Charles E Siler Bio

Charles E Siler Bio


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



 Siler’s works include a variety of  themes ranging from New Orleans’ lively

and unique jazz scene to its lively and equally unique political scene. He uses

his art to comment on life’s complexities, warts and beauty marks. His work

 includes fine watercolors and acrylics to political cartoons



Charles E. Siler Bio

  Charles E. “Chuck” Siler, was the featured exhibitor for the Southern University Museum of Art’s Founders’ Day opening on March 8th, 2007. There was also a second opening on Saturday, March 10th celebrating his recent  departure from state service. A graduate of Southern University, with a degree in Fine Arts, Siler studied with Jean Paul Hubbard, Frank Hayden, and Harold Cureau as an undergraduate and credits a number of other artists as influences over the years. While an undergrad at Southern he cartooned for the school newspaper The Digest and wrote a humor column and contributed artwork to The Cat (yearbook). After being given the Digest Staff Award, he edited the paper during the summer of 1965. His artwork has appeared in exhibits across the country and is in international collections.

After graduation, Siler moved to the Los Angeles area and counted among his memorable experiences having had the opportunity to execute a stage design that was used for the American Theatre of Being production of Vincent Williams ’ “The Loudest Noise In The World” at the Coronet Theatre in West Hollywood.

Following service in the U.S. Army (U.S. Army correspondent during his tour of duty in Viet Nam), Siler returned to Southern University as Sports Information Director and Assistant Public Contacts Director.

In 1971 he returned to California and worked for Black Associated Sports Enterprises, Inc. producers of the Grambling College Football Show. Siler wrote and directed a special segment of the film “Grambling Takes It All Back Home.” He also wrote and produced cartoons and illustrations for a number of publications including Soul and Soul Illustrated magazines, The Soul and Jazz Record among others. A black and white sketch used in Billboard Magazines 1984 Michael Jackson edition was seen by more than six million readers worldwide.

After the closing of BASE, Siler continued working as a writer–illustrator and consultant in the film, television and entertainment industry. Before returning to Louisiana, Siler partnered with writers Bill Farley and Ray Richmond to produce a spoof, The Unofficial Guide to the 1984 Games which poked fun at the plethora of official guides produced when the Olympics were held in Los Angeles.

Siler returned to Louisiana and in 1985 became Division Information Representative and, later, Program Coordinator for the Division of Black Culture, then housed in the Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism. His production experience was called into play as he worked in the African American community assisting organizational (museums and cultural centers) and festival development. He still found time to maintain a studio through the mid-nineties and pursue his art. Siler, a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana returned to Louisiana in the 1980s and went to work for the Division of Black Culture in the Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism and was instrumental in assisting the development of many of the state’s African American museums and cultural centers.

After a brief hiatus, he joined the staff of the Louisiana State Museum in 1989 as programs curator while also coordinating African American Outreach for that organization. During the 1990s, Siler was curator for three major exhibits—The Sojourners at the Museum of the Americas (New Orleans) and a statewide exhibit of African American artists at the Masur Museum of Art (Monroe). He also curated the exhibit, “Capturing The Flash: African American Artists View The Mardi Gras Indian” and a traveling exhibit “An Artistic Sojourn Thru The Afro-Louisiana Experience” viewed by more than a million people during its travels.

Siler also created the still-popular “Music At The Mint” series that has featured such artists as Alvin Batiste, Ellis Marsalis, Harold Battiste, Michael White, Henry Butler, Sam Henry, Kidd Jordan, Raful Neal, Henry Gray, Tabby Thomas, Harold Brown and a host of other entertainers over the year. Siler created and hosted the first museum “Poetry Jams.”

He has produced programs in conjunction with the National Park Service—“Revolutionary Repercussions: Impact of the Haitian Revolution on the Louisiana Purchase”—and The Old State Capitol Museum—“The Baton Rouge Bus Boycott”—and a host of organizations around the state and nation.

