ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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 The story of each abuse of police power and/or criminal justice is always

far more complex and historically rooted than is ever reported in the media, and we

could waste time examining them individually. . . . what is the outcome of a seven

year-old male's arrest and booking in Baltimore several months ago.



Security Guards Beat School Teen over Cake Spill


How does one explain the Upsurge of so many vicious attacks

by the nation's police forces on black youth, not just boys but girls too?


School Security Guards Beat Teen over Cake Spill: Palmdale—It all started with a piece of birthday cake, but it ended up with a high school girl being beaten and expelled. The incident, which occurred last week at Knight High School in Palmdale, was caught on a cell phone camera. Michael Brownlee was live in Palmdale with what the girl and her mother plan to do now.

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Clearly, Injustice is not just in Jena—Cynthia McKinney

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I have this theory in life that there is no learning. There is no learning curve. Everything is tabula rasa. Everybody has to discover things for themselves. . . . Again, there's no learning curve. No learning curve at all. We'll be ready to fight another stupid war in another two decades.—Seymour Hersh, Interview Spiegel Online (28 September 2007

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In my opinion, this upsurge in police abuse of black teens is pointing to two historical trends rapidly intersecting or which have already converged: a)      The return of the ever-present white racism in the American society, which was only temporarily suppressed by the Cold War and Civil Rights Movement; and b)      Fascism (the denial of all rights to individuals in their relations with the state), most overtly demonstrated in the policies and practices of the currently political leadership of the American State—fully supported by the Democratic Party.

All of this, of course, is bound up with a deep crisis in the American economic system, here and abroad.

Fascism is a post WWI pattern, while white racism emerged after European capital decided to capture and hold Black People, as property for over 400 years, in order to appropriate our labor.

In a 1989 scholarly paper and later in a book (Fukuyama, Francis. 1992. The end of history and the last man. New York: Free Press), Fukuyama assured the American elites that this was “The End of History.”

He advised that, western civilization, western liberal democracy was now universalized—American capitalism has triumphed globally. Only friendly competition will occur, instead of wars, between the historically warring rival capitalist states in their quest to appropriate the world’s natural resources and the labor of its population.

Unfortunately for the previligentsia, represented by Fukuyama, and the big American capitalists, things did not turn out quite that Fukuyama thought that it would.

Here comes 911, socialist resurgence in Latin America and Russia; and rapid re-arming of Europe and Asia (including Japan) under the guise of diplomacy!

The American elites also regard us, black people, as a fifth column to American capitalism—we have endured it, we know it. We have resisted it culturally and politically for almost 500 years. By the burden of our history we cannot do otherwise, we must reject white racism and global capitalism which is not sustainable and in conflict with the social and economic character of global production. 

The outburst of American aggression abroad, fascism and racism at home are the reaction of the American capitalists to the rising threat to their hegemony.

5224 Knightsbridge Way
Raleigh NC 27604
Tel: 919-539-4338

"Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do make it under circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted from the past."

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Dear Rudy,

For me, one begins an explanation by considering that such attacks and the high incarceration rate for young black males and females under the age of 25 are part of a covert government program to criminalize young African Americans and eventually destablize one of the nation's minority populations (that is, minority in sheer body count).  It is a tactic used in promoting benign genocide. We have to explain social and moral retrogression on a national scale.

The story of each abuse of police power and/or criminal justice is always far more complex and historically rooted than is ever reported in the media, and we could waste time examining them individually.  It seems to me to be more effective to have databases on the frequency, geographical location, and outcomes of the incidents.  I do not know, for example, what is the outcome of a seven-year-old male's arrest and booking in Baltimore several months ago. These databases should be discussed on blogs and on radio programs in order to build a stronger consciousness and targets for meaningful action.  Much to our shame, we become very enthusiastic and emotional about individual cases, but we seem to be wanting and insufficiently cold-blooded in sustaining actions that deal with what is not individual but systemic.

David Walker knew very well in 1829 that consciousness and action are crucial if an oppressed population is ever to free itself from wretchedness.  We can not depend on the American criminal justice system for remedies, because the recent antics of the neo-con Supreme Court sanction anything and everything behind the twin disguises of judicial process and national security.  Like Walker, we must present the case of our plight in the courts of world, simply as a matter of record. Such a move would create a global environment for discussion, but the more meaningful work has to be done on site in Jena, LA and everywhere else by grassroots leaders and community people who are directly affected by police attacks.

As some of the Dillard students who participated in the Jena demonstration pointed out in their analysis of that activity, far too many people went for the ride and the photo opportunities.  These students want sustained action, and we elders in the audience advised them, in the immortal words of Margaret Walker, to be men and women and take control.  They must devise a future.

It is not just Obama who should be urged to wade in.  All the candidates for president must be challenged to wade in on domestic problems and to risk embarrassing the United States with some degree of honesty. I am not convinced that any of the candidates have the moral backbone to do so, for they understand that our national elections are no more than shams. I suspect that all of the candidates secretly want to become the American fascist dictator. Our current dictator is too stupid to hide his desires.

Peace, Jerry Ward

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Gulag of Racial IncarcerationAmerica has more than two million citizens behind bars, the highest absolute and per capita rate of incarceration in the world. Black Americans, a mere 13 percent of the population, constitute half of this country’s prisoners. A tenth of all black men between ages 20 and 35 are in jail or prison; blacks are incarcerated at over eight times the white rate.Orlando Patterson

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Professor Patterson despite the facts of police repression and government neglect still insists on blaming the victims : "Until we view this social calamity in its entirety — by also acknowledging the central role of unstable relations among the sexes and within poor families, by placing a far higher priority on moral and social reform within troubled black communities, and by greatly expanding social services for infants and children — it will persist" (Orlando Patterson).—Rudy

posted 30 September 2007

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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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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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The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance

Destroyed Our Jobs, Pensions, and Prosperity—and What We Can Do About It

By Les Leopold

How could the best and brightest (and most highly paid) in finance crash the global economy and then get us to bail them out as well? What caused this mess in the first place? Housing? Greed? Dumb politicians? What can Main Street do about it? In The Looting of America, Leopold debunks the prevailing media myths that blame low-income home buyers who got in over their heads, people who ran up too much credit-card debt, and government interference with free markets. Instead, readers will discover how Wall Street undermined itself and the rest of the economy by playing and losing at a highly lucrative and dangerous game of fantasy finance. He also asks some tough questions:  Why did Americans let the gap between workers' wages and executive compensation grow so large? Why did we fail to realize that the excess money in those executives' pockets was fueling casino-style investment schemes? Why did we buy the notion that too-good-to-be-true financial products that no one could even understand would somehow form the backbone of America's new, postindustrial economy? How do we make sure we never give our wages away to gamblers again?

And what can we do to get our money back? In this page-turning narrative (no background in finance required) Leopold tells the story of how we fell victim to Wall Street's exotic financial products. Readers learn how even school districts were taken in by "innovative" products like collateralized debt obligations, better known as CDOs, and how they sucked trillions of dollars from the global economy when they failed. They'll also learn what average Americans can do to ensure that fantasy finance never rules our economy again. The Economy

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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 29 February 2012




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