ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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We behave like savages in our big houses. We drive alone through the streets

in our big cars without a friend to visit. We drink expensive alcohol until it

takes us out at a young age, fifty and sixty. Yet we claim sanity? We claim civility?


Books by Nathan Hare

The Black Anglo-Saxons / The Miseducation of the Black Child  / The Endangered Black Family  / Bringing the Black Boy to Manhood

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Books by Marvin X

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

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Recovery Theatre  sponsors

The Esteemed Dr. Nathan Hare 

Every Wednesday, 6-7:30PM, 133 Golden Gate

Marvin X and the Last Poets 

at Recovery Theatre, Friday, July 4, 8PM

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The Meaning of Black Reconstruction

By Marvin X


How shall we repair the black mind? Shall we fill it with African culture, religion, politics, economics? What African culture shall serve as a model for the North American African? Where in Africa is African culture working for the African?

Egypt, an uncle tom, reactionary Arab regime, sitting atop ten thousand years of African culture without a clue how to make it function in the modern world, certainly not to the extent that it can be a force in liberating the Egyptians out of poverty, ignorance, and disease. South Africa, a revolution gone astray, essentially a neocolonial regime, with the white man playing possum, the blacks still landless and in dire straits economically. 

West Africa and the Congo, full of AIDS and bands of mad baby warriors taking orders from OG criminal gangs in search of diamonds, gold, and other minerals sought by the West, who each day return as naked colonial powers in the guise of peace keepers as the French are doing this very moment in the Congo and Liberia.

The obvious failure of African culture is the glaring fact that we are in America! What role did African culture play in getting us to America? We know that it was human culture that got us here, in the form of greed, lust for power, conspiracy with the enemies of Africa on the part of the ruling class, that elite Colin Powell, Connie Rice type African leadership, running dogs for imperialism and pax Americana.

So we must understand clearly the dangers of African culture in the reconstruction of the minds of North American Africans. Of course the values of Maat are valid and true, if we use them, or even the seven principles, if we use them and stop buying Hallmark Kwanzaa cards for the seven day trip into African mysticism, then return to the insanity of Americanism. We now have big degrees, big houses, big bank accounts, big mega churches, but our behavior reflects brains the size of mustard seeds. 

We behave like savages in our big houses. We drive alone through the streets in our big cars without a friend to visit. We drink expensive alcohol until it takes us out at a young age, fifty and sixty. Yet we claim sanity? We claim civility? We are horrified when we see pictures of African children toting guns, but we do nothing about the toting of guns and the murderous behavior of North American African youth!

And yes, just as the diamond hunters are the number one employer of African youth, the dope man is the number one employer of our youth coast to coast, from the cities to the country hamlets in deepest south. Still we claim sanity as a people. Imagine, we are the tenth richest nation in the world. But we hardly have a proper restaurant in any major city. Our soul food has lost the taste of soul but is more like salsa, with Mexican cooks being employed because they are cheaper and more reliable, we're too busy to get to work. Yet, we claim sanity. Of course this is called denial. It is the reason even though we make the doctor available, we don't make the appointment.

Finally, Black Reconstruction should be about the healing of ourselves with whatever tools are functional in today's world, whether such tools come from Africa, America or China. Let us use any means necessary to come out of this morass, this conundrum, this precipice of despair and anxiety that is relentless and will not wither away until we do the right thing. Sun Ra taught me, "The Creator got things fixed: if you don't do the right thing, you can't go forward and you can't go backward." And so here we are in the new millennium, stuck on stupid like super glue on our asses, wondering whether to be or not to be an African, to be or not to be an American, when we should seize the best of both worlds and discard the rest into the dustbin of history and reactionary mysticism.

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Parable of the Cellphone (Marvin X)

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The Wisdom of Plato Negro:Parables/Fables By Marvin X

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#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

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The Great Divergence

America's Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do about It

By Timothy Noah

For the past three decades, America has steadily become a nation of haves and have-nots. Our incomes are increasingly drastically unequal: the top 1% of Americans collect almost 20% of the nation’s income—more than double their share in 1973. We have less equality of income than Venezuela, Kenya, or Yemen. What economics Nobelist Paul Krugman terms "the Great Divergence" has until now been treated as little more than a talking point, a club to be wielded in ideological battles. But it may be the most important change in this country during our lifetimes—a sharp, fundamental shift in the character of American society, and not at all for the better. The income gap has been blamed on everything from computers to immigration, but its causes and consequences call for a patient, non-partisan exploration.

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The Gardens of Democracy: A New American Story

of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government

By Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer

American democracy is informed by the 18th century’s most cutting edge thinking on society, economics, and government. We’ve learned some things in the intervening 230 years about self interest, social behaviors, and how the world works. Now, authors Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer argue that some fundamental assumptions about citizenship, society, economics, and government need updating. For many years the dominant metaphor for understanding markets and government has been the machine. Liu and Hanauer view democracy not as a machine, but as a garden. A successful garden functions according to the inexorable tendencies of nature, but it also requires goals, regular tending, and an understanding of connected ecosystems. The latest ideas from science, social science, and economics—the cutting-edge ideas of today—generate these simple but revolutionary ideas: (The economy is not an efficient machine. It’s an effective garden that need tending. Freedom is responsibility. Government should be about the big what and the little how. True self interest is mutual interest.

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


update 13 May 2012




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Related files: Black Reconstruction Week Two  Negro Psychosexuality