Mojah Kahf has declared, a professor of English and Islamic literature at the University of Arkansas.

And further, we must place Malcolm X in line with his immediate predecessors Marcus Garvey, Noble Drew Ali, Master Fard Muhammad and Elijah Muhammad.

We must understand that what happened between Elijah and Malcolm was classic revolutionary activity. In revolution shit happens, people are betrayed, assassinated, there is jealousy and envy. We must learn from these happenings, reconcile when possible and continue the struggle. And finally, Malcolm in particular and Islam in general had a great influence on the Black Arts Movement. As Sonia Sanchez has said, "We were all influenced by by Malcolm and Islam." This includes Askia Toure, Yusef Iman, Amiri Baraka, Larry Neal, Henry Dumas, Haki Madhubuti, Last Poets, Barbara Ann Teer, Nikki Giovanni, Sun Ra, Marvin X and others.

My "three minutes" ended with a reply to panelist Amir, Kevin Powell and Ewuare Osayande who raised the issue of white supremacy. I noted that I am presently writing a book on How To Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy: A Pan African 12 Step Model. There was audience laughter and applause when I said the steps include detox, recovery, and discovery. Discovery is for those who have no consciousness and must become aware then join the cultural revolution. Excerpts from the manuscript are available online at:  Also go to Marvin X on YouTube


Hartford, Conn: Black Bourgeoisie Host Marvin X

Marvin X's East coast book tour came to Hartford, Conn. last Saturday. Hartford is midway between Boston and New York, thus a hot real estate market, so the poet learned from his host, a mortgage company owner, and other guests who were real estate brokers and investors. The event was catered and the bartender a nice white woman who asked the poet what happens at a book party. Apparently she wasn't the only one who didn't know as many guests came without cash and had to borrow money from the host to purchase his books. Co-host Dana Rondel, a young novelist, introduced the poet and what followed was the most intense discussion of spirituality during his tour. A Christian brother talked about belief as central to religion but was corrected by brother Sabu, a physics professor, who explained that belief doesn't count, only knowledge. It can be a bright sunny day outside but the believer is convinced it is raining. The next day at a private reading, Nikki Miles, member of the Hartford Queen Afua circle, said religion is for followers, spirituality for leaders. Dana, the young novelist, was able to do the impossible with Mr. X: not only did she take him out to dance at a local club, but made him take a walk for exercise. He did so kicking and screaming, but he walked. 24 April 2007

*   *   *   *   *

Boston: Askia Toure Steals Show From Marvin X


Marvin X's East coast book tour took him to Boston this past Saturday. He was greeted by comrades from the Black Arts Movement, poet Askia Toure and playwright Ed Bullins. Prior to the book signing at the African America Masters Art Gallery in Jamaica Plain, the trio did two radio interviews. On Sister Soul's show, Marvin X astounded the sister with his reading of “What If” and the essay “Language” from his latest collection Beyond Religion, Toward Spirituality. She was only the first interviewer to be left breathless after his reading.

Ed Bullins and Askia also addressed the radio audience on the history and nature of the Black Arts Movement, stressing the importance of it in the literary, political and academic radicalization of America, then the trio departed for another interview in Quincey, an affluent suburb of Boston. Marvin X again left the interviewer, sister Victoria, literally breathless and unable to speak. The air was charged with the holy ghost. Then it was Askia's turn at the mike. The elder statesman of BAM was not to be out done by his junior comrade from the West Coast. Askia spit out one of the most powerful free style poems in the history of BAM. The energy in the room was as if a bomb had been exploded. Everyone was shocked at Askia's free style, delivered in his well known grandiose manner. Even Askia appeared shocked at himself, as he was a few years ago at Atlanta's Spelman College when he read his poem on Venus And Serena, causing the audience of mostly women to explode with deafening applause.

Later that evening at the African American Gallery, a facility supported by UMASS, Professor Tony Van de Meer introduced the poets and they continued the momentum begun that morning, in harmony with the gathering storm outside. The audience included high school and university students, professors, activists and community folks who defied the storm to attend.

*   *   *   *   *

Marvin X and Daughter Rock Medgar Evers College


12 April 2007

Marvin X (El Muhajir) and his dynamic daughter, Muhammida El Muhajir, rocked Brooklyn's Medgar Evers College last evening.

The poet and daughter engaged in dialogue on consciousness, based on his latest book, Beyond Religion, toward Spirituality, Essays on Consciousness. Brooklyn is the latest stop on the poet's East coast book tour that includes Philadelphia, Newark, Boston and Washington, DC. After the introduction by novelist Dana Rondel, Marvin read "What If" ( The poem is the essence of the book, calling for a new spiritual consciousness, recognizing the divinity of all things, all beings, nature, men, women, children, the poor, the rich, the homeless, dope fiends, mamas you hate, daddies you hate, all are divine, according to the poet. Dana Rondel described the effect of the poem on her consciousness. If made her think about the father she has sometimes hated, and the men. "What if they are divine?" she asked the audience. If so, she must indeed transcend her feelings.

