Al Sharpton and Barack Obama

Al Sharpton and Barack Obama


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



There’s a whole generation of young leaders that have come forward across this country that stand on integrity and

stand on their traditions. Those that have emerged with John Kerry and John Edwards as partners. Like Greg Meeks,

like Obama Baraka. Like our voter registration director, Margaret Harris. Like those that are in the trenches. And

we come with strong family values. Family values are not just those with two-car garages and a retirement plan.



 Books by Barack Obama

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance  / The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream

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Al Sharpton and Barack Obama

Wow Democratic National Convention

Rev. Al Sharpton stole the show

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Speech of Reverend Al Sharpton

I want to address my remarks in two parts. One, I am honored to address the delegates here. Last Friday, I had the experience in Detroit of hearing President George Bush make a speech. And in the speech, he asked certain questions. I hope he’s watching tonight. I would like to answer your questions, Mr. President. [cheering]

To our chairman, our delegates and all that are assembled; we are honored and glad to be here tonight. I am glad to be joined by supporters and friends from around the country. I am glad to be joined by my family, Kathy Dominique who will be 18 and Ashley.

We are here 282 years after right here in Boston we fought to establish the freedoms of America. The first person to die in the Revolutionary war buried not far from here. A black man from Barbados named Crispus Attucks. 40 years ago, in 1964, Fannie Lou Hamer and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party went to the Democratic Convention in Atlantic City fighting to preserve voting rights for all Americans and all democrats regardless of race or gender. Hamer’s stand inspired Dr. King’s march in Selma which brought about the voting rights act of 1965.

Twenty years ago, Reverend Jesse Jackson stood at the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco, again appealing to preserve those freedoms. Tonight, we stand with those freedoms at risk and our security as citizens in question.

I have come here tonight to say the only choice we have to preserve our freedom at this point in history is to elect John Kerry the President of the United States. (applause)

I stood with both John Kerry and John Edwards over various occasions in debates during the primary speech. I not only debated them, I watched them. I observed their deeds. I looked into their eyes. I am convinced that they are men who say what they mean and mean what they say. (applause)

I am also convinced that at a time when a vicious spirit in the politics of this country that attempts to undermine America’s freedom, our civil rights, our civil liberties, we must leave this city and go forth, organize this nation with victory, for our party and John Kerry and John Edwards in November. (applause)

But let me quickly say this is not just about winning an election. It’s about preserving the principles on which this very nation was founded. Look at the current view of our nation worldwide. As a result of our unilateral foreign policy, we went from unprecedented international support and solid solidarity on September 12, 2001, to hostility and hatred as we stand here tonight. We can’t survive in the world by ourselves. (applause)

How did we squander this opportunity to unite the world for democracy and to commit to the growth and fight against hunger and disease? We did it with a go-it-alone foreign policy based on flawed intelligence. We were told that we were going to Iraq because there were weapons of mass destruction. We lost hundreds of soldiers. We spent $200 billion at a time we had record state deficit. And when it became clear that there were no weapons, they changed the premise of the war. And said no, we went because of other reasons.

If I told you tonight to let’s leave the Fleet Center, we are in danger. And when you get outside, you ask me Reverend Al what is the danger? and I said it don’t matter, we just needed some fresh air! I have misled you and we were misled. (applause)

We are also faced with the prospect of in the next four years that two or more Supreme Court Justices seats will become available. This year, we celebrated the anniversary of Brown versus Board of Education. (applause)

This court has voted five to four on critical issues of women’s rights and civil rights. It is frightening to think that the days of civil and women’s rights and those movements in the last century could be reversed if this administration is in the White House in these next four years. I suggest to you tonight that if George Bush had selected the court in ‘54, Clarence Thomas would have never got to law school! (applause).

This is not about a party. This is about living up to the promise of America. The promise of America says that we will guarantee quality education for all children and not spend more money on metal detectors than computers in our schools. The promise of America guarantees health care for all of its citizens and doesn’t force seniors to travel to Canada to buy a prescription drug they can’t afford here at home. The promise of America is that every citizen vote is counted and protected. And election schemes do not decide the election. It, to me, is a glaring contradiction that we would fight, and rightfully so, to get the right to vote for the people in the capital of Iraq and Baghdad, but still don’t give the federal right to vote for the people in the capital of the United States in Washington DC. (applause).

