ChickenBones: A Journal
for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes
HBCUs & Black Educators
Organizing Relief for Refugees
Books by Kalamu ya Salaam
My Story My Song (CD)
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Hurricane Katrina at Southern University
I know many of you are concerned about us here and I just want you to know that we are safe. The University is open, since yesterday, for administrators and staff but the students will not return until Tuesday , Sept. 6.
In my neighborhood we had some wind damage but not any flooding. Several homes had down trees and one tree split a home in half on my street but no damage to my house. We were without electricity for 3 days but it came back on yesterday. This is so minor compared to what others are experiencing. We have several hundreds of the evacuees housed here on campus; some arrived with just what they had on when they were rescued. Realizing this, I had my staff on yesterday to go back home and get whatever they had at home (t-shirts, blankets, pillows, shoes, underclothes, socks, baby bottles, coloring books, water, etc) for those in the shelter here on campus.
The Library ended up taking 3 cars and a van of items for those housed here on campus. I had a couple of OCLC t-shirts and I included one of them for the evacuees. They were so grateful for everything as one lady told me she had had the same clothes on for three days, no shoes, and no shower during this time. I know this is not much but every little helps. There are about 100,000 people from New Orleans and the surrounding areas now in Baton.Rouge with all shelters full and the traffic is a nightmare, long lines at the gas stations but we are coping and trying to help as much as we can.
Southern University will be allowing any student from the New Orleans colleges and universities to enroll here for the rest of the semester. Of course the Library will extend all rights and privileges to these students as we do our own students. Ms. Adrienne Webber, Xavier
University who was in the HBCU Leadership Institute I stopped by yesterday and said she is available for work for short term (6 months or so) or a permanent job if there is anything available. Just thought I would pass this on.
Again, thanks for your concerns. Do keep all of South Louisiana and especially New Orleans close to your heart and in your prayers.
Take care and take time.
Emma Bradford Perry
Dean of Libraries
Baton Rouge, LA 70813
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Black Colleges and Universities Suffer
Immensely from Hurricane Katrina
Many HBCU students may have to lose an entire semester or more.
Long Beach, CA (BlackNews.com) Historically-Black colleges and universities are constantly faced with challenges that can include state funding issues, inadequate housing, poor student-teacher ratios, and even violence. However, the most recent challenge is none other than Hurricane Katrina.
The deadly natural disaster has affected several HBCUs in the gulf coast area including Dillard University, Xavier University and Southern University in New Orleans, and Tougaloo College in Mississippi. Campuses are damaged, students are stranded, and the school year may not start this year at all.
Fortunately, several organizations are stepping up to the plate to offer some relief. One of these is The United Negro College Fund , which has initiated a special online relief fund that people can donate to.
Dr. Michael Lomax of the UNCF, comments, “We need longtime supporters and new friends as well to help us raise the funds our schools will need to begin the long and costly rebuilding process.”
In addition, the National Association of Equal Opportunity In Higher Education has launched a program seeking to coordinate with other universities to provide alternatives for students enrolled at affected HBCUs.
Many wonder though, whether this will be enough to avoid having Black students lose an entire semester or more.
HBCUconnect.com, the largest online destination for HBCU students and alumni, plans to encourage their thousands of members to do what they can to help. William Moss comments, “We are creating a dedicated section on the web site that will feature exclusive news, forums, and advice on how to help these HBCUs. We also plan to setup an online fund that people can donate to.”
Many say that the key to helping these HBCUs is to donate money and tocreate an awareness about the situation. Likely, Tom Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, and other celebrity graduates of Black colleges, will launch initiatives of their own.
Dante Lee, CEO of BlackNews.com, comments, “Anyone who has media power should urge their audience to help. Every graduate of an HBCU, including myself, must take action.”
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Other Ideas for Relief Efforts
1. Use our e-mail networks to ask for help of some kind from our friends.
2. Make donations through our neighborhoods, churches, and other organizations. The Red Cross will get a LOT of money; I prefer the smaller groups that have fewer administrative costs. Here are some that were listed in the Post recently: America’s Second Harvest, Catholic Charities USA, Church World Service, United Methodist Comm. on Relief. I’m going to check out a web site that was recommended: Giving.com It gives info on various organizations.
3. Think of ways that we can actually DO something tangible: have a bake sale, hold a flea market, give a party, etc.
4. Involve children and teenagers so they can feel a part of the effort
5. Discuss ways of saving resources: turn off the lights, use the air conditioner sparingly, use the car only for essential errands and then do them all at once, walk to the grocery, post office, and drugstore, etc.
6. Share ideas with friends. (One woman on t. v. offered to take in a refugee family. Now that was something!) A friend who lives in Lafayette, LA has gotten her church involved; they’re feeding people & finding homes for them.