Muhammida, filmmaker (Hip Hop, The New World Order, ), celebrated the consciousness of her generation and thanked her parents for giving her consciousness that transcends fear, insecurity, and self doubt. After all, she traveled around the world by herself to film her documentary on hip hop culture. Marvin X noted that his daughter and siblings were born without fear. The 60s generation was fearless, thus we produced fearless children with radical consciousness. He applauded rapper M1 of Dead Prez on Fox News: the rapper decried the comments of Imus and called upon people to fight racism and oppression.

Marvin described the crass materialism and consumerism he saw on the streets of Brooklyn, Harlem, Newark and Philly during Easter. "It was very sad to see how we were spending money with people who hate us and dump cheap goods on us while employing very few of us. Are we not nappy headed hos, exploited and robbed by blood sucking merchants, capitalist pimps?

But it is our reactionary consciousness that allows us to be exploited. We refuse to do for self. We refuse to think out of the box. Our leaders are guilty of keeping us in the box by not providing us with a plan for national liberation. They keep us running from fire to fire to fire, running here, running there, reacting to this and that, but no overall plan for our freedom based on critical thinking and long range planning.

Marvin X returns to Brooklyn on Friday, April 27, 6:30pm at Sista's Place, Nostrand and Jefferson. It was ten years ago that Sista's Place produced his play One Day in The Life.  This Sunday he will appear in Boston with his comrades from the Black Arts Movement, poet Askia Toure and playwright Ed Bullins, plus professor Tony Van de Meer at the African American Gallery,

76 Atherton, Jamaica Plains,  MA, 6pm. His tour concludes in Washington DC on Saturday, April 28 at the Umoja Gallery,

2015 Bunker Hill Rd, NE, 5pm.

*   *   *   *   *

Philadelphia (6 April 2007)
Marvin X's East coast book tour got off on an unfortunate note when Poet Sonia Sanchez had to postpone hosting her book party for Marvin because she suffered a fall and was hospitalized a few days before the scheduled event. So the tour began with a reading (accompanied by Elliot Bey on piano) at the University of Penn's WEB DUBOIS center, sponsored by African American Studies, African American Resource Center and the Women's Center. The event was a poetry reading by local spoken word artists, especially those connected with Maurice Henderson's National Black Poetry Tour.

Marvin was asked to join the tour, and he agreed, especially after hearing the poets. "The poets who read today have renewed my faith in the power of poetry to free our people. In the beginning was the word—if these poets and others like them can get their message to the people, it will cause a paradigm shift in the hood—things will never be the same, just as the Black Arts Movement helped change consciousness in the 60s. Conscious spoken word and poetry can refocus our people on liberation, personal and political, as opposed to the bitch, ho, and motherfucker message of much rap."
Later than evening at Robbins Book Store, Marvin X was given a proper introduction by poet Lamont Steptoe, winner of the Pew award. He quoted from an interview by Lee Hubbard, Marvin X Unplugged, see  AALBC or ChickenBones  He also quoted from the preface to Marvin's collection of essays, In the Crazy House Called America, which called for a national general strike. 
The poet dialogued with hip hop journalist Justin Soul One Bedford, a Philly native, who recently interviewed Spike Lee. But much of Marvin's comments were directed to the two young males traveling with him, aged 16 and 25. "All that I am doing now is to save these young men and others like them. We must surround them with love to save their lives. We have formed a dream team to save them, composed of their mother, uncles and aunt." He suggested other parents, relatives, and community members do the same with their young males.

As per young females, Nisa Ra, Marvin's friend, former wife and mother of his daughter, Muhammida, is consulting with him to write a book on how she raised their daughter, a Howard University graduate, entrepreneur and filmmaker, Hip Hop: The New World Order, go to Muhammida is filming her father's tour for a documentary on the Black Arts Movement and Hip Hop.

 On Thursday, she will dialogue with her father at the Medgar Evers College film series, 7pm. It is possible there will be a screening of Marvin's film THE KINGS AND QUEENS OF BLACK CONSCIOUSNESS, a video documentary he produced from the 2001 concert at San Francisco State University, featuring Amina and Amiri Baraka, Dr. Cornel West, Julia and Nathan Hare, Kalamu ya Salaam, Rev. Cecil Williams of Glide Church, Ishmael Reed, Askia Toure, Marvin X, and many others. 
Marvin was totally surprised to learn one audience member was his comrade from the 60s liberation struggle, Muhammad Ahmad (Max Stanford, Jr.), leader of Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM ). Marvin was totally humbled when Muhammad introduced himself and exchanged his recently published WE WILL RETURN IN THE WHIRLWIND, a history of Black Radical Organizations.