For seventeen years he was a presenter at the annual Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans at the African Heritage and Allison Minor Music Heritage stages. Siler, for four years, did the initial development work on the then-proposed State Civil Rights Museum. Siler’s work and study on Louisiana African Cultural traditions, particularly the Mardi Gras Indians and Second Line traditions has earned him invitations to speak and present on subjects that have found their way into his drawing and painting.


A sought after presenter-lecturer, he has appeared in almost every type of venue including a fill-in deejay stint on WWOZ Radio and appearances in such documentaries as “Black In Louisiana,” “Voodoo In New Orleans,” and Royce Osborne’s award-winning “All On a Mardi Gras Day.

Siler has narrated several award winning radio productions by David Kunian including “Meet All Your Fine Friends at The Dew Drop Inn,” “Guitar Slim,” and “James Black: Guardian of The Groove.” It is his voice that narrates the 1927 flood video in the new Baton Rouge museum and is among those in its whispering wall. He recently played the character “Stick” in a student film produced by Emerald Bayou Studios that starred legendary Baton Rouge bluesman Henry Gray.

He has exhibited at the Salter Gallery, The Gallery in The Courtyard, Mumbo Jumbo and the California African American Museum in Los Angeles, The West Baton Rouge Museum, The Arna Bontemps Museum (Alexandria), Ashe Cultural Arts Center (New Orleans), The New Orleans African American Museum and the Black Heritage Gallery in Lake Charles. He has work in private collections worldwide and that of Cultural Crossroads in Baton Rouge.

A Katrina evacuee Siler spoke on New Orleans history and culture at Montgomery College (Rockville, MD), Brookhaven College (Dallas, TX), The American Educational Research Association (San Francisco) and the Smithsonian Institution’s  National Folk Life festival where he presented the Hot Eight Brass Band, The Dixie Cups, Davelle Crawford and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux.

His Southern exhibit ((2007) “Rhythm n’ hues and Katrina’s Blues” was a mix of works, one dating back to his senior exhibit at the university. It ranges from traditional to modern expressing a variety of emotions and a wry sense of humor His editorial bent is evident throughout his work and his post-Katrina work makes its own statement, underscoring his African-centered views.

Since his retirement he is a resident of Carrollton, Texas where he resides with his wife, Rhonda Miller and son Daniel.

Source: Pairlist

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Racism: A History, the 2007 BBC 3-part documentary explores the impact of racism on a global scale. It was part of the season of programs on the BBC marking the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. It’s divided into 3 parts.

The first, The Colour of Money . . . Racism: A History [2007]—1/3

Begins the series by assessing the implications of the relationship between Europe, Africa and the Americas in the 15th century. It considers how racist ideas and practices developed in key religious and secular institutions, and how they showed up in writings by European philosophers Aristotle and Immanuel Kant.

The second, Fatal Impact . . . Racism: A History [2007] – 2/3

Examines the idea of scientific racism, an ideology invented during the 19th century that drew on now discredited practices such as phrenology and provided an ideological justification for racism and slavery. The episode shows how these theories ultimately led to eugenics and Nazi racial policies of the master race.

And the 3rd, A Savage Legacy . . .  Racism: A History [2007] – 3/3

Examines the impact of racism in the 20th century. By 1900 European colonial expansion had reached deep into the heart of Africa. Under the rule of King Leopold II, the Belgian Congo was turned into a vast rubber plantation. Men, women and children who failed to gather their latex quotas would have their limbs dismembered. The country became the scene of one of the century’s greatest racial genocides, as an estimated 10 million Africans perished under colonial rule.

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Rudy, you may also note that she did answer ‘both’ so he couldn’t win.  I could have inserted Democrat with the same result even using the word “liberal” Of course you might laugh to note that art was, indeed, imitating life.

I’m also a registered independent, activist and veteran who supports those you refused to fight the war.  I was a correspondent in Viet Nam and wrote, cartooned and photographed what I could while managing to send home a few hundred  “hometown news releases” to keep folk informed that there were a lot of brothers who were being overlooked in the press.

