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The Du Bois-Malcolm-King

Political Action Forum

1963_Debate Malcolm X_With_James_Baldwin.mp3

Malcolm X Videos   Turner-Cone Theology Page   White — Wells Lynching Index  Du Bois Writings



Frustration with being regarded as “a marginal voice” often encourages clergy to embrace the language of the modern state. Preachers begin to talk like politicians, and while gaining some credibility as political power brokers, in the process they tend to lose the prophetic edge that they could and should bring to the political debate and to the process of imagining a better society.

This is a temptation to which Dr. King never yielded. He consistently employed theological concepts and language to challenge the modern state to be more just and inclusive. He opined on practical and concrete political matters, but only insofar as they were outgrowths of the theological and ethical principles he espoused.It is humbling, hopeful, and empowering to consider that preachers, church women, and Sunday school children led a revolution in our lifetime. They marched, prayed, voted, and challenged the nation to, in the words of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., “conform America’s political reality to her political rhetoric.” They have passed the baton to us.


Robert M. Franklin, “Awesome Music, Great Preaching, and Revolutionary Action: The Mind of Martin Luther King, Jr.,” The Princeton Seminary Bulletin, XXIII (2), 2003.

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Theophilus Eugene “Bull” Connor (July 11, 1897 – March 10, 1973) was the Commissioner of Public Safety for the city of Birmingham, Alabama, during the American Civil Rights Movement. His office gave him responsibility for administrative oversight of the Birmingham Fire Department and the Birmingham Police Department, which had their own chiefs.Through his covert actions to enforce racial segregation and deny civil rights to African American citizens, especially during the Southern Christian Leadership Conference‘s Birmingham Campaign of 1963,

Connor became an international symbol of bigotry.

Connor infamously directed the use of fire hoses, and police attack dogs against peaceful demonstrators, including children.

His aggressive tactics backfired when the spectacle of the brutality being broadcast on national television served as one of the catalysts for major social and legal change in the southern United States and helped in large measure to assure the passage by the United States Congress of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. . . . civil rights leaders, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., began “Project ‘C’” (for “confrontation”) in Birmingham against the police tactics used by Connor and his subordinates (and, by extension, other Southern police officials).

King’s arrest during this period would provide him the opportunity to write his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail. The goal of this movement was to cause mass arrests and subsequent inability of the judicial and penal systems to deal with this volume of activity. One key strategy was the use of children to further the cause, a tactic that was criticized on both sides of the issue. The short-term effect only increased the level of violence used by Connor’s officers, but in the long term the project proved largely successful, as noted above.—Wikipedia

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Remembering King and The ‘Fierce Urgency Of Now’

By E. Ethelbert Miller

Martin Luther King Jr. may be best remembered for his “I Have a Dream” moment, but too often overlooked are his efforts to fight poverty in America. Essayist E. Ethelbert Miller says that this Monday, we should remember King in his full context. His messages are relevant even — or especially — in 2010.

Back in the old days of vinyl albums and those sweet 45s, there was often a flip side of a hit song that you wanted to dance to more than anything else. It was the side not played on the radio but instead hummed perhaps during the privacy of one’s shower.

When I listen to Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, I’m always curious as to why many of us overlook the opening statements of his 1963 address. It’s as if we only hear one side of his speech. Why do we quickly repeat the words “I have a dream,” and not the words “America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds.’ But we refuse to believe the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.”

The fierce urgency of now is what Martin Luther King mentioned back in 1963. But how long is now?

I feel these words by King are also inspiring. King spoke of a debt before he spoke of the dream. This is important to remember because it shows his focus on economic conditions and problems in America. King was concerned not only with fighting segregation and discrimination, but also with fighting poverty. During his last year he was organizing a poor people’s campaign to come to Washington, D.C.

It was the labor demands of sanitation workers that encouraged him to travel to Memphis in 1968. King knew it took hard work to fulfill a dream.

