ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



Diary Notes from 

The Marcus Bruce Christian Archives

University of New Orleans




Books by Marcus Bruce Christian

Song of the Black Valiants: Marching Tempo / High Ground: A Collection of Poems  / Negro soldiers in the Battle of New Orleans

I am New Orleans: A Poem / Negro Iron Workers of Louisiana: 1718-1900 /  The Liberty Monument

*   *   *   *   *


Christian on Lyle Saxon & the History Manuscript


November 10, 1943, 12:30 p.m.

I have been taking time to revise and gather new notes. Now I have begun to write the final copy. I am making the chapters much shorter than they were before. Understand? He said, unh-hunh, yes. I said that when I finish the first three chapters that I am working on now, would it be all right to send it to him and then let him read them for me. Yes he would be glad to do it.  

Then I said, I could mail them to him. But why not bring them down to the hotel one day, say tomorrow? No, I said because I want to have the typing in the best condition, and I go so slowly that I only type about five finished pages a day. I tear up so many of those even while I am typing them. He said that is not bad. Saxon doesn’t do much better himself, or maybe not  as good. That’s fairly good five pages a day. 

Well, I said, I would like for him to read through the chapters, as these first chapters are my hardest ones, and after I see how they stand, I shall go fairly fast. So he could  make a few notes on a separate sheet of paper, and just clip it to the manuscript and mail it back to me. And he broke in to say that it would be better to bring it down to him, and you  see, this is one of those things that I hate to do, so you’d better stay with me until it’s done. So just come down to the  hotel and I am really sorry that you will have to use that damn freight elevator, and you just can let me read it while you’re  here.

Well then, I said, we’ll make it say one day next week, say Wednesday or something. And he says, well, make it as early as  you can Christian, because like I’m feeling I’m not sure now if  I’ll be living very long. Honestly, I’m feeling bad. Feel as if  I were going to die, so don’t be long doing it. What’s the matter, I asked, surely you’re not going to croak on me? He said what did you say, and I said, surely you’re not going to die on me. He said, well like I feel anything might happen,  that’s why I tell you make it soon. . . .

And he says, sure, you’re not going to die, you’re all right, and you’re happily married–and I broke in and said, yes, but let me tell you something, I was not fooled about the marriage thing–I did not go into it thinking that it was a bed of roses and it isn’t, but I’m satisfied. He was silent. Anyway, I said, I tell you what I’m going to do, I am going to come down  sometime between Tuesday and Thursday–I think Wednesday, but I’m not sure. Anyway, when I’m ready to come down, I’ll phone  you and tell you that I’m coming — remember now, I’ll be ready  and on my way when I phone. And he said good, but make it soon, because I’m not feeling well at all. And I said that he must  take care of himself, and that I would call him next week when I start out, and we both said good-bye. 

I noticed, that he said, rather slowly and reflectively, and a little sadly, ‘good-bye, boy’. I was just thinking. Roark  Bradford wrote long ago–and it does seem ages ago, although it is only a year or two–that Mr. Saxon never called you boy.

<<—Previous                 Next–5->>

*   *   *   *   *

Marcus Bruce Christian

Selected Diary Notes / Selected Poems  / Selected Letters

*   *   *   *   *

Memories of Marcus B. Christian (CainsChristian’s BioBibliographical Record    Introduction to I AM NEW ORLEANS 

A Theory of a Black Aesthetic   Magpies, Goddesses, & Black Male Identity

Activist Works on Next Level of Change   Intro to I Am New Orleans   Letter from Dillard University

A Labor of Genuine Love  Letter of Gift of Photos   Letters from LSU and Skip Gates

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Iron Workers of Louisiana: 1718-1900

By Marcus Bruce Christian


Study of the blacksmith tradition and New Orleans famous lace balconies and fences.

Acclaimed during his life as the unofficial poet laureate of the New Orleans African-American community, Marcus Christian recorded a distinguished career as historian, journalist, and literary scholar. He was a contributor to Pelican’s Gumbo Ya Ya, and also wrote many articles that appeared in numerous newspapers, journals, and general-interest publications.

*   *   *   *   *

Audio: My Story, My Song (Featuring blues guitarist Walter Wolfman Washington)

*   *   *   *   *

Ancient African Nations

*   *   *   *   *

If you like this page consider making a donation

online through PayPal

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


*   *   *   *   *

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

*   *   *   *   *

The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

*   *   *   *   *


*   *   *   *   *






update 17 April 2010



Home  Selected Diary Notes  Marcus Bruce Christian