ChickenBones: A Journal
for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes
The 12 to 15 percent of white Americans who are anti-racist are not the issue, nor do
they bear the blame for racism, nor, unfortunately, have white anti-racists had
the clout at any time in the twentieth century to nullify white supremacy.
Books by Clarence J. Munford
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The Benefits of Whiteness
in America’s Hierarchical Society
By Clarence J. Munford
Race as a concept has two aspects. There is a gene-based physical aspect to its status as a historical artifact. In fact, the latter stands on the former. The physical aspect has to do with somatotype, that is, body type or corporal traits. The chief indicator of race in Western social formations is physical appearance resulting from the interaction between inherited genes and the physical and social environment. The term for these observable traits is phenotype, with attention usually concentrating on the morphology of skin, hair, and facial features.
From New England to the southern plantation colonies, a crucible formed in which emigrant Europeans of different nationalities were naturalized as American whites. Brewed in this historical vat was the USA’s white nation. A dynamic process of whitening crystallized. A fiery mold arose on America’s soil, in which a white racial identity took shape as distinct from the previous European national identities—fiery in the sense that it entailed the flames of slavery and humiliation for Africans, and immolation of the entire race of Native Americans.
In America, pre-bellum Southern poor white trash and other pre-proletarian white toilers, the white middle class and white workers all moved on a convergent course with slaveholder and post-bellum capitalist interests from the genocide of Native Americans to the enslavement, segregation, super-exploitation and national oppression of African Americans. Of course, the white ruling elite benefited much more than ordinary white folks, but the disparity in the benefits from racial discrimination is not the issue here.
Whether a Western Hemisphere society is bi-racial or multi-racial, the norm is the privileged status, and in the United States the norm is white. Everyone white is privileged to some extent, and the white working poor are white. The benefits are real for both sides, for white workers as well as for the white business class.
The 12 to 15 percent of white Americans who are anti-racist are not the issue, nor do they bear the blame for racism, nor, unfortunately, have white anti-racists had the clout at any time in the twentieth century to nullify white supremacy. International race-class has subsumed traditional class divisions.
White America constantly reinvents itself in a socio-historical process in which many different Caucasian ethnic groups, most of them directly from Europe, fuse, and transform into something “white.” These neophytes put on a specifically American socio-cultural and political coating, distancing them from their European allegiances: for example, Italian immigrants become Italian-Americans, the hyphenated phenomenon, and finally indistinctly white Americans with Italian-sounding surnames and Catholic denominational affiliation.
Whiteness in the United States has always operated according to a hierarchical selection in which Anglo-Saxon and Aryan Nordic nationalities were the preferred raw material, favored over “lesser” Caucasian breeds, such as Southern Europeans, Slavs, Hispanics, Jews, and such like.
Source: Dr. Munford’s series — TO CHANGE OUR WORLD FIRST UNDERSTAND OUR WORLD
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DR. Clarence J. Munford is Professor Emeritus of Black Studies and History at the University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, near Toronto. He was born in Massillon, Ohio on November 18, 1935. C.J. Munford, an African American with dual Canadian-U.S. citizenship, has taught in universities in Nigeria, Europe and U.S., in a college teaching career that began in 1959.
He introduced the first courses in Black history in an Ontario university in 1969. He is the recipient of the 1997 African Heritage Studies Association Book Award for Race and Reparations: A Black Perspective for the 21st Century. Munford is active in the NCOBRA campaign for reparations for African Americans.
He is a scholar and activist who has authored numerous articles, addresses and essays, and a three-volume autopsy of early Black enslavement in the West Indies, entitled Black Ordeal (1991). He has focused on the theory and practice of revolutionary nationalism from a Pan-Africanist slant.
Munford is the lead discoverer of civilizational historicism, the theory of human history from a Black vantage point. His newest work, a volume entitled Race and Civilization: The Rebirth of Black Centrality, elaborates and substantiates empirical discoveries presented in earlier works. Race and Civilization was awarded the 2002 AHSA Edward Blyden Book Award. This treatise offers civilizational historicism as the theory and practice of World Black struggle against global white supremacy in the 21st century.
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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 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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By David Graeber
Before there was money, there was debt. Every economics textbook says the same thing: Money was invented to replace onerous and complicated barter systemsto relieve ancient people from having to haul their goods to market. The problem with this version of history? Theres not a shred of evidence to support it. Here anthropologist David Graeber presents a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom. He shows that for more than 5,000 years, since the beginnings of the first agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goodsthat is, long before the invention of coins or cash. It is in this era, Graeber argues, that we also first encounter a society divided into debtors and creditors. Graeber shows that arguments about debt and debt forgiveness have been at the center of political debates from Italy to China, as well as sparking innumerable insurrections. He also brilliantly demonstrates that the language of the ancient works of law and religion (words like guilt, sin, and redemption) derive in large part from ancient debates about debt, and shape even our most basic ideas of right and wrong. We are still fighting these battles today without knowing it. Debt: The First 5,000 Years is a fascinating chronicle of this little known historyas well as how it has defined human history, and what it means for the credit crisis of the present day and the future of our economy.
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By Michele Alexander
Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama’s political success and Oprah Winfrey’s financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today… than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don’t know the truth about mass incarcerationbut her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.Publishers Weekly
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From The World and Africa, 1965
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updated 11 June 2008