We’ve all become family over the years and, yes, I welcome the diversity of opinion.  That keeps us all honest and unafraid to speak.  I’m not a hundred per cent in agreement with Barack either but I’m 100% against the opposition that has none of our interests in mind only that of those dubbed the 1 per cent.

Fifty years ago, January 2nd, I got out of jail where I’d spent the holidays for “illegal picketing”.  For months after that I ran the voter registration office for the Baton Rouge NAACP and burned a lot of shoe leather walking house to house across most of the southern part of that city trying to get folk to register and vote.  This, while it was still dangerous.  My greatest accomplishment, psychologically, was when I walked an 84 year old lady into the building that housed the Registrars office and she went through a gauntlet of sneering cops and humbled all of them with a display of dignity that I can’t forget.  A chile of former slaves who was determined to register and vote.  To this day, I don’t, perhaps in memory of those who like her and my grandmother who voted in a time when it could be very costly.

If we want better we have to become organizers all over again.  It might only take our telling people.  We don’t have to go to meetings.  But if we meet, and take the time for rhetorical rationalization, it’s necessary to remind folk that pulling that lever or inserting a slot of paper into a box just might be able to counter some of the irrational thought that is so prevalent.  I’s not about all of us having to agree. . . it IS about all of us taking some kind of action and when, necessary, having the conversations that are designed to accomplish an end.  

Just yanking your chain. Kindness, Joy, Love and Happiness  Chuck Siler

Makes Me Wanna Holla

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Call for Artists and Photographers 

Charles E Siler Bio   

Chuck Siler Response to Katrina

Fifty Years Ago 

Framework for African Students (Biblio) 

Gnarlins 07  

Holiday Cards


Related Files


A Bibliography of Bibliographies

Cuban BookList  

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Chuck Siler’s Jazz Angels Deep Water Blues--New Orleans loss is Dallas’ gain!  When New Orleans artist Chuck Siler evacuated to Dallas after Hurricane Katrina, and he decided not to return, Dallas gained another master artist. aka CHUCK SILER: THE DALLAS DEBUT marks Siler’s first solo exhibition in Dallas and includes a variety of media and themes ranging from New Orleans’ lively and unique jazz scene to its lively and equally unique political scene. Siler gives us a glimpse into this treasure of American cities as only a native can, using his art to comment on its complexities, warts and beauty marks. His work spans the gamut of media from fine watercolors and acrylics to biting political cartoons, most of which find their way into various publications monthly. 

Come out and MEET THE ARTIST on Saturday, September 13 from 5-7 pm have a little jambalaya courtesy of Dodie’s Seafood Cafe and welcome him and his wonderful art to Dallas!  This exhibit is a part of the DADA Fall GALLERY ARTWALK.  Visit for a complete list of ARTWALK locations.

Opening is Saturday, September 13 at 5 pm.  FREE  This exhibit  runs through November 1, 2008.

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Holiday Cards

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48 Years ago‏

I had a flashback yesterday.  It was the 48th anniversary of the largest mass civil rights march in Baton Rouge History.  On December 13th a group of Southern University students were arrested and taken to jail for the second time.  They had been taken downtown and given a warning on December 12th.  On their return they were locked up in the line atop the Baton Rouge courthouse.  I was there and arrested on the thirteenth. 

On the 14th (though the News reports tried to cut the numbers) about 5000 Southern University students, faculty and Baton Rouge citizens marched on the courthouse.  They assembled peacefully and prayed and began singing “We Shall Overcome.”  We answered them from upstairs and began singing though the deputies locked down the cells overlooking the streets and attacked the peaceful demonstration with dogs and tear gas. 

Of course all of that praying and singing caused a “civil disturbance” and a police riot ensued.  On the male side, more than 300 of us were housed in a place for 48 where we spent 21 days incarcerated.  Theda Ambrose (Lake Charles), Sylvia Copper (Baton Rouge), Janetta Gilliam (Houston) Bill Bradford, Thomas Peete, Joe Louis Smith (Shreveport), Roger Banks (Banks Electric in Baton Rouge), Weldon Rougeau (Lake Charles), David Dennis (New Orleans & Jackson, Mississippi) Jerome Smith, Ronnie Moore (New Orleans) and others were among those who were among the leaders and incarcerated.

