ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

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more than my name in the daily paper endorsing bullshit / cooperating with capitalism, suit&tied

down, a negro the white folks could be proud of. I wanted to be the question / mark in the eyes of the status quo:

what in the world /  do those negroes want? Don’t they have a black mayor?

 
 

 

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)

 

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You'll Never See My Byline in the Times-Picayune

                                                                  By Kalamu ya Salaam

 

Asante, the eldest of five siblings, sent me an email early, early

this morning citing a photo of me and five comrades

striding out of city hall, fists upraised—we had taken over

the mayor’s office: Ernest Morial, the first black mayor.

 

Around our necks we wore signs, each with the name

of a person murdered by the police in the west bank neighborhood

known as Algiers (at least the colonialist are consistent,

they always kill some of us to try to discourage the rest of us).

 

I know we are in a post-racial state, I know today is not

as murderous as yesterday except if you understand

that black homicide is really genocide and is as high as a hawk

patrolling the sky. Anyway, the article gave no context—

 

we were just crazy, young niggers—overlook the white boy

with us (besides he was probably one of those Jewish radicals),

and that girl must have been the consort of one of us

otherwise why would a woman protest? I smiled

 

and called my daughter to thank her for passing the info on.

Asante said she remembered those days, she was maybe ten or eleven

but she remembered and she asked herself the right questions:

"what now?" "what am I doing for the greater good?" 

 

"when? will the imbalance between haves and have nots

ever be able to really change?" I smiled. Asante was part

of the reason we resorted to direct action. I wanted to give

her (and all other young people) something stronger, something

 

more than my name in the daily paper endorsing bullshit

cooperating with capitalism, suit&tied down, a negro

the white folks could be proud of. I wanted to be the question

mark in the eyes of the status quo: what in the world

 

do those negroes want? Don’t they have a black mayor?

Isn’t that enough/too much? How come they smiling,

looking so happy? Shouldn’t they have been arrested?

What is the world coming to? Can’t we bring back

 

the good old days when there was respect

for law and order? I know we should never forget

the law and order that brought us here, that

stole this land, killed off the native inhabitants

 

and fucked with our minds so much

that some of us would love to do nothing so much

as write our own obituaries—yes, I know

I sound extreme but that’s how I respond to murder.

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music website > http://www.kalamu.com/bol/
writing website > http://wordup.posterous.com/
daily blog > http://kalamu.posterous.com
twitter > http://twitter.com/neogriot
facebook > http://www.facebook.com/kalamu.salaam

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Justice Department aims to help overhaul New Orleans police force—By Sandhya Somashekhar—August 1, 2010—In the five years since the storm, the department's standing has worsened. Eager for a turnaround, the newly elected mayor did something nearly unthinkable for someone in his position: He called in the feds. . . . " I have inherited a police force that has been described by many as one of the worst police departments in the country," Mayor Mitch Landrieu wrote in a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. earlier this year. "The police force, the community, our citizens are desperate for positive change." . . .

At least a dozen Justice experts have been dispatched to New Orleans to assist with a top-to-bottom overhaul aimed at strengthening the department's ability to police itself, Perez said. They have applauded some of the changes instituted by the new chief, who was installed by Landrieu and has hired a civilian to head the internal affairs office and adopted a no-tolerance policy toward officers caught lying. . . . At the same time, the city's homicide rate has risen to the highest in the nation. WashingtonPost

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Infamous Algiers 7 police brutality case of 1980 has parallels to today

Thirty years ago this week, a single gunshot changed New Orleans' relationship with its police force. A young, white cop, Gregory Neupert, took a fatal bullet to the neck. In short order, four black citizens were killed in a hail of police gunfire. The chief of police was eventually forced out amid a racially tinged uproar. The mayor felt the wrath of an outraged citizenry.

The violent police response to Neupert's killing led to the federal indictment of seven officers in one of the earliest, wide-ranging civil rights probes of the New Orleans Police Department. Three of the so-called "Algiers Seven" were eventually convicted in an exhaustive trial that relied on the testimony of a fellow cop who broke ranks. Though four citizens were dead, the conviction centered on the beating and abuse of other citizens, but not on the killings.

This week, another dark chapter in the history of the NOPD begins, one with haunting parallels to the Neupert case. Starting Monday, a new group of officers will be tried in federal court for numerous alleged civil rights violations in Algiers. Prosecutors say that in the days after Hurricane Katrina, one officer shot Henry Glover, other officers burnt his body to bits of bones and beat his companions, and others helped cover the whole matter up.

NOLA photo rightThe six demonstrators who occupied Mayor Ernest Morial's office for three days in June, 1981, march with fists raised as they leave New Orleans City Hall. From left are: Kalamu ya Salaam , Macio Duncan, Cynthia Riley, Daniel Johnikin and Martin Lefstein. The sixth protester is out of view inside the doorway. The signs around their necks bear the names of the people killed in the Algiers 7 shootings.

posted 8 November 2010

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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. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.—WashingtonPost

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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. The entire volume is 803 large folio pages in length and there are many illustrations. The book should be part of every library and research collection, and congressional scholars may well wish to obtain it for their personal libraries.Pictures—including rarely seen historical images—of each African American who has served in Congress—Bibliographies and references to manuscript collections for each Member—Statistical graphs and charts

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Faces At The Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism

By Derrick Bell

In nine grim metaphorical sketches, Bell, the black former Harvard law professor who made headlines recently for his one-man protest against the school's hiring policies, hammers home his controversial theme that white racism is a permanent, indestructible component of our society. Bell's fantasies are often dire and apocalyptic: a new Atlantis rises from the ocean depths, sparking a mass emigration of blacks; white resistance to affirmative action softens following an explosion that kills Harvard's president and all of the school's black professors; intergalactic space invaders promise the U.S. President that they will clean up the environment and deliver tons of gold, but in exchange, the bartering aliens take all African Americans back to their planet. Other pieces deal with black-white romance, a taxi ride through Harlem and job discrimination. Civil rights lawyer Geneva Crenshaw, the heroine of Bell's And We Are Not Saved (1987), is back in some of these ominous allegories, which speak from the depths of anger and despair. Bell now teaches at New York University Law School.Publishers Weekly /  Derrick Bell Law Rights Advocate  Dies at 80

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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

Browse all issues


1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        

Enjoy!

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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 11 April 2012

 

 

 

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