Mr. President, as I close, Mr. President, I heard you say Friday, that you had questions for voters, particularly African American voters. And you asked the question, did the Democratic Party take us for granted? Well, I have raised questions. But let me answer your question. You said the Republican Party was the party of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. It is true that Mr. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation after which there was a commitment to give 40 acres and a mule. That’s where the argument to this day of reparation stops. We never got the 40 acres. We went all the way to Herbert Hoover and we never got the 40 acres. We didn’t get the mule. So we decided we would ride this donkey as far as it would take us!

[cheers] (applause) (applause) (applause)

Mr. President, you said that we have more leverage if both parties got our vote. But we didn’t come this far playing political games. It was those that earned our votes that got our votes. We got the civil rights act under a democrat. We got the voting rights act under democrats. We got the right to organize, under democrats. (applause) Mr. President, the reason we are fighting so hard, the reason we took Florida so seriously. is our right to vote wasn’t gained because of our age. Our vote was soaked in the blood of martyrs, soaked in the blood of good men. Soaked in the blood four little girls in Birmingham. This vote is sacred to us. This vote can’t be bargained away. This vote can’t be given away. (applause) (applause)

Mr. President, in all due respect, Mr. President, read my lips. Our vote is not for sale! (applause)

There’s a whole generation of young leaders that have come forward across this country that stand on integrity and stand on their traditions. Those that have emerged with John Kerry and John Edwards as partners. Like Greg Meeks, like Obama Baraka. Like our voter registration director, Margaret Harris. Like those that are in the trenches. And we come with strong family values. Family values are not just those with two-car garages and a retirement plan.

Retirement plans are good, but family values are also for those who had to make nothing stretch into something happening, who had to make ends meet. I was raised by a single mother who made a way for me. She used to scrub floors as a domestic worker. Put a cleaning rag and a pocket book and ride the subways in Brooklyn so I would have food on the table. But she’s taught me as I walked into that subway that life is about not where you start, but where you are going.

That’s family values! (applause) and I want it– I wanted somebody in my community, I wanted to show that example as I ran for President, I hoped that one child could come up of the ghetto like I did, could look at me walk across the stage with governors and senators and know they didn’t have to be a drug dealer. They didn’t have to be a hoodlum. They didn’t have to be a gangster. They could stand up from a broken home on welfare and they could run for President of the United States. (applause).

As you know, I live in New York. I was there September 11 when that despicable act of terrorism happened. A few days after, I left home, my family had taken in a young man who lost his family. And as they gave comfort to him, I had to do a radio show that morning. When I got there, my friend James Mtume said to me, Reverend, we are going to stop at a certain hour and play a song synchronized with 999 other stations. They said we are dedicating it to the victims of 9/11. I said, what song are you playing? He said, we are playing America the Beautiful. The particular station I was at, they played that rendition sung by Ray Charles.

As you know, we lost Ray a few weeks ago, but I sat there that morning and listened to Ray sing through those speakers “Oh, beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain. For purple mountains majesty across the fruited plains.” And then it occurred to me as I heard Ray singing that Ray wasn’t singing about what he knew because Ray had been blind since he was a child. He hadn’t seen many purple mountains. He hadn’t seen any fruited plains. He was singing about what he believed to be. Mr. President, we love America. Not because of all of us have seen the beauty all the time. But we believe if we kept on working, if we kept on marching, if we kept on voting, if we kept on believing, we would make America beautiful for everybody! Come November, let’s make America beautiful again. Thank you and God bless you. (applause).


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Speech of Barack Obama

Candidate for U.S. Senate in Illinois, Barack Obama, delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in Boston Tuesday night. Here is a transcript of his remarks.

On behalf of the great state of Illinois… (APPLAUSE) … crossroads of a nation, land of Lincoln, let me express my deep gratitude for the privilege of addressing this convention. Tonight is a particular honor for me because, let’s face it, my presence on this stage is pretty unlikely.

My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village in Kenya. He grew up herding goats, went to school in a tin- roof shack. His father, my grandfather, was a cook, a domestic servant to the British.

