ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


Home   (Books, DVDs, Music, and more

Featuring five pages per poet, 360 presents forty established and emerging Black poets in an anthology of contemporary

verse. Stylistically there is everything from rap-like performance verse to haiku, political rants to lyrical love songs,

narrative tales to personal meditations. 360 is a treasure map of Black poetry.



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)


*   *   *   *   *

360° A Revolution of Black Poets

Edited by Kalamu ya Salaam with Kwame Alexander


 Kalamu ya Salaam with Kwame Alexander, eds.  360° A Revolution of Black Poets. BlackWords/Runagate Press, 1998

At poetry slams, in coffee houses and cafes, on spoken word CDs, and even featured in Hollywood movies, a new and exciting renaissance of Black poetry is emerging out of the oral tradition of African-American culture. 360: A Revolution of Black Poets presents the cutting edge of this poetic firestorm sweeping across America.

Featuring five pages per poet, 360 presents forty established and emerging Black poets in an anthology of contemporary verse. Stylistically there is everything from rap-like performance verse to haiku, political rants to lyrical love songs, narrative tales to personal meditations. 360 is a treasure map of Black poetry.

360 is published in conjunction with a two-day series of poetry readings, workshops, and film screenings at the Baltimore Museum of Art (Sept. 11) and the University of Maryland-College Park (Sept. 12).

Edited by New Orleans writer/producer Kalamu ya Salaam with writer/publisher Kwame Alexander, 360 includes sharp-edged new work from Amiri Baraka, a historic founder of the sixties Black Arts Movement, complemented by a moving elegy for a friend with cancer from activist/poet Tony Medina, editor of an award-winning anthology on political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal.

Grand divas Sonia Sanchez, author of Wounded in the House of a Friend and Does Your House Have Lions, and Mari Evans, author of the classic I Am a Black Woman, are displayed side by side with the youthful albeit sophisticated musings of Apollo Showtime winner Jessica Care Moore and Pulitzer prize nominee Ruth Forman. Haki Madhubuti, who has sold over 3 million books, and poetry slam World Heavyweight Champ Quincy Troupe mix it up with performance poet D-Knowledge (featured in Poetic Justice and Higher Learning) and Dark Room Collective founder Thomas Sayers Ellis.—Book Description at


The book is framed by two eloquent essays—I could almost call them manifestos—by the editors. Kwame Alexanders foreword puts the book, and the September 98 poetry festival at the Baltimore Museum of Art that it commemorates, into the context of a history of black poetry, deftly blended with some wonderful passages of memoir. Kalamu ya Salaam’s afterword is more theoretical and polemic in tone: “Black poetry is popular poetry, meaning  precisely that whether college-educated or street-wise, people like to hear Black poetry. Our audiences react to poetry readings as if they were in church, in a nightclub, or in bed with a lover.”—Sam Schmidt, November 1998


*   *   *   *   *

Kwame Alexander: FORWARD: Evolution of a New Era in Black Words (excerpt)

We are the direct literary descendants of the Black Arts Poets: Amiri Baraka, Mari Evans, Haki Madhubuti, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, Askia Toure, Sam Greenlee, June Jordan., Wanda Coleman, Larry Neal, Eugene Redmond, Carolyn Rodgers, Kalamu ya Salaam, The Last Poets, Jerry Ward, E. Ethelbert Miller, Keropatse Kgositile, Ntozake Shange, Quincy Troupe, and on and on.

We have among us emerging Black poets, a plethora of literary talent and potential: Thomas Sayers Ellis, wadud., Toni Asante Lightfoot, Kysha N. Brown, Tony Medina, Jessica Care Moore, Quraysh Ali Lansana, Glenis Redmond Sherer, Nadir Lasana Bomani, Shonda Buchanan, Tyehimba Jess, Kupenda Auset, DJ Renegade, asha bandele, Goldie Muhammad, Saul Williams, Ras Baraka, Kevin Powell, Michael Datcher, D-Knowledge, Stacey Lyn Evans, Ruth Foreman, A.K. Toney, and on and on. If these writers (including this author) can avoid ego-posturing and the trappings of the ever-increasing trendy commercialization of the arts, we will undoubtedly be prepared to accept the inevitable task of moving Black poetry forward in the next millennium. All that remains is for us to do it. . . .

The idea for 360° developed after I decided to start a publishing company that would provide publishing opportunities for the many talented literary voices of the Hip-Hop Generation. Thus BlackWords, Inc. was born. Through subsequent discussions (some more intense than others), with colleagues, friends and fellow poets several key issues were put on the table relative to the necessity of a conference with a strong focus on emerging writers. While these issues were by no means new they were new to these emerging literary voices, and thus needed to be dealt with in a public forum . . .

This anthology rejects the notion that Black poetry is exclusive to a particular theme or set of specific circumstances (other than how we got here). These poems and poets are representative of three generations of Black Words; of over thirty years of creative “Black Fire.” This book is a mapping of where Black poetry ahs been and where it is headed. The course looks beautiful. . . .

360° reflects that courage. An understanding of where we came from; an appreciation of who we are, and an acceptance of where we are going. We poets are eagerly crossing a literary bridge. Having been taught that we can make history, we are doing it. And that is Revolutionary!