In 2010, poverty can disguise itself by hiding behind unemployment lines, housing foreclosures and the inability of a young person to afford a college education. When we look around our nation, many businesses are suffering from insufficient funds, as are too many families.

Once again, we wonder if the great vaults of America are still rich with opportunities for everyone.

The “fierce urgency of now” is what King mentioned back in 1963. But how long is “now”? Every year we cling dearly to the last lines of King’s speech — because of their poetic beauty. King’s words echo those of Langston Hughes and Walt Whitman. I believe he heard America singing.

Our hearts today are too large to simply contain sorrow songs and blues. In 2010, we need to know which side of the record is playing — the dream or the debt. When we celebrate King’s birthday, we shouldn’t just remember and examine one speech. The man, the minister, the prophet is too complex for that. Yet his “I Have a Dream” speech should be understood in its entirety. Next to his speeches, we should place his sermons. Here we will find King’s compassion for his fellow man. Here we will continue to discover words that will provide us with the strength to love.

January 17, 2010

E. Ethelbert Miller is the board chairman of the Institute for Policy Studies. He has been the director of the African American Resource Center at Howard University since 1974. Miller is a former chairman of the Humanities Council of Washington, D.C., and a former core faculty member of the Bennington Writing Seminars at Bennington College. He is the editor of Poet Lore and the author of several collections of poetry and two memoirs. NPR

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At the River I Stand

California Newsreel that, in recognition of the death of Martin Luther King Jr, which happened on this day in 1968, the Award-winning film, At the River I Stand, which chronicles the 1968 AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) sanitation workers’ strike in Memphis, leading up to eventual assassination of MLK, will be available to watch for free, online for just this week. The film, produced by David Appleby, Allison Graham and Steven Ross, was awarded the 1994 Erik Barnouw Award for Best Documentary, by the Organization of American Historians.“The struggle and triumph of dignity over injustice is the luminous tapestry of all great social movements. . . . At the River I Stand is an inspiring visual testament and a call to witness to every viewer,” said AFSCME president Gerald W. McEntee. “‘The 58-minute documentary can be viewed in full from today, through the 11th, next week Monday. At the River I Stand – Preview

Stokely Carmichael—We Ain’t Goin’  / Dr. King Said It: I’m Black and I’m Proud!  /Reparations, Queen Mother Moore

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Amin Sharif Amin Sharif Table

     A Blues for the Birmingham Four (poem)

     Bloody Sunday at Pettus Bridge  (poem)

     H. Rap Brown’s Die Nigger Die! (book review)

     Resurrection in Mississippi (poem for Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner)

     Retrospective on Soul on Ice (book review)

     Six Killed in “Bombingham”  

    What Will Be After An Iraqi War 

Big Tom the Red

by Manning Johnson

Bio-Sketches of Civil Rights Activists

     Amite County Bob Moses & Terror in Mississippi (1960) By Jack Newfield

     Beginning [Students Sit-In in Greensboro]  By Jack Newfield

     Forty Years of Determined Struggle by Rudolph Lewis

     Karenga on Malcolm & the Need for Struggle (commentary)

     “Kish Mir Tuchas, Baby” (Stokely Carmichael)

     Kwanzaa & Its Founder (bio-sketch)

     Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party Perspective by Jack Newfield

     Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange, O.S.P. (bio-sketch)

    Philip Berrigan, Civil Rights Activist (Obituary)  A Bio-Chronology

         When I Lay Dying  Psalm for Two Voices  

            Who are the Real Enemies?  Widen the Prison Gates  

     Randolph & the “Great White Father”  (A. Philip Randolph)

     Reverend Dr. Vashti Murphy McKenzie

     Scipio Africanus Jones

     Thomas Wyatt Turner (bio-sketch and writings)

     Walter Lively: A Christ Among Us by Rudolph Lewis (essay)