But my grandfather had larger dreams for his son. Through hard work and perseverance my father got a scholarship to study in a magical place, America, that’s shown as a beacon of freedom and opportunity to so many who had come before him. (APPLAUSE)

While studying here my father met my mother. She was born in a town on the other side of the world, in Kansas. (APPLAUSE)

Her father worked on oil rigs and farms through most of the Depression. The day after Pearl Harbor, my grandfather signed up for duty, joined Patton’s army, marched across Europe. Back home my grandmother raised a baby and went to work on a bomber assembly line. After the war, they studied on the GI Bill, bought a house through FHA and later moved west, all the way to Hawaii, in search of opportunity. (APPLAUSE)

And they too had big dreams for their daughter, a common dream born of two continents.

My parents shared not only an improbable love; they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or “blessed,” believing that in a tolerant America, your name is no barrier to success. (APPLAUSE)

They imagined me going to the best schools in the land, even though they weren’t rich, because in a generous America you don’t have to be rich to achieve your potential.


They’re both passed away now. And yet I know that, on this night, they look down on me with great pride.

And I stand here today grateful for the diversity of my heritage, aware that my parents’ dreams live on in my two precious daughters.

I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible. (APPLAUSE)

Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation not because of the height of our skyscrapers, or the power of our military, or the size of our economy; our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal… (APPLAUSE)

… that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

That is the true genius of America, a faith… (APPLAUSE) … a faith in simple dreams, an insistence on small miracles; that we can tuck in our children at night and know that they are fed and clothed and safe from harm; that we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door; that we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe; that we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution; and that our votes will be counted — or at least, most of the time. (APPLAUSE)

This year, in this election, we are called to reaffirm our values and our commitments, to hold them against a hard reality and see how we are measuring up, to the legacy of our forbearers and the promise of future generations.

And fellow Americans, Democrats, Republicans, independents, I say to you, tonight, we have more work to do… (APPLAUSE) … more work to do, for the workers I met in Galesburg, Illinois, who are losing their union jobs at the Maytag plant that’s moving to Mexico, and now they’re having to compete with their own children for jobs that pay 7 bucks an hour; more to do for the father I met who was losing his job and chocking back the tears wondering how he would pay $4,500 a months for the drugs his son needs without the health benefits that he counted on; more to do for the young woman in East St. Louis, and thousands more like her who have the grades, have the drive, have the will, but doesn’t have the money to go to college.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the people I meet in small towns and big cities and diners and office parks, they don’t expect government to solves all of their problems. They know they have to work hard to get a head. And they want to.

Go into the collar counties around Chicago, and people will tell you: They don’t want their tax money wasted by a welfare agency or by the Pentagon. (APPLAUSE)

Go into any inner-city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone can’t teach kids to learn.

They know that parents have to teach, that children can’t achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white. They know those things. (APPLAUSE)

People don’t expect — people don’t expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a slight change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all. They know we can do better. And they want that choice.

In this election, we offer that choice. Our party has chosen a man to lead us who embodies the best this country has to offer. And that man is John Kerry. (APPLAUSE) 

John Kerry understands the ideals of community, faith and service because they’ve defined his life. From his heroic service to Vietnam to his years as prosecutor and lieutenant governor, through two decades in the United States Senate, he has devoted himself to this country. Again and again, we’ve seen him make tough choices when easier ones were available. His values and his record affirm what is best in us.

John Kerry believes in an America where hard work is rewarded. So instead of offering tax breaks to companies shipping jobs overseas, he offers them to companies creating jobs here at home. (APPLAUSE)

John Kerry believes in an America where all Americans can afford the same health coverage our politicians in Washington have for themselves. (APPLAUSE)

John Kerry believes in energy independence, so we aren’t held hostage to the profits of oil companies or the sabotage of foreign oil fields. (APPLAUSE)

John Kerry believes in the constitutional freedoms that have made our country the envy of the world, and he will never sacrifice our basic liberties nor use faith as a wedge to divide us. (APPLAUSE)

And John Kerry believes that in a dangerous world, war must be an option sometimes, but it should never be the first option. (APPLAUSE) 

You know, a while back, I met a young man named Seamus (ph) in a VFW hall in East Moline, Illinois. He was a good-looking kid, 6’2″, 6’3″, clear eyed, with an easy smile. He told me he’d joined the Marines and was heading to Iraq the following week.

