ChickenBones: A Journal
for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes
Headed by an African American, Dr. William R. Harvey is president of Hampton University.
He is also a Bush appointee to the Federal National Mortgage Association
Bush cronies turning campuses dissent-free
By Irene Monroe
The repressiveness of the Bush Administration is all over American college campuses. And its not only in the demand to reinstall U.S. military recruitment with the so-called Solomon Amendment, which requires military recruitment be allowed or schools risk losing federal funds. Its also in Republican-funded college and university administrations that employ any means necessary intimidation and/or physical force to have a dissent-free campus.
Seven students at Hampton University in Virginia, one of the nations historically black colleges, faced expulsion on Dec. 2 for a crime these days viewed as either treason or sedition against the government.
Leafleting what the university depicts as unauthorized literature about the Bush Administrations racist polices regarding homophobia, AIDS, Hurricane Katrina, genocide in Sudan, and the Iraq war as part of a November protest initiated by The World Cant Wait Drive Out Bush Regime, the Hampton Seven were issued summonses for a hearing with no time to contact either their parents or their lawyers.
For weeks leading up to the protest that involved over 200 universities and colleges nationwide, the Hampton Seven were followed by campus police, targeted by video surveillance, and forced to turn over their IDs.
But the harassment didnt just center on the Hampton Seven.
The HU police booked several people just because they were wearing stickers and other paraphernalia because they looked suspicious. The police used hand-help camcorders to record the faces of the activists without permission. They attempted to intimidate the student onlookers by their random targeting, wrote two of the Hampton Seven John Robinson, and Brandon King, both senior sociology majors in Corporate Plantation: Political Repression and the Hampton Model.
Once apprehended, hundreds of phone calls and thousands of signatures from around the country defending the students including from such notables as Howard Zinn, Cindy Sheehan, Gore Vidal, Bill T. Jones and Alice Walker reached the deans office. Attempting to prevent the story from leaking out, campus police shut down all interviews being filmed by the local media.
Hamptons code of conduct reportedly allows peaceful, non-violent protest, but with one caveat administration approval.
Therein lies the problem. If they are going to practice their freedom of speech, they have to have permission, Hampton student Aaron Williams told a local reporter.
However, many students at Hampton say its not that the flyers were unauthorized because many of them were. The problem was the anti-Bush content in the flyers.
I just want people to know that this is not solely about us being exonerated. Even if they let us off the hook, conditions on campus will be even worse. . . . There is a lot of connection here, it is more severe and ridiculous at our campus, but repression is going on across the U.S., John Robinson told Sunsara Taylor, co-initiator of The World Cant Wait.
Behind the Hampton Sevens protest is a window into a more insidious problem that is unrelenting, pervasive and has metastasized into a community of African-American students — Bushs Republicanism and the way it cultivates a political docility and elitist assimilationist indoctrination.
Headed by an African American, Dr. William R. Harvey is president of Hampton University. He is also a Bush appointee to the Federal National Mortgage Association and a benefactor to Bush-Cheney coffers. Hamptons June 2005 commencement speaker, whom Harvey selected, was his crony Alphonso Jackson, Bushs Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Jackson has deliberately cut back access for poor African Americans to subsidized Section 8 Housing and has unabashedly boasted to The Houston Chronicle that New Orleans should not allow most of its displaced denizens back because they were parasitic to the economy, and the future of New Orleans in order for it to survive must shift from being predominately black to predominately white.
With just days removed from World AIDS Day with more reports of how the pandemic continues to grow and ravage communities of African descent – students had to fight vigorously for an AIDS Awareness group on campus. Why? Agreeing along with Bushs policy of abstinence only, President Harvey responded that we probably did not need one because everyone knows about AIDS, Johnson wrote. The city of Hampton, Va., however, is one of the top 10 AIDS-infected areas in the country, and black college campuses on the whole have a disproportionate number of students with HIV/AIDS.
And homophobia contributes to the problem on campus. However, homophobia on Hamptons campus is so virulent that I couldnt find any current students to talk openly about homophobia or HIV/AIDS without fear of reprisal.
But an alumnus of the class of 1976, Dr. Thea James, an emergency Medicine physician at Boston Medical Center and assistant professor of Emergency Medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine, talked about her days at Hampton. It was very repressive and run like a police state, and I and everyone else had to toe the line. I wasnt out then because I feared being thrown out of the pre-med program. Today I imagine the same thing. I never got involved with campus political activism because there wasnt any. I am proud of these recent Hampton students.
As it turned out, Hampton University did not expel the Hampton Seven. But the University released a statement downplaying the issue: The matter was simply an issue of compliance with University polices and procedures. The University certainly permits peaceful protest; however all polices and procedures must be adhered to by students as stated in the Hampton University official Student Handbook.
And therein lies the problem.
posted 9 December 2005
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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.WashingtonPost
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By Russell Simmons
Russell Simmons knows firsthand that wealth is rooted in much more than the stock market. True wealth has more to do with what’s in your heart than what’s in your wallet. Using this knowledge, Simmons became one of America’s shrewdest entrepreneurs, achieving a level of success that most investors only dream about. No matter how much material gain he accumulated, he never stopped lending a hand to those less fortunate. In Super Rich, Simmons uses his rare blend of spiritual savvy and street-smart wisdom to offer a new definition of wealth-and share timeless principles for developing an unshakable sense of self that can weather any financial storm. As Simmons says, “Happy can make you money, but money can’t make you happy.”
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From The World and Africa, 1965
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update 27 December 2011