Candelight Vigil for Ahmos Zu-Bolton

Candelight Vigil for Ahmos Zu-Bolton


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



Adella called to say that he’d been buried in Deridder.  He died in D.C, but

his daughter Amber was with him, and cared for him in his last illness. 

I remember the Copastetic Bookstore with many good memories. 



Candelight Vigil for Ahmos Zu-Bolton

Report from Lynita F. Jones


The passing of veteran writer/griot/editor/publisher/activist/& instructor Ahmos Zu-Bolton II came to my awareness on March 8, 2005, at Howard University Medical Center in Washington D.C. With cremation, a memorial service took place on March 13, 2005, at Carver High School in DeRidder, Louisiana (Zu-Bolton’s high school alma mater). 

As he leaves an unforgettable, literary/spoken-word legacy and efforts as Visiting Writer-in-Residence at the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU), a candlelight vigil will be held in his honor on Saturday, March 19th, 2005. The vigil will take place from 4-6pm, in Columbia, Missouri @ Speaker’s Circle (on MU campus). If the following should occur: rain, other forms of precipitation or area weather below 50 degrees; the alternative site will be held at MU Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center (813 Virginia Avenue, Columbia, Missouri 65211). Keep in mind, there is a detour in arriving to the G/O Black Culture Center site. Vigil format is open expression, enriched with African tradition and special performance. 

EVERYONE IS WELCOMED (local, in-state or out-of-state). Those who are unable to attend the vigil, there is a tentative, poetry festival, in honoring Zu-Bolton’s date of birth, on October 21th, 2005. Time and location, to be announced.  Cards and contributions to the Zu-Bolton family can be sent to: 406 Park DeVille Place, Columbia, Missouri 65203. 

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Throughout his lifetime, Ahmos Zu-Bolton has published his poetry in hundreds of journals and magazines around the country. His authored works entails: A Niggered AmenAin’t No Spring Chicken, and 1946. He has won Fellowships in Creative Writing from the National Endowment For The Arts, the Louisiana Division On The Arts, as well as an Editor’s Fellowship from the Coordinating Council Of Literary Magazines.

In 1970, he founded Energy West Literary Works in Los Angeles. Under that banner, he published Energy West Poetry Journal and Shoreline Magazine. In 1972, he moved the operation to his native south-lands where he changed the name to Energy BlackSouth Press, and organized The Witchdoctor Theater, a poetry-music-drama group. Energy BlackSouth launched Hoo-Doo Magazine, that same year. In 1973, he opened the Up-South office of Energy BlackSouth in Washington D.C., and became co-editor of Black Box, a magazine on cassette tape. He also worked with the Afro-American Resource Center and the Institute For The Arts and Humanities, both at Howard University. In 1976, he moved his company to Houston, then to Galveston, Texas, where he reorganized under the name Energy Earth Communications, Incorporated, and continued as a small press distribution network, while organizing a series of book fairs and festivals. 

In 1983, he moved to New Orleans where he opened the Copastetic Community Book Center, which served both the literary and community theater movements. In 1995, he co-founded the Diaspora Academy, a school for African-American children in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward. Following the efforts of Diaspora Academy, Zu-Bolton relocated and took on the opportunity as Visiting Writer-In-Residence under MU’s Black Studies Program. In Winter Semester, 2001, he instructed his 1st MU class in African-American Poetry. For Black History Month 2001, he moved audiences and gave a “one-time” performance of his war experience monologue, Vietnam Blues. In Fall Semester 2001, he coordinated (along with students) Black Studies Program’s Fall Conference: The Griot in the 21st Century, A Festival

MU campus community witnessed panels, performances and book fair vendors featuring well-respected, griots/authors/spoken-word artists as: C. Leigh McInnis, Ishmael Reed, Kalamu ya Salaam and Askia Toure. A griot in every right, Zu-Bolton also graced his spoken-word craft in area venues as Black Studies Program’s: An Evening in Poetry, the Cherry Street Artisan, The Armory (City of Columbia Parks and Recreation), Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center, Legacy Art Gallery and many others. 

Also, while under service with City of Columbia Parks and Recreation’s Armory, Zu-Bolton published and edited the Mid-Missouri Youth Mirror news magazine.  In October, 2004, with a closing spoken-word festival, Zu-Bolton’s term ended as Visiting Writer-In-Residence at MU. He made his final move to Washington D.C. and made his transition into the afterlife.

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If there’re more questions about the vigil or my experience w/ Instructor Zu-Bolton, feel free to contact me. Also, if you know of others that have interest in attending that I’ve possibly missed, please forward along.  Hope to see you soon, in support & honor of an outstanding legacy… —Lynita F. Jones /Undergraduate, University of Missouri-Columbia / (573)771-4306 / LFJ83A@MIZZOU.EDU  / LYNITAJ@YAHOO.COM

Source: Kalamu’s e-drum (16 March 2005)

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Ahmos Zu-Bolton (1935-2005) — Born in Poplarville, Mississippi, Zu-Bolton is the author of A Niggered Amen (Solo Press, 1976), a collection of poetry, and coeditor of Synergy: D.C. Anthology. he was the founder and editor of HooDoo magazine, and has taught fiction and folklore at the Galveston Arts Center, Xavier University, Delgado College, and was Tulane University’s  first Writer-in-Residence.

For several years he operated his own publishing firm, Energy Earth Communications. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and in the anthologies Giant Talk, Mississippi Writers: Reflections of Childhood and Youth, Vol. III, and Black Southern Voices: An Anthology of Fiction Poetry, Drama, NonFiction, and Critical Essays (1992). In addition to operating a community bookstore, ZuBolton frequently writes for the Louisiana Weekly.

Photo above: Ahmos ZuBolton II and Haryette Mullen

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Ahmos Zu-Bolton II—(October 21, 1948 – March 8, 2005)—President Madison Apartments, 1908 Florida Ave. NW, Dupont Circle neighborhood, DC.—Zu-Bolton was an activist, teacher, playwright, and the author of three books of poems. He founded Energy BlackSouth Press, edited the literary journal HooDoo and co-edited an innovative journal on cassette tape called Black Box. He co-edited an anthology (with E. Ethelbert Miller), called Synergy D.C. (1975). After working at Howard University in the early 1970s, Zu-Bolton took teaching jobs at Xavier University, Delgado College, and Tulane University. His poetry books are A Niggered Amen (1975), No Spring Chicken (1998), and 1946 (2002).—DCwriters

*   *   *   *   *’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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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

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 Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s 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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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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If you like this page consider making a donation

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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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update 21 April 2010 




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Related files:  Neo-Folklore    Beachhead Preachment    Candelight Vigil    ZuBolton Channels Ancestors   

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