One of the strongest supporters and spokesmen on our behalf was Professor Adolph Reed at Southern.

It was the second time (the first was in March of 1960) that Southern had demonstrated and both were the first mass demonstrations led by college students in this country during the modern civil rights movement.

Baton Rouge has gotten short shrift in the history of the civil rights movement particularly after having been the first to have a bus boycott (1953) and served as a model for Tallahassee and, later, Montgomery.  I shall always revere Mr. Willis V. Reed who made his transition in September. 

Sometimes the hard earned freedoms are taken for granted and, too often, overlooked.   Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the first march led by Marvin Robinson, Eddie Brown, Major Johns, and others.  We have been talking about a 50th commemoration in 2011. Just a note, fellas.  Chuck SilerCharles E. Siler 3822 Hollow Way #512

posted 18 December 2009  

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State manumission


Will tell you more later but I am no longer with the Louisiana State Museum.  There were issues over where I could work because I was advised by my physician that the environment was not good for my health.  I’m limited to visits (preferably when it’s raining) to the city.

The bureaucrats saw things differently and their training in the other arts made them far wiser than that poor guy who’s only been practicing medicine for over thirty years.

In short, I retired and am, now, living in Carrollton, Texas.  I’m getting ready for an exhibit at my alma mater (Southern University) in March and will be having a special opening to celebrate my manumission. You would appreciate this better than many – the promontory by the bend in the river at Southern was known as Free Nigger Point – a name given it because those who made it across the river during the early days of the plantation at Scott’s Bluff were free.

I’m working on a painting called “Free Nigger Point” that I’m donating to the collection because a great many of us were inspired to keep our minds unchained. For me, it’s an appropriate place to transit careers. I’m working on an illustration project that I’ll keep you posted on.

The next few months, however, are going to be spent getting ready for the Southern exhibit and getting used to not having to go to the office and put up with b.s.  Life outside of the plexiglass box isn’t too bad.

Kindness, joy, love, and happiness. Celebrate whatever! Chuck Siler

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How Kalamu and I Met

It was at Fort Bliss in 1968, I was there for about a month and used to like to spend time jamming with other musicians in the service club.  I walked into this room one evening and there were some guys on stage playing and a white kid was at the microphone ruining some tune.

I stopped to listen and the drummer, fed up with the singer, did a classic cymbal crash and ordered him off the stage.  Then he called out to me, “Say bruh…can you sing?”  I said yes and joined them on the stage.  It was fun.  The drummer was Specialist 5 Val Ferdinand. He found out I was from Baton Rouge and he was from just down the road.  Both of us were out there in the desert and we became friends.  Before I left, we had a chance to see Hugh Masekela at U of Texas El Paso and the friendship lasted.

After I returned, I had the opportunity to help Preston Edwards when he began the development of the Black Collegian (on my kitchen counter in Baton Rouge).  We stayed in touch when I returned to live and work in California.  Val Ferdinand, renamed “Pen of Peace” – Kalamu ya Salaam was now editor.

 The last smile came on my 60th birthday when he presented me with “The Best of Lou Rawls.”  I’m a baritone and used to love Lou, knew all of his stuff…etc. etc. etc. I still call Kalamu “my drummer”; he’s always on the beat. Thought you might like that story.  Beats Goldilocks and them Bears. Chuck

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Chuck Siler on Black Men and the Presentation of Culture