*   *   *   *   *

Marvin X East Coast Tour

Ishmael Reed says "Forget about spending hundreds of dollars for motivational and prosperity seminars. Just go stand next to Marvin X and watch him sell his books." Little may be known in the mainstream of poet/writer Marvin X but within circles of radical and independent artists and thinkers, he remains an icon! "Marvin X is one of the founders and innovators of the Black Arts Movement."Amiri Baraka

This month, the Bay area legend heads east for a book signing/reading tour of his latest release, Beyond Religion-Toward Spirituality: Essays on Consciousness. Longtime friends/associates/ comradessuch as Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka, and Ed Bullins host Marvin X on the road. He will also bridge the gap with dialogue from the new generation of young writers, journalists and activists.

Marvin X East Coast Tour Schedule

April 6 Philly Sonia Sanchez hosts book party in , private.

April 7  Philly WEB DuBois Center--University of Penn, 3pm
April 7 Philly Robin's Bookstore, 108 S. 13th Street,. 7pm.
April 8 Amiri Baraka's house, 808 S.10th Street, Newark, NJ, 6pm.

April 11Brooklyn  hosts book party, Brooklyn,  
April 12 Medgar Evers College,  7pm

April 15 Boston. African American Gallery, reading, signing by Marvin X, sponsored by Ed Bullins and Askia Toure,
April 20 Hartford, Conn.  Novelist Dana Rondel hosts Marvin X,
April 28 Washington, DC Baba Lumumba hosts Marvin X at Umoja Gallery,  For more information, contact:

 Marvin X on YouTube   Review by Nzina

Amiri Baraka wrote: Marvin X is Getting RICH! 

*   *   *   *   *

Fahizah Alim to Amy Goodman

Greetings Amy:

Trusting that you remember me from our meeting in DC at the Unity Conference and my subsequent interview with you for the Sacramento Bee. I’m writing to introduce to you a most powerful author-guest for your shows.

I have written numerous times in The Bee about Marvin X- certainly one of the most courageous, soulful,  provocative, and loving activists in all of America..

Marvin X, the co-founder of the Black Arts Movement, playwright and author of a dozen brutally brazen books, is on the East Coast now doing book signings and readings everywhere from Amiri Baraka and Sonja Sanchez’ house to and urban theaters and  bookstores.

I want to put you in contact with him as I KNOW that he is a voice that you want/need to air.

Below is some info on him and his itinerary.

If you need any more information from me, you can reach me at (916) 424-9282 or (916) 743-2374

Yours in the Struggle

Fahizah Alim

*   *   *   *   *

Marvin X (510) 472-9589

Marvin X

 also known as Marvin Jackmon and El Muhajir


Marvin X was born May 29, 1944 in Fowler, California , near Fresno . Marvin X is well known for his work as a poet, playwright and essayist of the BLACK ARTS MOVEMENT or BAM. He attended Merritt College along with Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. He received his BA and MA in English from San Francisco State University.

Marvin X is most well-known for his work with Ed Bullins in the founding of Black House and The Black Arts/West Theatre in San Francisco . Black House served briefly as the headquarters for the Black Panther Party and as a center for performance, theatre, poetry and music.

Marvin X is a playwright in the true spirit of the BAM. His most well-known BAM play, entitled Flowers for the Trashman, deals with generational difficulties and the crisis of the Black intellectual as he deals with education in a white-controlled culture. Marvin X's other works include, The Black Bird, The Trial, Resurrection of the Dead and In the Name of Love.

He currently has the longest running African American drama in the San Francisco Bay area and Northern California , ONE DAY IN THE LIFE, a tragi-comedy of addiction and recovery. He is the founder and director of RECOVERY THEATRE.

Marvin X has continued to work as a lecturer, teacher, and producer. He has taught at Fresno State University; San Francisco State University; University of California— Berkeley and San Diego; University of Nevada, Reno; Mills College, Laney and Merritt Colleges in Oakland. He has received writing fellowships from Columbia University and the National Endowment for the Arts and planning grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

 Marvin X Unplugged -- An Interview  (Lee Hubbard)


*   *   *   *   *

Beyond Religion, Toward Spirituality

Marvin X has done extraordinary mind and soul work in bringing our attention to the importance of spirituality, as opposed to religion, in our daily living. Someone—maybe Kierkegaard or maybe it was George Fox who—said that there was no such thing as "Christianity." There can only be Christians. It is not institutions but rather individuals who make the meaningful differences in our world. It is not Islam but Muslims. Not Buddhism but Buddhists. Marvin X has made a courageous difference. In this book he shares the wondrous vision of his spiritual explorations. His eloquent language and rhetoric are varied—sophisticated but also earthy, sometimes both at once.

