ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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Back in the day, Fillmore was the man. Now Charlie Walker held down Hunters Point with

his good hustling, player, sometimes pimping game. But Charlie was a brute, Fillmore was

smooth as silk. Me and my buddy used to ride through the Fillmore counting Fillmore's ho's



  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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Gospel of the Game

a film based on the book by James Robinson

written and directed by Rosebud Bitterdose

Nigguh wanna pimp

can you out pimp Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush

Can you in yo cad, one suit, one hoe

can you out pimp Standard Oil, Chase Manhattan, Lloyd's of London, Bank of America

They pimpin presidents, generals

men, women and children

aunts, uncles

nigguh wanna pimp


(from “Nigguh Wanna Pimp,” a poem by Marvin X, revised 2003)

After the films American Pimp and Pimps Up, Ho's Down, what else do we need to know about pimping? Did you know pimps can recover from their addiction? If whores can recover, why not pimps? In San Francisco there is an organization called SAGE that helps women recover from their debasing life as sex workers. And now Recovery Theatre was recently informed, actually during the private screening of this film that the author, James Robinson/aka Jimmy Starr, of the novel on which the film is based realized pimping was an addiction after attending a mental health group session at Recovery Theatre. 

"As I sat in Recovery Theatre in Dr. Nathan Hare's group session called Black Reconstruction, I said what the hell am I doing in Recovery Theatre. Then it hit me that my life of pimping had been an addiction and that I was in recovery, had been in recovery for over ten years. And I realized my whores had been addicted too. What a revelation for me!"

Well, the film would have been a monster, perhaps, if it had told the story of pimps in recovery rather than spend a majority of time showing scenes glorifying the ancient art. Only at or near the end do we hear the pimps recant their lifestyle, but thankfully, we actually believe them, although more confessional statements would leave no doubt about their sincerity.

But let's get to the point: this film was about the life and times of Fillmore Slim, San Francisco's legendary mild mannered, gentle, soft spoken, master pimp, the West Coast godfather of the game, in short, the pope of pimping. Although known nationwide in the game, the life and times of Fillmore Slim became even more well known in American Pimp, but obviously that wasn't enough for the pope, so an entire movie had to be devoted to him, as is only proper—Fillmore is definitely not a minor character in the game, trust me, he was a major player. 

American Pimp gave us a very good slice of his good pimping life, but one of my friend's told me this story, "Back in the day, Fillmore was the man. Now Charlie Walker held down Hunters Point with his good hustling, player, sometimes pimping game. But Charlie was a brute, Fillmore was smooth as silk. Me and my buddy used to ride through the Fillmore counting Fillmore's ho's, always between ten and fifteen deep. He was true to the game and the game was true to him."

The film consists of numerous interviews with pimps, female sex workers (if you like this politically correct term, absolutely unpoetic to this writer), all praising and acknowledging Fillmore as the master of the game.

There are numerous cuts to Fillmore giving up the game, even blessing a young pimp into the game, charging him, of course. A student of black studies at the screening said this rite of passage could be emulated by the Black Arts Movement, or the liberation movement because it was a necessary ritual for membership into a family, and why should not revolution be a family affair? Contrary to the view of writer Ewuare Osayande, a rite of passage ritual would be helpful to initiate the next generation of poets and artists who believe in the ideology of the Black Arts Movement.

The BAM is no game, no scam, it is the real deal holyfield revolution, yes, the same one David Walker wrote about, that Nat Turner got hung for, that Marcus Garvey and Elijah trained us for, that Malcolm and Martin were murdered for by the USA to prevent the rise of a black messiah. The Black Studies student also noticed that the film showed a young brother who wanted to be in the game, but was known to have a mental disability, yet the pimps acknowledged him and said he was part of the family. The student said the Black Arts Movement must show similar love to those brothers and sisters in the BAM. After all, do any of us have a clean bill of mental health?

Can you pimp a jew

Nigguh wanna pimp

Can you pimp Arabia

Nigguh wanna pimp

Can you pimp Africa and Latin America?

Nigguh wanna pimp.

The young student was saying that accepting all members of the family is what the black revolution needs to practice, although one must admit the black revolution did have a certain degree of unconditional love, so much love that snitches, agents, and all points in between were acceptable, although at times love was in short order and even the righteous, the innocent were cut down because of psychopathic thoughts, including paranoia, working in the revolution, not to mention often at the instigation of Cointelpro, the US government's counter intelligence program to disrupt the black revolution.

Can you pimp the father, the son and the holy ghost?

Nigguh wanna pimp

Can you pimp teachers, preachers, politicians and judges?

Nigguh wanna pimp, yeah!

For those still in the game, Gospel of the Game might be a lesson on what to forget and forgive, all the pimps forgotten, all the hoes forgotten and forgiven, and yes, forgive the pimps too since they are victims in the terrorist war against black America. If you ain't pimpin like Colin and Condoleza the Skeeza, you ain't pimpin at all—go get a day job. That's what Fillmore did—he plays and sings the blues throughout the world.

Just before he left on a recent European tour, I talked with him about the game: 

I just came from North Carolina on a concert with Snoop Dog and other good pimpin nigguhs. I go along with Snoop Dog because he recognizes me and seeks my blessings, but he ain't hardly no pimp—it's all in his mind. These young nigguhs ain't doing nothing but messin up the game. 

First of all they ain't got no class, pimpin with they pants hangin off they ass, in joggin suits, they messin up the game. But I go along with them cause they recognize me, bow down to me, but what they doing ain't hardly pimpin. Another thing: we never beat our women, but these stupid young nigguhs wanna kill their woman if she leave them—don't no real pimps do that—then they wanna kill a brother if the ho go to him—that ain't in the game. 

"They think the woman supposed to be with them for life, wanna beat her up. They don't understand, if they don't beat her, she might come back to them. These youngsters messin up the game. I'm not gonna condemn the game, see, because I got people on both sides. But I paid my dues,  I went to prison. I'm not proud of what I did and what I tell people is think about the consequences of your actions. There's a price for being in this game. Think about how you end up.

Consider this sad reality: film writer, director Rosebud said it was the book Pimp by Iceberg Slim that not only turned him onto pimping, but also to writing—he is now the author of four books, so who knows, if he had been turned onto writing and righteousness  at a young age, he would be a great writer by now, instead of just getting into the game of words. And James Robinson said the same, so there is a message here for all writers, teachers, intellectuals, preachers, politicians and judges, that if we get to our youth soon enough, we can guide them on the right path to freedom, justice, and equality. Let us be true to the game, so the game will be true to us! 12/21/03

*   *   *   *   *'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

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The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama's political success and Oprah Winfrey's financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today... than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don't know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as "the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field 'cut their teeth'."

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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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update 4 March 2012




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