ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



After Obama was elected, his PR people characterized him as a Franklin Delano Roosevelt 

or an Abraham Lincoln; two men who took office inheriting national crises yet restored

confidence in the system and saved the country. So far that has been all hype and no substance.



Keep Things In Perspective, Be Thankful

By Junious Ricardo Stanton


An analysis of national, regional, and local news reports from 2008-2009 indicates a largely silent, nationwide epidemic of drastic measures and extreme acts for which the economy seems to have been a catalyst. News of such deeds linked to economic woes — from armed robberies to pay the rent to financially-motivated suicides to familicides (murder/suicides in which both parents and their children die) in the face of financial ruin — has filtered out of cities and towns in most U.S. states. Since only a fraction of these acts ever receive media coverage, what is being reported — most of it in local newspapers — is startling. And while it’s impossible to know the myriad factors, including deeply personal ones, that contribute to people resorting to drastic measures, violent or otherwise, many press reports suggest that the global economic crisis has played no small part in a wide range of extreme acts.—Economic Crisis Is Getting Bloody: Violent

The Fort Hood shooting made the national news and people are wondering how and why an Army psychiatrist could snap and do what he allegedly did. The whole country is on edge due to the economy. People are losing it literally. Working and middle class folks are losing their jobs, their incomes are shrinking, they are losing their homes, their retirement savings and a sense of security. They see the Wall Street money changers getting bailed out after knowingly and deliberately causing this financial crisis but no one helps the suffering poor folks. They hear about the widening income and wealth gaps between the rich and the rest of us and wonder where is the justice? When the US economy imploded last year people flocked to the polls in November seeking relief from eight years of Bu$h’s horrid Neo-Con economics, corruption, fear and warmongering.    During the 2008 election campaign, I was suspicious of candidate Obama and wondered if he wasn’t being set up to be the twenty-first century version of Herbert Hoover. Hoover was in office in 1929 when the Stock Market crashed and the Great Depression started. Wall Street insiders maliciously caused the crash and the Great Depression due to their rampant speculation, and manipulation of the stock market and the credit supply; yet Hoover has been vilified and forever linked to that time of deprivation and misery in US. history. Unfairly, Hoover was blamed for the Depression, that’s his legacy as far as the history books go. It looks like the same thing is  happening to Obama.

After Obama was elected, his PR people characterized him as a Franklin Delano Roosevelt  or an Abraham Lincoln; two men who took office inheriting national crises yet restored confidence in the system and saved the country. So far that has been all hype and no substance. Unfortunately for us, Obama has sided with the people who donated the most money to his election campaign: Wall Street, the hedge fund managers, the insurance companies, trial lawyers, defense contractors and big pharma. This becomes more obvious every day and the people see it more and more.  If things don’t improve soon, I predict Obama will be even more reviled than George W. Bu$h and will probably be a one term office holder.     Obama won using the slogan, “Change You Can Believe In.”  The people fell for it  hoping he would halt the wars, restore the economy and stop the corruption. Instead he has moved full speed ahead executing the same agenda as his predecessor, money for wars and Wall Street at the expense of working folks. Obama’s policies are exacerbating a class war that was already raging in the US. Honest economists (as opposed to the prostitutes on Fox, CNBC and Bloomberg) see the situation worsening before it gets better saying it will not get better any time soon. As a result people are angry and fearful. Gun sales and transactions are at an all time high in the US and stores can’t keep enough ammunition on the selves. Over one hundred new militia have been formed since Obama took office in January.   As we approach the Thanksgiving Holiday, let us pause, take a deep breath, relax and count our blessings. Yes times are tough and tight but there are blessings all around us. Have compassion for those less fortunate than you. If you have a roof over your head, be thankful; millions are homeless. If you have enough to eat, be thankful. If you have a job and can at least  pay some if not all of your bills, be thankful. If you as the old folks used to say, “woke up this morning clothed in your right mind with a reasonable portion of health”, be thankful. If you can wake up, look up and get up, count your blessings. You can only think about one thing at a time. When you focus on your blessings you can’t focus on the economy or your life challenges. Focus on the good in your life.     The Thanksgiving holiday, like most things in this materialistic and hedonistic culture has been commodified and commercialized. This commercialization has placed undue emphasis on shopping, food, meals and consumption rather than introspection and mindfulness of the good in our lives. Stop and examine your life. You will have to admit there is good in your life despite the economy, politics or the size of your bank account. Take a moment to meditate on what it means to be thankful, then reflect on the many things in your life you have to be thankful for.     Think about the source of your blessings and how that source, no matter what you call it, offers greater potential for good than any man made economic system. Thinking on your blessings and their source alters your perspective on life and helps you see a new way of being in the world. Hopefully it will alter your values and motivation so you are not outer directed, caught up in material things and keeping up with the Joneses. No matter what your circumstances are or what you are doing, take time to reflect on all the good in your life and be thankful for it.

*   *   *   *   *’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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Greenback Planet: How the Dollar Conquered

the World and Threatened Civilization as We Know It

By H. W. Brands

In Greenback Planet, acclaimed historian H. W. Brands charts the dollar’s astonishing rise to become the world’s principal currency. Telling the story with the verve of a novelist, he recounts key episodes in U.S. monetary history, from the Civil War debate over fiat money (greenbacks) to the recent worldwide financial crisis. Brands explores the dollar’s changing relations to gold and silver and to other currencies and cogently explains how America’s economic might made the dollar the fundamental standard of value in world finance. He vividly describes the 1869 Black Friday attempt to corner the gold market, banker J. P. Morgan’s bailout of the U.S. treasury, the creation of the Federal Reserve, and President Franklin Roosevelt’s handling of the bank panic of 1933. Brands shows how lessons learned (and not learned) in the Great Depression have influenced subsequent U.S. monetary policy, and how the dollar’s dominance helped transform economies in countries ranging from Germany and Japan after World War II to Russia and China today. He concludes with a sobering dissection of the 2008 world financial debacle, which exposed the power–and the enormous risks–of the dollar’s worldwide reign.  The Economy

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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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posted 25 November 2009




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