The South Dallas Cultural Center in partnership with the Dallas Heritage Village will present a multimedia lecture by former New Orleans resident, Chuck Siler.  Mr. Siler recently retired as the Programs Coordinator and African American Outreach Coordinator for the Louisiana State Museum. This lecture will look at the myriad of ways Black men have created new art forms and their role in presenting and preserving cultural traditions to the African community.  Groups like the famous Mardi Gras Indians and the second line musicians will be showcased along with many others in this spirited lecture.   Chuck Siler moved to Dallas with his family after Katrina and has decided to make it his home.  He brings a wealth of knowledge to the city and plans to immerse himself in the arts and cultural community while here.  His past achievements include writing for numerous publications, designing for the American Theater of Being, and assisting in the establishment of  African American museums throughout Louisiana, narrating radio programs for PBS and appearing in the documentaries “All on a Mardi Gras Day” and “Voodoo in New Orleans.”  In addition, Chuck Siler has a distinguished visual arts career most recently showing his work in a one man exhibition at the Southern University Museum. His next exhibit is scheduled for the Southern University Museum of Art in Shreveport, Louisiana.  This lecture is FREE and open to the public.   The South Dallas Cultural Center is a program of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs.  All programs are subject to change without notice.  Visit  for a full listing of South Dallas Cultural Center programs.   Vicki Meek (17 May 2008)

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Registering to Vote in Baton Rouge


I’m passing this on to you, my special people.  Renette at the Louisiana Weekly wanted something for the paper and this is an overnight (bleary eyed this a.m.) production.  Since a great many of you on this list are outside of New Orleans, I wanted you in on it. DO have a good weekend, especially you community organizer types. (Smile):

When I was 19 (back in 1962) I ran the voter registration office for the NAACP in Baton Rouge.  I walked South Baton Rouge, mid city and areas known to Baton Rouge as the Lake and The Park.

I remember one lady whose name I remember as “Mrs. Williams” who was 84 at the time and had never voted.  They found reasons to “fail” her twice with the added threat that, one more failure would mean that she couldn’t come back for something like six months to a year.  She wouldn’t quit and had me come back to her house and drill her on that test over and over again until there was no way they could stop her.  I might also note that they would make subtle changes on the “test” (actually a registration form for whites, a test for Blacks).  I went with her and walked into the downstairs area thru a gauntlet of deputy sheriffs who stepped back and stood against the wall as she walked through. I remember her, head held high, grim (Mary McLeod Bethune-like) expression on her face. Every uniformed face in that hallway was mean and wanted to be intimidating like at any moment they might attack her… She epitomized cool and eldership and they stepped aside. As I said, I was nineteen years old and not afraid to die.  I was dressed in a tie and jacket and, a la’ Mike Connor’s on that television show Mannix, I had a .25 caliber in the small of my back.  Fortunately, I didn’t have to pull and use it because, had it come to that there would have been a memorable headline.  I might note that I was no longer enamored of nonviolence and was getting closer to Malcolm X in terms of my defensive philosophy.  Plus, as a descendant of the “Shooting Silers” I was responding in the manner of my father and uncles who believed in self-defense.

She went into that office, filled out that form and whatever spirit was with her that day, pervaded the atmosphere and one of the best moments in my life was when she stepped out of that door and smiled.

She came to mind because, on my last visit to Baton Rouge, I drove through where she had lived and most of the houses were gone.  She lived on 24th or 25th Street near Capitol High School. 

Though I’ve gotten old and can’t remember if her real name was Williams, I do remember that face.  I remember Reverend Jelks being happy and my other mentor Reverend Walker smiling when I told them how she parted the Redneck Sea at the courthouse that day.  The NAACP Secretary, Pearl George, and I celebrated at the office with a soda pop toast.

A lot has happened in 46+ years. Chuck

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The Niggerization of Palestine

(Jonathan Scott)

Slow Death in Gaza   Olmert Smote the Philistines  Israeli Offensive on Gaza Continues  The Biggest Jailbreak in History

A Taste for Snot

By Dorothy Marie Rice

An Open Letter to President Barack Obama

and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

 From Educators of African Ancestry

Pink Ribbon

By Andrea Barnwell

Poems  by Andrea Barnwell   Loud and Long Through the Valley

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Holiday Cards


Ear Candy: Visual Art on the Subject of Music

April 21 – May 9, 2009

Mokah Gallery * 2803 Taylor St. / Dallas, TX 75226 * 214/651-0633

Artists Receptions: Saturday, April 25th, 4-7 pm / Thursday, May 7, 7-9pm

Chuck Siler is participating in the “Ear Candy: Visual Art on the Subject of Music  Exhibit,” a fundraiser to help support musicians.  All of the artwork is music themed. He has entered the Silas Hogan painting, a small watercolor (left). Hogan has always been one of his favorite subjects. The painting is in part a tribute to Baton Rouge which is, in Chuck’s estimation, the blues capitol of the region.