7. Some people want to send water, diapers, & toiletries, but these goods present logistics problems; it’s better to send a monetary donation. As one newscaster commented, “This is our country’s tsunami,” and another person called New Orleans the modern-day Pompeii. Please get back to me–or to each other–with comments, suggestions, questions, whatever. By the way, does anyone know what has happened to the collegesXavier, Dillard, and Southernand their students?
posted 1 September 2005
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Basil Davidson obituaryBy Victoria Brittain9 July 2010Davidson [(9 November 1914 9 July 2010) a British historian, writer and Africanist] was enthused early on by the end of British colonialism and the prospects of pan-Africanism in the 1960s, and he wrote copiously and with warmth about newly independent Ghana and its leader, Kwame Nkrumah. He went to work for a year at the University of Accra in 1964. Later he threw himself into the reporting of the African liberation wars in the Portuguese colonies, particularly in Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau. . . . In the 1980s, with most of the African liberation wars now wonexcept for South Africa’s Davidson turned much of his attention to more theoretical questions about the future of the nation state in Africa. He remained a passionate advocate of pan-Africanism. In 1988 he made a long and dangerous journey into Eritrea, writing a persuasive defence of the nationalists’ right to independence from Ethiopia, and an equally eloquent attack on the revolutionary leader Colonel Mengistu and the regime that had overthrown Haile Selassie. Guardian
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Basil Davidson’s “Africa Series”
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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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By William Watkins
William H. Watkins is subtle in his story of the white architects who developed Black education beginning in 1865, just at the end of the Civil War. Watkins shocks you with his scientific racism platform that he explains presented human difference as the rational for inequality and that it can be understood as an ideological and political issue (pg. 39). The reader senses a calm attitude about the author as he speaks of the philanthropists, beginning with John D. Rockefeller, Sr, who was most concerned about shaping the new industrial social order (pg. 133) than he was for providing a useful education. The Rockefeller group demonstrated how gift giving could shape education and public policy (pg. 134).
In their support of Black education, by 1964, the General Education Board (GEB) spent more than $3.2 million dollars in gifts to support Black education. This captivating book begins with a foreword written by Robin D.G. Kelley who reflects that he learned one lesson from Watkins, If we are to create new models of pedagogy and intellectual work and become architects of our own education, then we cannot simply repair the structures that have been passed down to us. We need to dismantle the old architecture so that we might begin anew (pg. xiii). Why dont the school reformers who mandate educational laws experience such an awakening?Review by AC Snow
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By James D. Anderson
James Anderson critically reinterprets the history of southern black education from Reconstruction to the Great Depression. By placing black schooling within a political, cultural, and economic context, he offers fresh insights into black commitment to education, the peculiar significance of Tuskegee Institute, and the conflicting goals of various philanthropic groups, among other matters. Initially, ex-slaves attempted to create an educational system that would support and extend their emancipation, but their children were pushed into a system of industrial education that presupposed black political and economic subordination. This conception of education and social ordersupported by northern industrial philanthropists, some black educators, and most southern school officialsconflicted with the aspirations of ex-slaves and their descendants, resulting at the turn of the century in a bitter national debate over the purposes of black education. Because blacks lacked economic and political power, white elites were able to control the structure and content of black elementary, secondary, normal, and college education during the first third of the twentieth century. Nonetheless, blacks persisted in their struggle to develop an educational system in accordance with their own needs and desires.
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By Paul Tough
What would it take? That was the question that Geoffrey Canada found himself asking. What would it take to change the lives of poor childrennot one by one, through heroic interventions and occasional miracles, but in big numbers, and in a way that could be replicated nationwide? The question led him to create the Harlem Children’s Zone, a ninety-seven-block laboratory in central Harlem where he is testing new and sometimes controversial ideas about poverty in America. His conclusion: if you want poor kids to be able to compete with their middle-class peers, you need to change everything in their livestheir schools, their neighborhoods, even the child-rearing practices of their parents. Whatever It Takes is a tour de force of reporting, an inspired portrait not only of Geoffrey Canada but also of the parents and children in Harlem who are struggling to better their lives, often against great odds. Carefully researched and deeply affecting, this is a dispatch from inside the most daring and potentially transformative social experiment of our time.
Paul Tough is an editor at the New York Times Magazine and one of America’s foremost writers on poverty, education, and the achievement gap. His reporting on Geoffrey Canada and the Harlem Children’s Zone originally appeared as a Times Magazine cover story. He lives with his wife in New York City.
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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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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 Mammys behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own familys 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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By Charles C. Mann
Im a big fan of Charles Manns previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. Its exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that its anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, Im proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, globalized entity.
Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.
We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth. Whether or not the human instigators of all this remarkable change will survive the process they helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and revelatory book, an open question.
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From The World and Africa, 1965
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update 12 July 2012