Highly informed he speaks to many societal levels and to both genders—to the intellectual as well as to the man/woman on the street or the unfortunate in prison—to the mind as well as the heart. His topics range from global politics and economics to those between men and women in their household. Common sense dominates his thought. He shuns political correctness for the truth of life. He is a Master Teacher in many fields of thought—religion and psychology, sociology and anthropology, history and politics, literature and the humanities. He is a needed Counselor, for he knows himself, on the deepest of personal levels and he reveals that self to us, that we might be his beneficiaries.

All of which are represented in his Radical Spirituality—a balm for those who anguish in these troubling times of disinformation. As a shaman himself, he calls too for a Radical Mythology to override the traditional mythologies of racial supremacy that foster war and injustice. If you want to reshape (clean up, raise) your consciousness, this is a book to savor, to read again, and again—to pass onto a friend or lover. —Rudolph Lewis, Editor, ChickenBones: A Journal

*   *   *   *   *

In the Crazy House Called America

In the Crazy House Called America is available from Black Bird Press, 11132 Nelson Bar Road , Cherokee , CA 95965 , $19.95. Contact Marvin X at:

Rarely is a brother secure and honest enough with himself to reveal his innermost thoughts, emotions or his most hellacious life experiences. For most men it would be a monumental feat just to share/bare his soul with his closest friends but to do so to perfect strangers would be unthinkable, unless he had gone through the fires of life and emerged free of the dross that tarnishes his soul. Marvin X, poet, playwright, author and essayist does just that in a self-published book entitled In The Crazy House Called America .

This latest piece from Marvin X offers a peek into his soul and his psyche. He lets the reader know he is hip to the rabid oppression the West heaps upon people of color especially North American Africans while at the same time revealing the knowledge gleaned from his days as a student radical, black nationalist revolutionary forger of the Black Arts Movement, husband, father lover, a dogger of women did not spare him the degradation and agony of descending into the abyss of crack addiction, abusive and toxic relationships and family tragedy.

Perhaps because of the knowledge gained as a member of the Nation of Islam, and his experiences as one of the prime movers of the cultural revolution of the '60, the insights he shares In The Crazy House Called America are all the keener. Marvin writes candidly of his pain, bewilderment and depression of losing his son to suicide. He shares in a very powerful way, his own out of body helplessness as he wallowed in the dregs of an addiction that threatened to destroy his soul and the mess his addictions made of his life and relationships with those he loved. But he is not preachy and this is not an autobiography. He has already been there and done that. In sharing his story and the wisdom he has gleaned from his life experiences and looking at the world through the eyes of an artist/healer.—Junious Ricardo Stanton

*   *   *   *   *

Book of poetry by Black Arts activist, preface by Lorenzo Thomas. "When you listen to Tupac Shakur, E-40, Too Short, Master P or any other rappers out of the Bay Area of Cali, think of Marvin X. He laid the foundation and gave us the language to express Black male urban experience in a lyrical way.James G. Spady, Philadelphia New Observer.

*   *   *   *   *

Related Links

Read: Marvin X Unplugged -- An Interview  (Lee Hubbard)

Movie Reviews by Marvin X on AALBC  include:

Ali -- / Baby Boy --

Ray -- / Traffic --

Movie Reviews by Marvin X on ChickenBones: A Journal include:

Akeelah and the Bee   /   Maangamizi (the Ancient One)   /  The Pursuit of Happyness  /  My Son The Fanatic

*   *   *   *   *'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

*   *   *   *   *

Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007

By Matthew Wasniewski

Black Americans in Congress, 1870–2007 beautifully prepared volume—is a comprehensive history of the more than 120 African Americans who have served in the United States Congress. Written for a general audience, this book contains a profile of each African-American Member, including notables such as Hiram Revels, Joseph Rainey, Oscar De Priest, Adam Clayton Powell, Shirley Chisholm, Gus Hawkins, and Barbara Jordan. Individual profiles are introduced by contextual essays that explain major events in congressional and U.S. history. Part I provides four chronologically organized chapters under the heading "Former Black Members of Congress." Each chapter provides a lengthy biographical sketch of the members who served during the period addressed, along with a narrative historical account of the era and tables of information about the Congress during that time. Part II provides similar information about current African-American members. There are 10 appendixes providing tabular information of a variety of sorts about the service of Black members, including such things as a summary list, service on committees and in party leadership posts, familial connections, and so forth.

*   *   *   *   *

Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.” Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake. WashingtonPost

*   *   *   *   *

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 / 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 

*   *   *   *   *

*   *   *   *   *

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






update 23 May 2012




Home  Marvin X Table