ChickenBones: A Journal
for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes
These Arabs and Islamics are insane. Look at Farrakhanhe does business with Kadafi
Books by Kola Boof
Nile River Woman (Poems, Feb. 10, 2004) / Long Train to the Redeeming Sin-Stories About African Women (April 6, 2004)
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Kola Boof Speaks Her Mind
with Nathan Lewis
American Responses to Boof’s Writings
Well, actually, I’ve gotten excellent reviews in America. I believe that the “working-class” Black Americans appreciate my work, and they recognize me as their own, but you’re right about the upper-middle class Black Americans and Black Academics, particularly at Harvard. They’ve been extraordinarily snobbish and unfriendly towards me. They don’t like my being topless on the back of my bookcoversthey see this as backwards and savage rather than celebratory of traditional Nile River culture, which is what it is. I’ve come to realize that even the most educated Black Americans know very little about authentic African people.
Who Is Kola Boof?
I’m a Black women’s writer really, to be blunt. I write poems and short stories that focus on the lives of black women. My last book, Long Train to the Redeeming Sin, just became a bestseller at aalbc.com. I debuted at #2! And that took months to achieve! I’m writing a novel right now and I’m hoping to be signed with a new agent by Christmas, an American agent, hopefully. My novel is about a sexy young Black American woman who flies airplanes for a living. Critics always describe my writing as being literary. I don’t write bubblegum pop-fiction books.
Kola on Sudan’s Violence, Slavery, & Islam
Yes, I am very fearful. I am paranoid, too. I just rely on the American law enforcement for protection. This is why I sayAmerica is my husband now. I have been disowned by the Arab Islamic people of Sudan, the Northerners as we Sudanese call them and I don’t forget, I am a Northerner, too, but I’m Black and see myself as African.
Someone has to be brave enough to speak out against slavery in my country. It shouldn’t be tolerated. And someone has to speak to the racial prejudice that Black Africans suffer in Sudan and Egypt. The age-old colorism! It’s so terribly bad over there. As unpopular as my position isI do feel that Arab people, as a people, are very violent in our societies. If that’s a racist statement, then so be it.
They go on the “Oprah Winfrey Show” and cry and whine about how unfairly they’re treated, but they remain one of the most oppressive and hateful races on the face of the earth. They hate black people, that’s for damned sure. And Islam is not an African religion. It’s an Arab religion that was forced on African people during the thousands of years that Arabs enslaved Africans.
Islam is a terrible religion for women and children! I was born into it, in Africa, so I have true knowledge of it. It’s not for a womanist. Women should rule at least half the universe, you understandand we should be praised for having our monthly period. We should be celebrated for having daughters. Our nappy-headed black mother, Mother Africa, the Blue Black woman, the mother of all mankindshe should be beloved!
But no, these Arabs and Islamics are insane. Look at Farrakhanhe does business with Kadafia man who makes his nation’s money off the backs of Black African slaves. But, of course, they’ll someday come and kill Kola Boof just for dare saying it. So I might as well scream the shit, right! Men are so unfair. I could kick their ass for christmas.
Kola & Black America
No one loves and admires Black American women more than I do. I love them, unconditionally, because I love myself, and because they come from me and my blood-berry. But I think that any black woman who can’t relate to Kola Boof’s message is either stupid or she isn’t really black.
I’m not saying that she has to agree with Kola Boof’s lifestyleand of course, sister girl’s own lifestyle is one informed by European standards. But I am saying this. Any real Queen preserves the history of her mother’s and her grandmother’s. She studies it, she knows it by heart, and with her own person, she adds to it. That’s what makes a woman a woman no matter what race you are.
But in America there’s far too much disconnection from the authentic self. These women try to embrace their Indian and White blood, and yet, they’re mostly African. Even these yellow ones are Africans once you get out your ruler and start measuring foreheads, hips, nappy hair and lips. Let it be known. I came to the United States, adopted by a wonderful, loving Black American couple, not for any other reason than “colorism.”
My parents in Sudan, as you know, were murdered for speaking up against slavery and the brutish Islamic government of Sudan. After they were murdered, my Egyptian grandmother, my own flesh and blood, felt that I was too dark-skinned to be raised in my father’s family.
So I was let for adoption by my own flesh and blood, my grandmother, because I was too “brown.” My birth mother’s African family wasn’t even looked for, because they were nomads. Now I ask Black American womenwhat in the sky should I be writing about? And because the majority of African people on planet earth suffer from this disease known as “colorism” and self-hatred, then what should we all, every one us, be concerned about?
