Dona Julia

Dona Julia


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes




Doña Julia visited Puerto Rican leaders / With fancy titles

Promising her things that never arrived / Doña Julia

Always made it a point to vote / With the democrats, the party of

The poor, she used to say




Books By Puerto Rican Poet/Writer, Alberto O. Cappas  

The Pledge  /  Doña Julia and Other Selected Poems  / Never Too Late to Make a U-Turn  / Lessons for Myself

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Doña Julia


By Alberto O. Cappas

Doña Julia

Committed suicide last night

Cause the welfare department

Demanded too many documents she did not

Know existed

The utilities were removed

The landlord proudly gave her eviction


The friendly bodega accused her

Of trespassing

Holding on to hope

Doña Julia visited Puerto Rican leaders

With fancy titles

Promising her things that never arrived

Doña Julia

Always made it a point to vote

With the democrats, the party of

The poor, she used to say

Doña Julia

Committed suicide last night cause life was angry with her

She told her spirits

And the people that didn’t

Know her always found things to say about her

She told her spirits

And the people that didn’t

Know her always found things to say about her

With fancy titles

Her daughter Evelyn disappeared with this

Dude named Hector who promised her every thing he didn’t


And her son Jose

Who dropped out of school at the age of 10

Always took money from Doña Julia to pay

His expenses and other things for the dead head

He too disappeared looking for his friends who were never


When he didn’t have anything

Doña Julia

Committed suicide cause life was angry with her

Her dead face had a smile that police officers did not


Someone that did not know how to read found a note

And flushed it down the toilet thinking it had something

To do with the numbers

The note said something about

“One way or the other,

I’m going back to Puerto Rico.”


Source: Doña Julia and Other Selected Poems

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Alberto O. Cappas, a published poet and writer, was born in Puerto Rico, raised in New York City where he attended public schools, graduating from Brandeis High School and Harlem Prep School. he graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and lived in the city of Buffalo for over 20 years before moving back to the Big Apple in 1987, where he now resides with his wife, Mayra Vega Cappas, in the East Village.

He is the author of Doña Julia and Other Selected Poems (2008); Never Too Late to Make a U-Turn  (2009), Lessons for Myself (2008); and “The Pledge: A Guide for Everyday Living” (2001)

The educational pledge is designed for students enrolled inner-city public school system. both the English and Spanish versions, have been widely published in the United States and widely used by the ducational community including community-based organizations and educational institutions.

Albert’s poetry has been included in numerous anthologies and publications throughout the United States, Canada, Republic of China, and India.

Alberto is the Director of Community Affairs for the New York City Human Resources Administration; publisher founder of The New Tomorrow (TNT), a monthly publication for African American and Latino students; founder of Don Pedro Cookies; and, founder of Nubian Speakers [212-862-4822], a speaker’s bureau marketing African American & Latino professionals, including poets and writers. Cappas Bio

Available for speaking engagements— or Tel. 212-862-4822 and/or 718-916-8251

*   *   *   *   *’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

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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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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.

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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        


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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 17 November 2010 




Home  Guest Poets  Inside the Caribbean

Related files:  Doña Julia Review   Cappas Bio  Nubian Voices     Doña Julia    Her Borinquen   Haiti in Puerto Rico  My Home  Never Too Late to Make a U-Turn

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