And as I listened to him explain why he had enlisted — the absolute faith he had in our country and its leaders, his devotion to duty and service — I thought, this young man was all that any of us might ever hope for in a child. But then I asked myself: Are we serving Seamus (ph) as well as he’s serving us?

I thought of the 900 men and women, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors who won’t be returning to their own hometowns. I thought of the families I had met who were struggling to get by without a loved one’s full income or whose loved ones had returned with a limb missing or nerves shattered, but still lacked long-term health benefits because they were Reservists. (APPLAUSE)

When we send our young men and women into harm’s way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they are going, to care for their families while they’re gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return and to never, ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace and earn the respect of the world. (APPLAUSE)

Now, let me be clear. Let me be clear. We have real enemies in the world. These enemies must be found. They must be pursued. And they must be defeated.

John Kerry knows this. And just as Lieutenant Kerry did not hesitate to risk his life to protect the men who served with him in Vietnam, President Kerry will not hesitate one moment to use our military might to keep America safe and secure. (APPLAUSE)

John Kerry believes in America. And he knows that it’s not enough for just some of us to prosper. For alongside our famous individualism, there’s another ingredient in the American saga, a belief that we are all connected as one people.

If there’s a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child. (APPLAUSE)

If there’s a senior citizen somewhere who can’t pay for their prescription and having to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it’s not my grandparent. (APPLAUSE)

If there’s an Arab-American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. (APPLAUSE)

It is that fundamental belief — it is that fundamental belief — I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sisters’ keeper — that makes this country work. (APPLAUSE)

It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family: “E pluribus unum,” out of many, one.

Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes.

Well, I say to them tonight, there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America. (APPLAUSE)

There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America. (APPLAUSE)

The pundits, the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states.

We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the red states. (APPLAUSE)

There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq.

We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America. (APPLAUSE)

In the end, that’s what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism, or do we participate in a politics of hope?

John Kerry calls on us to hope. John Edwards calls on us to hope. I’m not talking about blind optimism here, the almost willful ignorance that thinks unemployment will go away if we just don’t think about it, or health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it.

That’s not what I’m talking. I’m talking about something more substantial. It’s the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a millworker’s son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too. (APPLAUSE)

Hope in the face of difficulty, hope in the face of uncertainty, the audacity of hope: In the end, that is God’s greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation, a belief in things not seen, a belief that there are better days ahead. 

I believe that we can give our middle class relief and provide working families with a road to opportunity.

I believe we can provide jobs for the jobless, homes to the homeless, and reclaim young people in cities across America from violence and despair. 

I believe that we have a righteous wind at our backs, and that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices and meet the challenges that face us.

America, tonight, if you feel the same energy that I do, if you feel the same urgency that I do, if you feel the same passion that I do, if you feel the same hopefulness that I do, if we do what we must do, then I have no doubt that all across the country, from Florida to Oregon, from Washington to Maine, the people will rise up in November, and John Kerry will be sworn in as president. And John Edwards will be sworn in as vice president. And this country will reclaim it’s promise. And out of this long political darkness a brighter day will come.

Thank you very much, everybody.

God bless you. Thank you. 

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What Barack Obama Believes — A then 26-year-old Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record) walked down the aisle of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, knelt beneath a cross suspended from its rafters and, as he later explained it, committed himself to God after years as a religious skeptic. In those early days at the self-described “unashamedly black” church, the future Democratic presidential candidate was moved to tears by a sermon from its activist pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., whom he has portrayed as his spiritual mentor. Two decades later, Obama himself would be Wright’s topic of the day — but not for reasons either man would have hoped. Michael Tarm, “Activist Obama church enters spotlight.” Yahoo

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Obama’s Community Roots—After a transient youth and an earnest search for identity, Obama also found a home—a community with which he continued relationships, a church and a political identity. He honed his talent for listening, learned pragmatic strategy, practiced bringing varied people together and developed a faith in ordinary citizens that still influences his campaign message. He discovered the importance of personal storytelling in politics (and wrote short stories that refined his style). Later, as a politician, he worked closely with community groups (though not as ardently as another community organizer turned politician, the late Senator Paul Wellstone). As a presidential candidate, he frequently refers to his community organizing, asking supporters to treat his campaign as a social movement in which he is just “an imperfect vessel of your hopes and dreams.” David Moberg The Nation

