ChickenBones: A Journal
for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes
Wages must be kept as low as humanly possible, so profits will yield as great a dividend as possible. . . .
that so many working people are unemployed is a plus for capitalists. The capitalist forces the working
class to fight and compete over jobs, which . . .only serves to lower wages and working standards.
American Politics: The Big Lie!
By Joe Williams III
The reason people are poor in America is because the American political machine creates an image that society will become greater next year, or in the near future. This is a lie. Americas reality is based on a dual premise. It is often expressed in various terms: the rich versus the poor, the haves versus the have-nots, the capitalist versus the workers, the suburbs versus the slums (ghettos), or the whites versus people of color.
No matter how you view reality, it is very clear that American society, along with the rest of the world, is based on the fight over property. The fight over property, (natural resources) items, products, commodities, is the majority element that divides humans in societies.
However, unlike most societies in the world, Americas conflict over commodity production and consumption is not one of lack, or scarcity, but one of greed, plenty, over-production. In essence, we are a nation with mass poverty, while we are over-producing. In essence, our production is superior because of science and technology, which includes farm technology, educational techniques, and weapons of mass destruction, and mass production of consumption items, pleasure, leisure, raw materials, and commodities.
One major factor of commodity production under capitalism, is that even the youth in high school are trained to be an extension of the commodity process. In other words, even the youth are raised to be extensions of the machine. So it is no wonder that x amount of youth are guided towards entering prisons, gangs, law enforcement, industrial workers, rappers, educators, addicts and homelessness. The whole face of society is a staged reality. We have youth lingering in prisons because of poverty related crimes, and capitalists, who live off the labor and sweat of others, living a life of luxury, living as if they were gods.
Under the capitalist system, unemployment is a must. The whole theory of commodity production is produce low, sell high. In other words, the huge amount of unemployed workers in society is a planned and structured necessity. Wages must be kept as low as humanly possible, so profits will yield as great a dividend as possible. The fact that so many working people are unemployed is a plus for capitalists. The capitalist forces the working class to fight and compete over jobs, which, in many instances, only serves to lower wages and working standards. In the back of every capitalist mind, is the dream of having a workplace free from unions, the organized self-defense of the working class.
Above, I mentioned the influence of capitalist society on youth, but society under capitalism reins over all of society, and stand superior to ever economic structure in the past. Capitalism is the foundation of our families, our births, our deaths, and even our marriages. Our whole existence, spiritual (religious) rituals, cultural norms, relationships, are all determined by the system of commodity production (capitalism), even the way we have and enjoy, or not enjoy, sex.
So, if I was to take these premises to their most extreme conclusions, we are treated by the capitalist class as robots, mentally programmed devices, or machines, to cater our labor and life to the capitalist class, a class of wealth, leisure, luxury, pleasure, idol time, and long, extended live. While, we, the working class, the poor, die young with little, if anything, to show for our suffering, our blood, our sacrifice, our labor.
The deadly reality of capitalist society, it that enough is never enough. This is why we have so many wars, so many conflicts, around the world. The rulers of various countries try to conquer each other to enlarge their profits, they kill each other, and us, to control the land, the productive forces, the human (workers and consumers) resources, the commodities, and the buying and selling of goods and services.
It is imperative that we as workers view ourselves as a social class; we must stop seeing each other as enemies. We are divided by religion, by race, by economic status, by sex and national boundaries. However, if we are to seek out and attain our natural birth right, which is a life of prosperity, security, peace, leisure, and love for all humanity, we must control our work, our knowledge, and our production and consumption of what we know, what we produce, where and how we live.
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I was born in New Orleans during the Jim Crow segregated. I had to ride in the back of the bus, could not attend movie theaters with whites, couldn’t drink out the same water fountains, and I had to learn how to read out of used books that were handed down from white schools.
I moved to Chicago in the early 60s. I joined Jesse Jackson’s Operation Breadbasket. I helped organize the economic boycotts of various supermarkets.
I later moved to Los Angeles and became a radical. I was involved in the following movements:
1. The peace and anti-war movement.
2. The anti-police abuse and terror movement.
3. The labor movement.
4. The African Liberation Movement.
5. The prison rights movement.
6. The free all political prisoners movement
I also became a political and social writer.
1. Political and social commentaries.
2. Social poetry.
3. News articles.
I now reside in San Diego, California.
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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.WashingtonPost
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Wilderson, a professor, writer and filmmaker from the Midwest, presents a gripping account of his role in the downfall of South African apartheid as one of only two black Americans in the African National Congress (ANC). After marrying a South African law student, Wilderson reluctantly returns with her to South Africa in the early 1990s, where he teaches Johannesburg and Soweto students, and soon joins the military wing of the ANC. Wilderson’s stinging portrait of Nelson Mandela as a petulant elder eager to accommodate his white countrymen will jolt readers who’ve accepted the reverential treatment usually accorded him. After the assassination of Mandela’s rival, South African Communist Party leader Chris Hani, Mandela’s regime deems Wilderson’s public questions a threat to national security; soon, having lost his stomach for the cause, he returns to America. Wilderson has a distinct, powerful voice and a strong story that shuffles between the indignities of Johannesburg life and his early years in Minneapolis, the precocious child of academics who barely tolerate his emerging political consciousness. Wilderson’s observations about love within and across the color line and cultural divides are as provocative as his politics; despite some distracting digressions, this is a riveting memoir of apartheid’s last days.Publishers Weekly
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From The World and Africa, 1965
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update 29 December 2011