Why on earth would I want to celebrate black women wearing blond hair on their heads? That’s not freedom, that’s poison! And it reeks of desperation. Have you seen these Black motherseeds walking around as if White women took a shit on their heads!? Do we really have to look like white women to get our own men to look at us? And since the answer seems to be yes, then why are we producing such worthless children?
Look at Michael Jackson! Is no one learning from that tragedy? And what about these Black men who teach our children that any kind of straight-haired woman is better than a Black one? Shouldn’t we put those blind, pathetic bastards where they go? Shouldn’t we raise our children to be honorable enough to give birth to their own image? Is Kola Boof racist, you asked? If I am a racist, then America is the perfect place for me. So be it. I’m not going anywhere. America is my husband now!
Black Women & Writing
Well, I pray that I can reach the women. In particular, the darker ones who can still actually feel their connection to Africa. I believe that the self-loathing of African people all over the world is causing a kind of selective holocaustour children used to be slaves, but now they aren’t even being born. I am hoping to help Black women to see themselves from a more devoutly African standpoint and to realize what it is we must do.
I would also like to see women of all races start our own religion, which is long overdue. I want Islam, especially, to be abolished. When I say thatyou have to understand that religions are not God. Religions are man-made institutions. They have nothing to do with God, the eternal. So I would like to see Islam abolished, because I was born into Islam, and I know firsthand that Islam is a vehicle used by billions of insecure men to bring violence and hatred against women into the world. Just thinkthey’re the type of people who would kill me for saying such a thing. That’s the nature of the religion.
“Choosing the Right God: Choosing Self” Rejected
My publisher wants it to be easier to market me to a general audience. They would like it if it were easier for White people and middle class Blacks to embrace me, but truly, I don’t care about those two groups. I don’t see why we should get rid of the word “nigger” as long as we’re going to keep our blond hair weaves, which I think is a far more dangerous statement than the word “nigger”that’s what the essay is about, and of course, my publisher is worried because I name several powerful Black people who I feel really are “niggers.” I cried a lot and I fought very hard. That essay is my answer to the Willie Lynch letter. I won’t allow the book to be published without it.
I’m all for it. I lived with a white man for several years, myself, when I was very young. Truly, I don’t think that “interracial love” is really at issue, because that is a natural love that has always existed in the world. But I still maintain that what we see in America is an epidemic of Black self-hatred rather than love between two equals. The playing field is not equal here.
In my homeland as well, the Black people believe in Arab superiority. They believe that light-skinned people are more human, more loved by God. You see the once mighty Nubian King trying to pass for Arab or claiming to have a drop of Arab blood, disowning his own Black relatives. This sickness is in Africans all over the planet, the Europeans and the Arabs infected us with it, and now we must cure ourselves so that God can love us with his eyes opened wide instead of closed.
Breasts & African Heritage
You know, it took decades for people to recognize the special importance of Zora Neale Hurston, because she seemed so simple and outrageous. But she was really quite complicated and very natural. In my case, they think I’m angry and opportunistic. That’s not true. I am loving to all mankind, very wise and I respect my ancestors.
[G]rowing up in Washington, D.C.I always resented how the Black Christian people thought that bare-chested African women were bare-chested because they were “backwards and didn’t know any better.”
I always wanted to scream out, “Our mothers were bare-chested, because women were truly respected as spiritual beingsthe breast being a food source, a religious ornament and the very symbol of the circle of life. We had done nothing dirtyso there was no need to cover ourselves.!” If Jesus Christ were alive, he would agree with me that it’s an abomination against God for any woman’s breasts to be covered. Not the European Jesusthe African Jesus.
Black people used to know that before the Europeans took over our lives and taught us that our mothers were nothing more than naked savages. So now there is a bare-chested African woman, Kola Boof, who writes literature. And we Black women are still the goddess flower. It is from our passion that the world came into being. We know God best, because we gave birth to him. We were the first thing he ever made. The black woman is the only woman that the forces of nature agree with.
Kola’s Passion & Love
If my boyfriend could say anythinghe would probably brag and boast about how submissive I am in the relationship. He always laughs when people think that I’m this rough, tough super-feminist rebel, because I cook his meals, make his lunch, give him mental and physical stimulation, take care of the house that he owns, I do his laundryand he generally calls the shots and goes to work for the government everyday.