*   *   *   *   *

Table of Contents


       FORWARD: Evolution of a New Era in Black Words i     Kwame Alexander 1        Life 2        Our Women 4        New School Sketches       Amiri Baraka          Answers In Progress 6        Fusion Recipe 7        Class Gas 8        Oklahoma 9        The People’s Last Will & Testament 10     Ras Baraka          HayesTilden (1877) 11        Ghetto Tales 14     Toni Blackman          the black woman’s struggle 16        where’s daddy? 17        swampin’ 18        rwandan sleep 20     Nadir Lasana Bomani          (untitled) 21        SHOOTING STARS 22        a poem for ruby mae 24     Roger Bonair-Agard          daddy 26        …Requiem 29     Kysha N. Brown          when lost, ask for directions 31        nudity 34        fierce spherical woman 35     Wanda Coleman          Dreams Without Means 36        Single Doom Occupancy 37        Bubble Eyes Declares War 39        I AIN’T YO EARTHMAMA (2) 40     Kamau Daáood          Poet 41        For Paul Robeson 42        Balm of Gilead 44     D-Knowledge (Derrick Gilbert)          BUTT… Or The Giluteus Maximus Addictus Poem 46        Henna 48     Thomas Sayers Ellis          Stretchin’ Out 51        BIG FOOT MUSIC (1975) 53     Mari Evans          Liberation Blues 56        URBAN DAWN 58        If There Be Sorrow 59        I Am A Black Woman 60     Stacey Lyn Evans          Deaf Jammin’ 61        HOW DO I KNOW 63        Requiem for Tupac Amaru Shakur 64        real soul food 65     Ruth Forman          Venus’ Quilt 66        The Journey 68     Peter J. Harris          A Sense of Ceremony 71        Only Wine 75     Angela Jackson          Kinsmen: An Address 76        The Resolution 78        Moment 79        Festival 80     June Jordan          Poem Against the Temptations of Ambivalence 81        Poem Of Commitment 82        1998 Mid-Day Philadelphia Haiku 85     Carolyn Cooley Joyner          They Do Not Have To Nest In Your Hair 86        Mother 87        Agapé 88        Color Of Her 89        Sonia 90     Quraysh Ali Lansana          give and go 91        window 93        the night before tomorrow 94        crutch 95     Toni Asante Lightfoot          Haiku World Tour 1994 96        In Oklahoma 97        Cornucopia Breaks Her Silence 98        The Wilted Gardenia 99        Moses Came Down 100     Haki Madhubuti          Books as Answer 101        Too Many of our Young are Dying 103        Poetry 104     MANNAFEST          Tupac came to me in a dream 106        saviouress 108        after life drum part 1 109        We meet each other to discover God 110        and i lost myself 110     Laini Mataka          FORGIVENESS WILL COME, BUT, NOT TODAY 111        KARMA 113        THE PERIOD 114        A WARNING TO EROS 115     Tony Medina          Harlem to Havana 116        sometime in the summer there’s october 117     E. Ethelbert Miller          tomorrow 121        Roy Campanella: January, 1958 122        A House in Provincetown 123        another love affair / another poem 124        Slave Narratives 125     Jessica Care Moore          Mirrors 126        October 127        Omari’s magic star fish 129     Tracie Morris          Beat Poet 131        HARDROCK 134        Prelude to a Kiss 135     Abiodun Oyewole          Tags and Labels 136        BLACK 138        THE TREE OF LIFE 139        OUR TIME 140     Eugene Redmond          HER BLACK BODY IN LIGHT 141        Ina Peabody, Sister-Friend 142        PARAPOETICS 144     DJ Renegade           LANDSCAPE 146        150 BONIFAY ST. / APT. 716 / PGH. PA. 15210 147        CAN I ASK YOU A QUESTION 148        TRIBUTE 150     Kate Rushin          ON THE EASTERN SHORE 151        A PACIFIST BECOMES MILITANT AND DECLARES WAR 153     Kalamu ya Salaam          No Ordinary Waterfall 156        There’s no big accomplishment in acting white 157        snapshot: dawn in dar es salaam 160     Sonia Sanchez          Poem for Some Women 161        This Is Not a Small Voice 165     Ntozake Shange          advice 166        an invitation to my friends 168        on becomin successful 170     Glenis Redmond Sherer          IF I AIN’T AFRICAN 171        How do you get yours? 174     Nichole L. Shields          Happenings 176        Sweet But Sassy 177        MADD. 178        Momma in Red 179        The Crack of Dawn 180     Askia M. Touré          SNOW WHITE: A REJOINDER 181        TO ADAM SMITH: A REJOINDER 183        FURIES: 1992 184        NUBIAN DAWN: A GODDESS SMILES 185     Quincy Troupe          A RESPONSE TO ALL YOU “ANGRY WHITE MALES” 186        POEM FOR MY FATHER 189     wadud          Hardcore 191        3003 194     Afaa Michael Weaver          The Poets 196        Mama’s Hoodlum 198        The Incomplete Heart 200     Afterword          360º is just a beginning! 203

Source: Kalamu ya Salaam with Kwame Alexander, eds. 360º A Revolution of Black Poets. Alexandria, VA: BlackWords, 1998.

posted 3 February 2007

*   *   *   *   *’s 25 Best Selling Books

For July 1st through August 31st 2011  


#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

*   *   *   *   *

Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

*   *   *   *   *


Sex at the Margins

Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry

By Laura María Agustín

This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label ‘trafficked’ does not accurately describe migrants’ lives and that the ‘rescue industry’ serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. “Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality.”—Lisa Adkins, University of London

*   *   *   *    *

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)

*   *   *   *   *

Ancient African Nations

*   *   *   *   *

If you like this page consider making a donation

online through PayPal

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

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


*   *   *   *   *

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

*   *   *   *   *

The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

*   *   *   *   *


*   *   *   *   *






updated 16 October 2007 




Home    Kalamu ya Salaam Table

Related files: What Is Life  Black Arts and Black Power Figures   Other Anthologies: New Negro Poets U.S.A.   Black Fire    The Black Poets   Black Nationalism in America