     What It Means to Be Negro by Daisy Bates

     What’s Next by Julian Bond (essay)

*   *   *   *   *

The Brilliant Disaster

JFK, Castro, and America’s Doomed Invasion of Cuba’s Bay of Pigs

By Jim Rasenberger

My telling of the Bay of Pigs thing will certainly not be the first. On the contrary, thousands of pages of official reports, journalism, memoir, and scholarship have been devoted to the invasion, including at least two exceptional books: Haynes Johnson’s emotionally charged account published in 1964 and Peter Wyden’s deeply reported account from 1979. This book owes a debt to both of those, and to many others, as well as to thousands of pages of once-classified documents that have become available over the past fifteen years, thanks in part to the efforts of the National Security Archives, an organization affiliated with George Washington University that seeks to declassify and publish government files. These newer sources, including a CIA inspector general’s report, written shortly after the invasion and hidden away in a vault for decades, and a once-secret CIA history compiled in the 1970s, add depth and clarity to our understanding of the event and of the men who planned it and took part in it. . . .

With the possible exception of Castro, no one came out of the Cuban venture smelling sweet, but over time the CIA came to assume the rankest odor of all. Starting with the publication of two important memoirs by senior Kennedy aides in the fall of 1965—Arthur M. Schlesinger’s A Thousand Days and Theodore Sorensen’s Kennedy—a steady stream of books championed the view that John Kennedy was a victim in the Bay of Pigs, and especially a victim of the CIA’s arrogance and malfeasance. Several recently published books that treat the Bay of Pigs suggest this view has won out and is now conventional wisdom. One recent bestseller, David Talbot’s Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years (2007), describes a defiant CIA driven by “cynical calculation” while engaged in an effort to “sandbag” President Kennedy with the Bay of Pigs.

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Book Reviews


Foiling the Arsonists [Benjamin Banneker] by Winfield Swanson

Seat of Honor — Homer Plessy (bio-sketch0

We as Freemen by Keith Medley   (on Homer Plessy)

Campaign 2012

Banishing Cain and Triple Nines

Raising Cain  


The Real Michael Steele

Clarence Munford

     Atlantic Slave Traffic by Clarence Munford

     The Benefits of Whiteness  by Clarence Munford

     Boukman and His Comrades by Clarence Munford

     Race and Reparations (Book Review)

Eldridge Cleaver

    Black Panther Platform & Program  

    Cleaver Bio  

     Cleaver Speaks to Skip Gates  

     Daniel Berrigan on Cleaver

     Fire Last Time  

     The Fire Now

     Ishmael Reed’s Preface

     Maxwell Geismar’s “Introduction”  

     Tearing the Goats Flesh

     Retrospective on Soul on Ice  By Amin Sharif


Freedom Ain’t Come Yet!   by Aduku Addae

Freedom Journal Lynching (news report, 1827)

Harold Cruse  

The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual  

Huey P. Newton

     Defection of Eldridge Cleaver & Reactionary Suicide

     Demythologizing Huey Newton by Cornish Rogers

     I Am We

    Manifesto: Revolutionary Suicide: The Way of Liberation

*   *   *   *   *

Arizona gov. signs bill targeting ethnic studies—The measure signed Tuesday prohibits classes that advocate ethnic solidarity, that are designed primarily for students of a particular race or that promote resentment toward a certain ethnic group.The Tucson Unified School District program offers specialized courses in African-American, Mexican-American and Native-American studies that focus on history and literature and include information about the influence of a particular ethnic group. For example, in the Mexican-American Studies program, an American history course explores the role of Hispanics in the Vietnam War, and a literature course emphasizes Latino authors. Horne, a Republican running for attorney general, said the program promotes “ethnic chauvinism” and racial resentment toward whites while segregating students by race. He’s been trying to restrict it ever since he learned that Hispanic civil rights activist Dolores Huerta told students in 2006 that “Republicans hate Latinos.”—YahooNews

