ChickenBones: A Journal
for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes
Whether it’s unbridled lust, full-tilt erotic love, self-affirmation, or self-destructive obsession . . .
the stories malting the final cut were chosen for the art and style of the story told,
the sexual heat of the scenes, and the universality of the themes and experience presented.
Books by Robert Fleming
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After Hours: A Collection of Erotic Writing by Black Men Edited By Robert Fleming (Penguin Putnam, 256 pages, $14)
Robert Scott Adams is a published poet and established jazz critic. A native of Rochester; N.Y, he attended Morehouse College. This is his first foray into the erotic fiction genre.
Curtis Bunn, a national award-winning sports columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, is the author of the novel Baggage Check, his debut work of fiction which remained on the Essence magazine bestseller list for five months. He is a graduate of Norfolk State University. His new work, Bookclub, a collection of five short stories, chronicles the lives and loves of members of five different bookclubs.
Colin Channer is the bestselling author of the novels Waiting in Vain and Satisfy My Soul. His novella, Still Waiting, was published in the highly popular anthology Got to Be Real. Waiting in Vain was selected as a 1998 Critics Choice by The Washington Post Book World and excerpted in Hot Spots: The Best Erotic Writing In Modern Fiction. Channer is the founder and artistic director of the Cal-abash International Literary Festival, the only literary festival in the English-speaking Caribbean. A native of Kingston, Jamaica, he lives in Brooklyn with his family. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Egleston is the author of three published novels, including his very popular Granddaddy’s Dirt. An aspiring golfer, he lives with his lovely wife, Latise, in Georgia, where he spends most of his time writing, thinking of writing and longing to write.
Arthur Flowers is the author of two novels, De Mojo Blues and Another Good Loving Blues, and a nonfiction work, Mojo Rising: Confessions of a 21st Century Conjureman. He is performance artist, Executive Director of New Renaissance Writers Guild-NYC, and fiction professor in the Syracuse University MFA program.
Tracy Grant’s first novel, Hellified, won national acclaim. He earned his undergraduate degree at Georgetown University and did his graduate work there as well. After graduate school, he hit his stride as a freelance writer publishing work in several magazines including YSB, Today’s Black Woman, Black Issues Book Review, and Mosaic Literary Magazine. He is currently an adjunct English professor at the College of New Rochelle’s School of New Resources. His second novel, Chocolate Thai, a political thriller is forthcoming. He lives in New York City
Kenji Jasper is a novelist, screenwriter and journalist from Washington, D.C. The author of two novels, Dark and Dakota Grand, his work has appeared in Essence, Vibe, The Source, and many other national publications. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Charles Johnson, a 1998 MacAtthur Fellow, received the National Book Award for his novel Middle Passage in 1990. He has published three other novels, Dreamer (1998), Oxherding Tale (1982) and Faith and the Good Thing (1974), as well as two short story collections, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (1986) and Soulcatcher (2001). Among his many nonfiction books are: King: The Photobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr (coauthored with Bob Adelman, 2000), Africans in America: America’s Journey through Slavery (coauthored with Patricia Smith, 1998), Being and Race: Black Writing Since 1970 (1988), Black Men Speaking (coedited with John McCluskey, Jr., 1997), and two books of drawings. His work has appeared in numerous publications in America and abroad. A literary critic, screenwriter lecturer and cartoonist, he has received the Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award from the Corporate Council for the Arts as well as many other awards. Currently, he is the S. Wilson and
Grace M. Pollock Endowed Professor of English at the University of Washington in Seattle. You may visit his homepage at www.previewport.comlllome/johnsoncl.
Clarence Major is a prize-winning poet, novelist and essayist. A major figure in the Black Arts Movement, he won a National Council on the Arts award for his collection Swallow the Lake in 1970. He was a finalist for the National Book Award for another collection, Configurations, and has written several 6ther fiction and nonfiction books considered milestones in African American literature, including All-Night Visitors, No, Reflex and Bone Structure , Dark and Feeling, Such Was the Season , and Surfaces and Masks. His novel My Amputations won the Western State Book Award in 1985. He directs the Creative Writing Program at the University of California, Davis.
Brandon Massey is the author of Thunderland, his self-published debut novel which won a Cold Pen Award for Best Thriller from the Black Writers Alliance. The book will be reprinted by Kensington Books in December2002. Massey is one of a growing number of African American authors who write horror-suspense fiction. He lives in Georgia.
