ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

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Mr. Politician, we hear the words you say. / Only time we see you is before election day.

Mr. Politician, is it all just a game, / a power struggle so fame is attached to your name.

 

 

 

Mr. Politician

By Yictove

 

Mr. Politician, why you act so hard?

Don't you know everybody want peace in their yard?

 

Mr. Politician, why you act so mean?

Don't you know that all hidden things are eventually seen?

 

Mr. Politician, why you act so cold?

History's greatest story is being told,

 

Poop people work so hard everyday.

No politician listens to what we say.

 

Present Administration organized crime.

What is the difference if you take what's name?

 

Mr. Politician, I hope you can see

how we surviving our reality.

 

Mr. Politician, we hear the words you say.

Only time we see you is before election day.

 

Mr. Politician, is it all just a game,

a power struggle so fame is attached to your name.

 

Mr. Politician, you such a strange superstar

when you get angry you send people to war.

 

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From the one book of his I have, a Blue Print, of a life seemingly quickly lived but deeply felt. Yictove became a coordinator of readings at the Knitting Factory and at the East Orange Public Library.

Soft spoken, introverted it would seem, appearing, disappearing, yet leaving his trace, singular, but like all of us, leaving traces, prints of our blues our blues lives. Now the brother follows the 9th Ward of his native Big Easy, deeply appreciated but now part of the legend of what we took for granted some of the things that made us happy, now gone gone gone.—Amiri Baraka 8/1/07

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I will always remember the artistic genius that lived in my brother. The way that he made words have new life from the written to the spoken word was something of an art in and of itself. As he spoke his voice boomed and oozed giving words new meaning. The Knitting Factory and the Library (East Orange Public Library) gave him the opportunity to help others grow and cultivate in the arts he so loved. He was a gentle teacher and had a gift with people of all walks of life. Not long ago he was in New Orleans and performed with Kid Jordan’s band an impromptu jam session where he read When the Dewdrop Drops. Though the performance was not rehearsed it was amazing in every sense, exemplifying the artist he truly was.

Consuello Battin: Sister

This "Brother/Man" from New Orleans who has touched spirits on one shore and the next has come touch base with ours. He speaks of the conditions that are within our control, and the necessity for some changes of the urgency in the need to learn to learn how to truly love ourselves in order to be free enough to open up and learn to love each other. Offering no panacea, he speaks of the reality of the hard work intrinsic in the finding of solutions. He is a believer in the wondrous results of honest attempts at communications with our lovers, families and friends--a direct path to broader communications with our people--A.H. Reynolds

Yictove has produced/hosted a poetry series on cable in Newark, New Jersey, performed as a poet in the schools courtesy of the Geraldine Dodge Foundation, worked as a creative writing instructor in the Safe Haven Program/YMCA in East Orange, New Jersey, and directed as poetry series in New York City's Knitting Factory.  Cover art: Lorraine Williams             Source: D.J. Soliloquy (Thrown Stone Press, 1988)

posted 9 November 2007

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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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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. She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. WashingtonPost

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Incognegro: A Memoir of Exile and Apartheid

By  Frank B. Wilderson, III

Wilderson, a professor, writer and filmmaker from the Midwest, presents a gripping account of his role in the downfall of South African apartheid as one of only two black Americans in the African National Congress (ANC). After marrying a South African law student, Wilderson reluctantly returns with her to South Africa in the early 1990s, where he teaches Johannesburg and Soweto students, and soon joins the military wing of the ANC. Wilderson's stinging portrait of Nelson Mandela as a petulant elder eager to accommodate his white countrymen will jolt readers who've accepted the reverential treatment usually accorded him. After the assassination of Mandela's rival, South African Communist Party leader Chris Hani, Mandela's regime deems Wilderson's public questions a threat to national security; soon, having lost his stomach for the cause, he returns to America. Wilderson has a distinct, powerful voice and a strong story that shuffles between the indignities of Johannesburg life and his early years in Minneapolis, the precocious child of academics who barely tolerate his emerging political consciousness. Publishers Weekly

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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

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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 2 May 2012

 

 

 

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