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The GOP War on Voting—In a campaign supported by the Koch brothers, Republicans are working to prevent millions of Democrats from voting next year—By Ari Berman—As the nation gears up for the 2012 presidential election, Republican officials have launched an unprecedented, centrally coordinated campaign to suppress the elements of the Democratic vote that elected Barack Obama in 2008. Just as Dixiecrats once used poll taxes and literacy tests to bar black Southerners from voting, a new crop of GOP governors and state legislators has passed a series of seemingly disconnected measures that could prevent millions of students, minorities, immigrants, ex-convicts and the elderly from casting ballots. “What has happened this year is the most significant setback to voting rights in this country in a century,” says Judith Browne-Dianis, who monitors barriers to voting as co-director of the Advancement Project, a civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C. Republicans have long tried to drive Democratic voters away from the polls. “I don’t want everybody to vote,” the influential conservative activist Paul Weyrich told a gathering of evangelical leaders in 1980.”—RollingStone

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Presidential Violence!—Obama is clearly continuing the Clinton and Bush policies of militarizing Africa. This is obvious in the expansion of US military “interventions.” For example, US support to the Nigerian ruling elites efforts to eliminate the resistance movements in the Niger Delta. Consider also the expansion of the US International Military Education and Training (IMET) program as well as the increased US arms sales to African countries. . . . A “Black” US president is a deadly thing because dead and dying African (black) bodies are the grounds on which white power stands. White power in black-face also stands on those same dead African and other racialized peoples bodies. . . .  But of what value is hope predicated on African death and dying? To the extent that his achievements requires that we valorize capitalist imperialism, male supremacy, militarism, and white supremacy . . . we must question the value of a “Black” US president.  BlackAgendaReport

*   *   *   *   *

For Malcolm, the most persuasive element of the Nation of Islam was its affirmation of black people’s cultural history.[xxxiv] In the “Domination system,” silence and violence often go together, Campbell states, and notes that amnesia and a “disconnection from history” are important allies of the powers.[xxxv] Human captivity to the powers often, he continues, results from ignorance and denial about the realities of the past. Further, when people are silenced by the System and when they feel their voices will not be heard and do not matter, they are not only the victims of violence, but also often become the breeding ground of further violence, as their pent-up oppression goes unexpressed and finally explodes.

According to Cone, Malcolm was not silent; he was angry and he wanted the world to know that he was angry. Malcolm could not understand, Cone notes, how anyone could be a human being and not be angry about what white people had done to black people in America. Malcolm was particularly angered by white people’s assertion that he was teaching hatred and often responded, “History is not hatred.” Malcolm believed, Cone points out, that God is the executor of justice and notes that Malcolm’s concept of justice was “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and an arm for an arm, and a head for a head, and a life for a life.”[xxxvi] As such, Malcolm believed the “solution” to the problem of racial injustice “will be brought about by God.”  Living Scripture in Community


*   *   *   *   *


A Black Imam Breaks Ground in Mecca—Two years ago, Sheik Adil Kalbani dreamed that he had become an imam at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Islam’s holiest city. 

Waking up, he dismissed the dream as a temptation to vanity. Although he is known for his fine voice, Sheik Adil is black, and the son of a poor immigrant from the Persian Gulf. Leading prayers at the Grand Mosque is an extraordinary honor, usually reserved for pure-blooded Arabs from the Saudi heartland.