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Harry Belafonte (at 80) on Clinton & Obama Selma Campaign—”We are hearing platitudes, not platforms. What do they plan to do for people of color, Mexicans, for people who are imprisoned, black youth? What are their plans for the Katrinas of America?” Seattle PI

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Obama on the Moses & Joshua Generations — Getting his church groove on, Obama dubbed the elders of the civil rights movement – the heroes and heroines of Edmund Pettus Bridge and other struggles – the “Moses Generation” that led the people to the borders the Promised Land. Obama’s generation was personified by Joshua, who the Old Testament says picked up the leadership reigns from Moses and conquered Canaan by repeatedly marching his troops around Jericho while commanding the priests to blow their horns. The walls of the city “came tumbling down.” Getting those walls to tumble is Black folks’ unfinished business, with Obama playing Joshua. But Obama has never blown a bugle or commanded troops or outlined a strategy for victory. It is true that Selma is “home” to every African American, part of the collective legacy. But Obama gained national fame declaring at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, “There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.” Apparently, home is wherever Obama hangs his campaign hat on a given day. Glen Ford , “The Barack and Hillary Show Plays Selma” Black Agenda Report

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Democratic presidential candidates crave the Latino and black vote, but ignore the Drug War’s unfair toll on people of color.—According to a 2006 report by the American Civil Liberties Union, African Americans make up an estimated 15% of drug users, but they account for 37% of those arrested on drug charges, 59% of those convicted and 74% of all drug offenders sentenced to prison. Or consider this: The U.S. has 260,000 people in state prisons on nonviolent drug charges; 183,200 (more than 70%) of them are black or Latino. . . . Unfortunately, a quick search of the top Democratic hopefuls’ websites reveals that not one of them — not Hillary Clinton, not Barack Obama, not John Edwards, not Joe Biden, not Chris Dodd, not Bill Richardson — even mentions the drug war, let alone offers any solutions. . . . Obama has written eloquently about his own struggle with drugs but has not addressed the tragic effect the war on drugs is having on African American communities. As for Clinton . . .she has ignored the suffering of poor, black women right in her own backyard. Arianna Huffington Common Dreams

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Black America’s leadership structures are in disarray. Such was evident and, in various ways, widely acknowledged at media entrepreneur Tavis Smiley’s State of the Black Union event, held this past weekend at Hampton University, in Virginia. The forum has evolved into an annual substitute for genuine politics in a Black polity that is bereft of institutions of accountability. By default, Tavis fills the void with his road shows and media exhibitions. But Mr. Smiley is not the problem: he is simply a businessman, who sees a hole in the market where a movement used to be. . . .

Tavis Smiley’s fortunes have risen in direct proportion to the decline of Black leadership, which today is largely a gaggle of media-dependent personalities and elected officials contemptuous of their own constituents. No amount of showmanship can conceal the vast, empty space that separates the people and those who claim to speak for them. The entire Black leadership class must be made to apply for renewal of their lapsed credentials. We are tired of “Black Faces in High Places.”  A Black Leader should be a Black Leader, and not just “Leading Blacks” to their doom.  Leutisha Stills, Black Leaders…or Leading Blacks?”  Black Agenda Report

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The Bridge The Life and Rise of Barack Obama

By David Remnick

The Bridge offers the most complete account yet of Obama’s tragic father, a brilliant economist who abandoned his family and ended his life as a beaten man; of his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, who had a child as a teenager and then built her career as an anthropologist living and studying in Indonesia; and of the succession of elite institutions that first exposed Obama to the social tensions and intellectual currents that would force him to imagine and fashion an identity for himself. Through extensive on-the-record interviews with friends and teachers, mentors and disparagers, family members and Obama himself, David Remnick allows us to see how a rootless, unaccomplished, and confused young man created himself first as a community organizer in Chicago, an experience that would not only shape his urge to work in politics but give him a home and a community, and that would propel him to Harvard Law School, where his sense of a greater mission emerged.

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John Coltrane, “Alabama”  /  Kalamu ya Salaam, “Alabama”  / A Love Supreme

A Blues for the Birmingham Four  /  Eulogy for the Young Victims   / Six Dead After Church Bombing 

Audio: My Story, My Song (Featuring blues guitarist Walter Wolfman Washington)

*   *   *   *   *’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

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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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posted 2004 updated 19 February 2008 




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