Alexs D. Pate is the author of five novels, including Amistad, a New York Times bestseller, which was commissioned by Steven Spielberg’s Dreamworks SKG. Pate’s debut novel, Losing Absalom, was awarded Best First Novel by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and a 1995 Minnesota Best Award for best fiction. Finding Makeba; his second book, was named by Essence magazine as a “top five family classic.” His fourth novel, Multicultiboho Sideshow, won the 2000 Minnesota Book Award. He has published numerous essays and commentary in national publications. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Afro-American and African Studies at the University of Minnesota, where he teaches writing and black literature.
Eric E. Pete is the author of three novels, including Real for Me and Someone’s in the Kitchen. A native of Seattle, Washington, he is a graduate of McNeese University. Currently living in the New Orleans area, he is working on his fourth novel. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
Brian Peterson is the author of the novel Move Over, Girl. Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, he finished his undergraduate degree and master’s in Education at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering. A resident of Philadelphia, he is currently finishing a new novel.
Gary Philips is the creator of the Ivan Monk PI series and the mystery novels featuring Martha Chainey, ex-showgirl and Vegas cold cash courier. A native of South Central Los Angeles, he has also writ-ten several other novels, many short stories, and a wealth of articles and commentaries on pop culture for countless national newspapers and magazines.
Cole Riley gained notoriety as the author of five popular novels, including Hot Snake Nights, The Devil to Pay and The Killing Kind. Born in the Midwest, he became known as a master of gritty urban noir fiction in the late 1980s with the publication of his novel Rough Trade. His last work, The Forbidden Art of Desire, was selected by the Black Expressions book club as a part of the notable Indigo After Dark series. An extremely private person and lover of nightlife, he has been known to keep a low profile during waking hours. He is presently working on a new novel, Harlem Confidential.
Earl Sewell is the author of two novels, The Good Got to Suffer with the Bad and Taken for Granted. He studied fiction writing at Columbia College in Chicago. He presently lives in Palatine, Illinois, where he is completing his ‘latest novel, Grown Folks’ Business.
Jervey Tervalon is an acclaimed novelist, poet, screenwriter and dramatist. His well-received debut novel, Understand This, won the 1994 New Voices Award from the Quality Paperback Book Club. Two other Tervalon novels, Living for the City and Dead Above Ground, captured the praise of critics, readers and fellow writers alike. A native of New Orleans, he earned his B.A. degree at the College of Creative Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara and completed his MFA work in fiction writing at the University of California, Irvine. Today, he teaches writing at California State University in Los Angeles. He lives in Altadena, California with his wife and daughters. His most recent novel is All the Trouble You Need.
Kalamu Ya Salaam is a New Orleans-based writer; editor, filmmaker and teacher. He is the founder of the Nommo Literary Society, a black writers workshop, and co-founder of Runagate Multimedia publishing company. He also serves as leader of the WordBand, a poetry performance ensemble, and moderator of e-Drum, a listserv for black writers. His latest achievements are 360: A Revolution of Black Poets and My Story My Song, a spoken word CD. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John A. Wfliiams is the author of a dozen novels, among them The Angry Ones, Night Song, The Man Who Cried I Am, and !Click Song. His most recent novel is Clifford’s Blues. In addition, he’s published eight nonfiction books, three of which are studies on Martin Luther King, Jr., Richard Wright, and Richard Pryor. Williams has also edited or co-edited ten more works, published a volume of poetry, and written two plays and the libretto for the opera Vanqui, whose premiere was followed by seven additional performances. He is a former writer for Holiday and was a Newsweek correspondent in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa during the early sixties. He moved into academics as a Distinguished Professor of English in the CUNY system and later was the Paul Robeson Professor of English and Journalism at Rutgers University, a p9sition from which he retired in 1995. He is a two-time recipient of the American Book Award, member of the National literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent, and winner of several other honors. He is presently completing three additional works.
Robert Fleming has written numerous articles for Essence, Black Enterprise, The Source, and The New York Times, among others. He is the author of the African American Writers Handbook and The Wisdom of the Elders. His poetry, essays, and fiction have appeared in numerous periodical and books, including Brown Sugar (available from Plume). He lives in New York City. After Hours (256p)
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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 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
#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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A Novel by Jesmyn Ward
On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family thats 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 Katrinas inexorable winds is the voice of Wards 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 familys raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brothers blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt. Her fathers hands are like gravel, while her own hand slides through his grip like a wet fish, and a handsome boys 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 isnt usually just metaphor for metaphors sake. She conveys something fundamental about Eschs 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, whats salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.
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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 Mammys behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own familys 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.
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From The World and Africa, 1965
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update 2 January 2012