But I also write books about the things that go on in my head and I am a political activist, a soldier in Dr. John Garang’s Sudanese People’s Liberation Army. I am a two-fisted woman as the American blues song goes. But my lover and I, we see ourselves as a team, with him dominating our house and mechanging the world while he’s at work. That’s really how it is, because I wanted to be in love with a man and still affect the world.
Mentally and emotionally, I’m a “womanist”. I am a feminist. I am a sexual athlete, which I used to be ashamed of, because decent women aren’t supposed to shape sex into artbut I think artists make art out of everything, you know. This term “sexual athlete” doesn’t mean that I’m unfaithful, because I have never been unfaithful to a lover, but it means that I have expectations about sex that many men can’t deal with.
It’s hard work satisfying Kola Boof. I said the word “womanist” in honor of the great Alice Walker, one of my heroes, because she gave us that word, to honor and accurately identify the purposeful Black woman.
But in my birth mother’s Gisi-Waaq tribe, they have a word that means the same exact thing”Gadaa-Kwilxxu.” So, you see, it’s ancient. This idea of women being highly valued, respected and “listened to” within an African society. My love and passion comes from that. . . . As well as from the fact that Africa is a sensual place where sensuality has always been encouraged and appreciated in a spiritual way. A woman is meant to have sexual power within the society, otherwise, her seed dies from the earth and there’s nothing left of her body.
Topless on Book Cover
Well of course, he hates it. We fight about it all the time. It’s hard on men, you know, because what I’m doing was acceptable in ancient times, but it’s seen as a sexual nature these days. It’s just something that I must do. I think that once I’m sixty and gray and I’m still topless on my books, then people will finally look at the pictures and finally have respect for the authentic African woman.
The Source of Peace
My love for God. I’m not a Christian, but I often read the Bible, quite a bit, in fact, because it brings me a lot of joy and wisdom. I feel empowered by the parts that I read. I like long, long baths. I drink wine more than I used to. I get peace from good sex. I’ve had to start to working out in my boyfriend’s gym room, and that’s wonderful.
A Few Admirers
I also know the great, legendary legal Scholar and social writer Derrick Bellhe’s another one of my heroes, a Black male one. I really respect his wisdom and his down to earth nature. He’s so wonderful for a tormented person like me to correspond with and he’s just the best. He’s like a father and he has a wonderful brilliant wife, Janet. Professor Jim Mtume from England is a fan of mines and English Professor George Landow at Brown University has been extraordinarily kind to me, he acknowledges my work. I also have to mention an Arab woman writer named Carol Chehade. She has an incredibly special book out called “Big Little White Lies”. I’m shocked to have a close, close friend who is Arab and from Egypt no less! But I love Carol Chehade. She’s a White blond Arab and she’s my blood sister in my heart.
Please let me mention another black male hero, Charles Uniteus who is known as Mr. Uniteus. He’s a Black American who is doing all he can to end slavery in Sudan. I also love Troy Johnson at aalbc.com He has the most incredible website for Black literature (aalbc.com) and he supported me even when others more powerful than him said that I shouldn’t be heard from.
And don’t dare forget Jaime Foster Brown who publishes “Sister-2-Sister” magazine, which has been really supportive of my career and has given me lots of free press! I love Jaime, she’s my idea of an African queen. I love her so much.
Source: “Kola Boof Surrenders” Nathan Lewis interviews Kola Boof.
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By Alek Wek
“When I cleaned toilets, I only saw it as work to give me the means to achieve my goals. Of course I hated it,” the Sudanese supermodel exclaimed. “Waking up at 4 a.m. when it’s freezing cold is not easy, followed by Uni, coursework and my evening baby-sitting job, but it made me disciplined and gave me a huge sense of self-appreciation.”
Born the seventh of nine children Alek, meaning ‘black-spotted cow’ (one of Sudan’s most treasured cows, which represents good luck), never dreamt of becoming a model. Both in her motherland, where she was considered to be inferior due to her Dinka tribe (dubbed as ‘zurqa’, meaning dirty black) and again in Britain when she arrived in 1991, she faced hostility.Jamaica-Gleaner
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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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This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label ‘trafficked’ does not accurately describe migrants’ lives and that the ‘rescue industry’ serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. “Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality.”Lisa Adkins, University of London
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02_My_Story,_My_Song.mp3 (24503 KB)
(Kalamu reading “My Story, My Song”
Parable of the Cellphone (Marvin X)
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From The World and Africa, 1965
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posted 2 October 2011