ChickenBones: A Journal
for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes
I have a faith to believe that you have once heard me pray,
when I was laying and lugging around about the gates of hell
Thanking God for His Gifts
I thank thee, Lord, for sparing me to see this morning, the blood running warm in my veins, the activity of my limbs and the use of my tongue. I thank thee for raiment and for food, and above all, I thank thee for the gift of thy darling son Jesus, who came all the way from heaven down to this low ground of sorrow, who died upon the cross, that “whosoever believeth upon him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Our Lord, our Heavenly Master, we ask thee to teach us. Guide us in the way we know not. Give us more faith and a better understanding and a closer walk to thy bleeding side.
I have faith to believe you are the same God that was in the days that are past and gone. thou heard Elijah prayed in the cleft of the mountain. Thou heard Paul and Silas in jail. Thou heard the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace. I have a faith to believe that you have once heard me pray, when I was laying and lugging around about the gates of hell, no eye to pity me, no arm to save me. Thou reached down your long arm of protection, snatched my soul from the midst of eternal burning. Thou place me in the rock and placed a new song in my mouth. Thou told me to go, and you would go with me; open my mouth, and you would speak for me.
For that cause we call upon you at this hour. And while we call upon thee, we ask you please don’t go back on Glory, neither turn a deaf ear to our call. But turn down the kindness of a listening ear, catch or moans and groans, and take them home to the High Heavens. We plead bold one thing more, if tis they glorious will, I pray thee.
O Lord, our Heavenly Master, we ask thee please to search our hearts. Tie the reins of our minds. If thou see anything laying and lugging around our hearts, not your right hand planted and neither pleasing to thy sight, we ask thee to remove it by the brightness of your coming, cast it in the sea of forgiveness, where it will never rise up against us in this world, neither condemn us at the bar of judgment, if it is thy glorious will, I pray thee.
O God, our Heavenly Father, we ask thee to please make us a better servant in the future than we have been in the past, and may our last days be our best days.
We thank thee, our Heavenly Father, for what you have done for us in days that past and gone, and what you are doing at this present moment. I know you have been good to me, because you have brought me a mighty long ways. Through many dangers, toils, and snares I have already come. Twas grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me on.
O Lord, our Heavenly Father, will you please have mercy; please remember the sick and the afflicted, the poor and those in hospitals, bodies racked in pain, scorched with parching fever; have mercy on them if tis thy glorious will, I pray thee.
O Lord, my Heavenly Master, remember this weak and unprofitable servant made the attempt to bow before thee. Go behind me as a protecting angel, and by my side as a safeguard. And when we have did all assigned to our hands to do, this old world can afford us a home no longer, may we look back and see a well-spent life and just before a joyful hour, that we may be able to sing praise to the Father, Son, One God, world without end. My soul say amen, amen, amen.
Source: Harold A. Carter’s The Prayer Tradition of Black People (1985)
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Harold A. Carter grew up in the 1940s, in Selma, Alabama. He was the third of five children (two boys and three girls) in the home of Reverend Nathan Mitchell Carter, Sr. and Lillie Belle Carter. His father–Nathan Carter–was a Baptist pastor and preacher, and also professor at Selma University, a Baptist School founded in 1878 by Baptists of Alabama. His father taught Bible and theology.
In the late 1950s, Harold Carter first earned a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Crozer Theological Seminary (Chester, PA). At some point between the mid 1950s and 1968, Harold Carter was for a full year a pastoral assistant to Martin Luther King. In 1987 (?), Carter earned a Ph.D. in Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry in the same month from Colgate Rochester Divinity School. He was (1959-1964) a pastor at Court Street Baptist (Lynchburg, VA) and has been pastor since 1964 of New Shiloh Baptist (Baltimore, MD).
Dr. Carter led New Shiloh into a church and Family Life Center, Sunday, May 27, 1990. Over the years of his ministry, he has led citywide crusades in evangelistic ministry across America and in many countries abroad. Dr. Carter’s first book “The Prayer Tradition of Black People” continues to be a standard work in the Black Spiritual Anthology. A more recent work, “Building Disciples in the Local Church,” is being used by churches near and far, to build revival fires in the local church. His Book, “America, Where Are You Going?” has also proven to be a powerful call for America to examine where she is going in light of the Christian faith, so often compromised and even ignored in our present day world. Harold Carter thinks of himself as a minister, “Determined to Live With Christ.” Dr. Carter is married to Dr. Weptanomah W. Carter, noted speaker, author and founder of several ministries in New Shiloh Baptist Church.
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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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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.
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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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update 27 December 2011