Some of your Dallas area folk saw the piece on last nights’ opening.  I’ve turned a few of the young artists on to ChickenBones.  The “kids” love it.  (I discovered that I’m twice as old as damn near every participant in the show…feels strange but the youngsters that I talked to understand that it’s only the body that wearing out…..) Thanks for your help.  I’m working on some color things that will fit ChickenBones.  Also, I’m working on illustrations for Arthur Phisters’ books in progress.  The book of poetry is named after his poem My Name Is New Orleans . . .he’s still kicking. Stay well. Chuck

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Here ’tis.

One 90 year old elder, my mother, exercised her right to vote.  She remembers how hard it used to be and wasn’t going to let an election go by without having her say.  Let’s have one for the serious Nonagenearians!! Good for Ced Richmond and folk in Louisiana who need a voice that will be concerned about the needs of everyone in the part of the state that he represents.  He KNOWS that he’ll hear from the constituency about doing his job. My brother, Gary the movie buff, gets the credit for saying, (on November 3), “The President must feel like the Sheriff of Rock Ridge”, and Cleavon Little’s face came to mind. I also thought of what Richard Pryor would have said . . . “These m#@%$^&*%$s have gone crazy…”

I listened as John Q. ranted but edited out the expletives. Someone actually said “It’s over!” on November 3rd.  The other person said No sh*****t, you don’t really believe that?

“I edited.  Most of the politically savvy know that it’s really just getting started.  The Republican machine starts its attacks seriously in January and the Dems have to get over their “wussiness” and off the pot if they plan to make a stand in 2012.  By the way, if we were in a real post racial society, would the conservatives, instead of railing about the “black” president, acknowledge that the man is biracial and was raised by his white grandparents.  Black folk don’t seem to mind his “whiteness” as long as he does something for everyone but the tea people seem to have laced their Earl Gray with some Aunty Blacque. Thank goodness for alternate parties and independent critical thinkers.—Chuck

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Poem: Fireman’s Ball

It Aint My Fault by Mos Def & Lenny Kravitz

Mos Def, Lenny Kravitz, the Preservation Hall Band, Trombone Shorty, and Tim Robbins teamed up recently to record It Ain’t My Fault to benefit Gulf Aid, a nonprofit created in response to the oil spill off the Louisiana Coast. Check out the video above and if you’re interested in donating to the cause, please visit

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Rodney D. Foxworth, Jr.–   School Daze  A Depravity of Logic    A Naïve Political Treatise  A Report on a Gathering  at Red Emma’s     Urban Legends   Women Bringing New Strength to Unions (Dick Meister) / Don’t Let Them Destroy Our Union (Frank Hammer)   remembering professor lorenzo thomas  The Cruelty of Age  in Lorenzo Thomas’ “Tirade”           

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Bill Moyers and James Cone (Interview)  / A Conversation with James Cone

John Coltrane, “Alabama”  /  Kalamu ya Salaam, “Alabama”  / A Love Supreme

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The State of Black Erotica (Lowe)  / For Stan Tookie Williams (Lewis)  /  Niyi Niyi Osundare (Grue)

Daisy Bates, 1914-1999: What It Means to Be Negro  / The Death of My Mother  / The Death of Daddy    

Daisy Bates: Civil Rights Crusader from Arkansas

Alice Walker to Place her Archive at Emory University

A Conversation with Randall Robinson (video)

Queen Africa (and other poems) Dangerous Abroad   Blue Eyed Dolls in Africa 

Out of America or How I Became a Marxist   When I was a Tennis Player 

A Blues for the Birmingham Four  /  Eulogy for the Young Victims   / Six Dead After Church Bombing 

Guarding the Flame of Life

New Orleans Jazz Funeral for tuba player Kerwin James / They danced atop his casket Jaran ‘Julio’ Green

