Cliff Chandler

Cliff Chandler


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



In the window frame, blurred by the clouds were the softly focused hills of Africa.

Vic reveled in his epiphany. Suddenly there it was below him, Africa.

The earth spoke to him, it was as if it was saying welcome home



Books by Cliff Chandler


The Paragons  / Devastated  /  Vengeance Is Mine


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Excerpt by Cliff Chandler


I’m in Spain. Damn this is great, a little scary, but great.

His plane was announced in Spanish, French, and finally in English. Vic threw the strap of his carry-on across his shoulders and followed the line of passengers presenting their boarding passes. The plane was smaller, if you can call a 727 small, and almost empty. Vic had a window seat on the right side of the plane. The plane climbed out of Barajaras on almost the same runway they landed on and headed west. Vic had a sense of trouble, and that puzzled him. He didn’t know a soul in Europe, but the feeling was strong. He released his seat belt and headed for the toilet. The toilet was at the rear of his section; his seat was near the emergency door on the right wing. He didn’t bother to check out the passengers as he made his way to the rear of the plane.  He would do that on his way back to his seat.

Vic washed his hands, splashed a little cold water on his face, blotted his face with a paper towel and opened the door. From his position he could see all the way to the first class section. He didn’t see anything or anyone unusual until he passed young Spanish man two seats behind his seat and he knew he had his man, it was his gold chains. He looked like he had just stepped off the subway in Brooklyn.

What the hell is he doing here and why does he make me feel uneasy? Vic thought.  

Vic went back to his seat. The fact that he had found the thing that made him uneasy caused him to relax for the first time in a long time. He thought he had lost his edge when he refused to kill Marcos.

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He heard it in his mind’s ear, a beautiful chorus. The sound was not of this world. In the same instant his eyes were drawn to the left side of the plane. In the window frame, blurred by the clouds were the softly focused hills of Africa. Vic reveled in his epiphany. Suddenly there it was below him, Africa. The earth spoke to him, it was as if it was saying welcome home. The plane banked to the left and headed toward Casablanca. It was a quick flight. On final approach the plane headed straight in, full speed. At the very last moment the flaps were extended and the plane slowed for landing.

Casablanca, I’m in Casablanca! This is really cool I’m in Casablanca.

A tandem bus met the plane. The luggage from the plane was placed in a special carrier after which the bus moved on to the terminal. Vic shouldered his carry-on bag; the rest of his baggage had been checked on to Marrakech. He had planned to spend the day in Casablanca as part of his trip. Vic wanted to take a bus into the city, and asked the Attendant about taking the bus into Casablanca. She pretended not to understand him until he tried his best high school French, after which, she responded in English, and recommended taking a taxi. Or as she said, “You don’t want to take a bus. Take a taxi.”

Vic went through Customs, checked his carry-on bag in a locker and cashed a traveler’s check.  He grabbed the first taxi in line and told the driver to take him to Casablanca. He was right Gold Chains followed him. The ride into town was worth the trip. It was like driving through Georgia in the forties: farm houses and shanties. The thing that impressed him most was what he saw in a farm house they passed. It was a homemade table with tablecloth made of cheesecloth on it. 

And they say we have lost our culture.

The Driver drove into the middle of the city, stopped and announced, “Casablanca.” Vic paid him, crossed the street and entered a bar. Gold Chains had his driver stop further up the street. Vic took his drink and sat at one of the sidewalk tables. From his seat he could see Gold Chains using a public phone.  A car stopped in front of Vic and a well-dressed Moroccan got out of the car and joined him at his table.

“Mr. Morgan my name is Ahmed Ferhat. It is my duty to see that you get to Marrakech in one piece.”

“I beg your pardon, but who the hell are you?”

Ahmed showed Vic his shield.

“What the hell is going on?”

“Nothing that we can’t handle. I’m working with Interpol. You’re being followed.”

“You mean the young Spanish man in the gray suit?”

Ahmed blinked.

“Good for you. But, do you know who he is?”

 “If he’s following me he must be into drugs.”

“Well” Ahmed said.

Ahmed brought Vic up to date. Vic hadn’t noticed, but Gold Chains had left. He didn’t mention it to Ahmed; but they probably had Gold Chains covered. The question was why was someone following him. Then it hit him: probably a relative of Marcos.

Will this thing ever end? Vic thought.

Vic abandoned the idea and focused on Ahmed, who said that he would escort him back to the airport, and that someone else would meet him in Marrakech. He had promised Ellis Crainsworth that Vic would be safe in his country. Vic decided to get loaded, Ahmed agreed, but didn’t join him in a drink. He was Moslem. Vic settled the matter by having a drink for him. Time passes fast when you’re having fun, Vic thought, and Ahmed knew where all of the fun places were. Belly dancing was not one of Vic’s favorite pastimes, until he met Fatima. Fatima was good at her craft, and it had been a long time since Vic had been with a woman, but Fatima took care of that. And it’s just like they say, you know: riding a bicycle. Fatima was a customized Harley.

Source:  Devastated

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Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All

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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The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama’s political success and Oprah Winfrey’s financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today… than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don’t know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

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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 /

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 7 January 2012




Home   Music  Musicians   Chandler Bio 

Related files: Sir Charles Mingus   The Queen Dinah Washington  Well Done, Miss Simone   The Paragons   In Search Of Our Culture   Devastated  

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