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   Jane Musoke-Nteyafas: 


Women’s Role in Hip Hop

Enslaved Igbo and the Foundation

of Afro-Virginia Slave Culture and Society 

Tom Feelings 

Nuking, Westerns, and White Manliness

Sonia On My Mind (Muhammad) / When I Became a Woman (Ezimora)

Akoli Penoukou: Stories and Poems


 Love One Another / The Ancestors Are Not Really Dead  /  Into His Arms

 On Learning of Walter Rodney’s Death & Other Poems 

 How can we trust them?  / Out of the Clouds (poems)  Short Stories Table

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Imagine A Black Nation  In Memory of Imari Obadele By Marvin X


Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family

A Review by Ayodele Nzinga, MA, MFA

Duet for The Godfather  / Blessings Are Due  / Leonard Peltier Letter


Myths, Lies and Other Untruths (Junious Ricardo Stanton)


Let Loose on the WorldCelebrating Amiri Baraka at 75

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summer dreams sitting on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain, a cold one nearby, line in the water, sinker bobbing. hook empty. some red sails in the light of late day fluffy cumulus piled high, imagination runs wild, hopes high… summer wishes, summer dreams.

Charles Siler 26 February 2010

Working in the Shadows

A Year of Doing the Jobs (Most) Americans Won’t Do

By Gabriel Thompson

Bobby Mcferrin’s “Beyond Words”

Reviewed by Marvin X

Facebook Remembers Malcolm X


Interview: Malcolm X

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Not Gone With the Wind Voices of Slavery—Henry Louis Gates, Jr.—9 February 2003—Unchained Memories, an HBO documentary that makes its debut tomorrow night, provides a powerful answer to that question. It gives us, through the faces and voices of African-American actors, an introduction to a vast undertaking that took place in the 1930’s: the collection and preservation of the testimonies of thousands of aged former slaves in an archive known as the Slave Narrative Collection of the Federal Writers’ Project. This archive unlocked the brutal secrets of slavery by using the voices of average slaves as the key, exposing the everyday life of the slave community. Rosa Starke, a slave from South Carolina, for example, told of how class divisions among the slaves were quite pronounced:

”Dere was just two classes to de white folks, buckra slave owners and poor white folks dat didn’t own no slaves. Dere was more classes ‘mongst de slaves. De fust class was de house servants. Dese was de butler, de maids, de nurses, chambermaids, and de cooks. De nex’ class was de carriage drivers and de gardeners, de carpenters, de barber and de stable men. Then come de nex’ class, de wheelwright, wagoners, blacksmiths and slave foremen. De nex’ class I members was de cow men and de niggers dat have care of de dogs. All dese have good houses and never have to work hard or git a beatin’. Then come de cradlers of de wheat, de threshers and de millers of de corn and de wheat, and de feeders of de cotton gin. De lowest class was de common field niggers.”



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Duke Ellington 

Bio-Chronology 1899-1974

Back to School Poems for Children  

By Yvonne Terry

Flagrant Racism: The Democratic Party Crisis  Jeremiah Wright: Warrior and Trickster 

Locked Up   A Lie Unravels the World 

Black Mama, White Son

Charlie Rangel Begat Ed Towns

By Kevin Powell

Black Librarians Table  / David Parks’ Letters 

A Post Industrial Blues  /  Monroe N. Work Intro 

Monroe N. Work Bibliography of the Negro

Lies Truth and Unwaged Housework

The Cost of Lies — America With Its Pants Down    The Dark Side of Obedience   

Vince Rogers: Talk To Me  /  Kings of Crunk  /  Bad Brains  /  Legends and Legacies  

 Necromancers of Negritude & Other Thoughts  / Griot

*   *   *   *   *’s 25 Best Selling Books



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#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.

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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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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

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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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posted 17 September 2008 




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Related files: Fifty Years Ago    Framework for African Students (Biblio) / Charles E. Siler Bio  / Gnarlins ’07  / Chuck Siler Response to Katrina  

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