So he was taken aback when the phone rang last September and a voice told him that King Abdullah had chosen him as the first black man to lead prayers in Mecca. Days later Sheik Adil’s unmistakably African features and his deep baritone voice, echoing musically through the Grand Mosque, were broadcast by satellite TV to hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world. NYTimes   Amin Sharif

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*   *   *   *   *


“Imagine! Niggers Speaking French!!!” by John Maxwell

Interview with Gore Vidal

Kil Ja Kim

     Black Immigrants Deported in Higher Numbers  

     Bought Colored Kids   

     Image of the Black Criminal  

     To White Women Who Think 

     White Anti-Racist is an Oxymoron 


Lil Joe Lil Joe Bio  Lil Joe Index


     Comments on Addae’s “ABCs”

     PaxAmerica in Decline   

     WTO Summit in Cancun and Singapore Issues  

*   *   *   *   *

Ghosts in Our Blood

With Malcolm X in Africa, England, and the Caribbean

By Jan R. Carew

Carew, an activist, scholar, and journalist, met Malcolm X during his last trip abroad only a few weeks before he was killed in 1965. It made such an impression on Carew that he felt compelled to search out Malcolm’s family and friends in order to flesh out the family history. He interviewed Wilfred (Malcolm’s older brother) and a Grenadian friend of Malcolm’s mother named Tanta Bess. Comparing his family’s experiences with that of Malcolm X, he gives the most complete picture yet of Malcolm’s mother. Carew also offers a tantalizing glimpse of Malcolm X’s transforming himself into El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, a man less blinded by his own racial prejudices yet as committed to the betterment of his race as ever. Just before his death, Malcolm X became convinced that a U.S. agency was involved with those trying to kill him, and Carew here reveals the evidence Malcolm X gave him to support these beliefs. The mystery of Malcolm’s death remains unresolved, and we are once again filled with regret that he was cut down before he could fulfill the promise of his later days. While this book will not replace The Autobiography of Malcolm X (LJ 1/1/66), it is an important supplement. All libraries that own the autobiography should also purchase this one.—Library Journal


Malcolm X  Malcolm X Videos   1963_Debate Malcolm X_With_James_Baldwin.mp3

     The Achievements of Elijah Muhammad (commentary)

     Appeal to African Heads of State

     Climbing Malcolm’s Ladder

     Facebook Remembers Malcolm X

     Honoring Malcolm X by Junious Ricardo Stanton (essay)

     In Remembrance of Malcolm X ”El Hajj Malik El Shabazz” by M. Quinn

     Interview: Malcolm X

     Leon Thomas—Malcolm’s Gone (music)

     Letter to Yvonne by Rudolph Lewis (commentary)

     Living Scripture in Community by George W. Miller (essay)

     Malcolm  (poem)

     Malcolm X and the “Pan-African Pantheon”

     Malcolm X Birthday Observance (report)

     Malcolm X Letter to Elijah Muhammad   

     Malcolm X Is Dead! by Amin Sharif (essay)

     The Malcolm X Tour 2003 

    Manning Marable’s Malcolm X Book

     Manning Marable Reinvents Malcolm X

     Martin and Malcolm on Nonviolence  (James Cone)

     The Meaning Of Malcolm X  By C. Eric Lincoln (essay)

     Peter Bailey

     Speech on the Founding of the OAAU

     To Take One’s X  by Randall H. Evans (review)

     Review of My Face Is Black by Gayraud S. Wilmore. Jr.

*   *   *   *   *


Henry Louis Gates’ Dangerously Wrong Slave History

By Barbara Ransby

Repudiating an Apologist

Skip Gates’ “End the Slavery Blame-Game” Nonsense

By Dr. Ron Daniels

The Failure of Negro Leadership  /

The Post Black Negro  /

Professor Charles Ogletree on Profiling to Beergate to the Obama

*   *   *   *   *

1963_Debate Malcolm X_With_James_Baldwin.mp3 / James Baldwin on Malcolm X (1 of 3)

Malcolm X on Front Page Challenge, 1965  / Malcolm X—What Is The Black Revolution 1Malcolm X—What Is The Black Revolution 2

*   *   *   *   *

James Baldwin on Malcolm X (2 of 3)  / James Baldwin on Malcolm X (3 of 3)  / Debate James Baldwin and Malcolm X

Martin Luther King Jr. on Malcolm X  / Malcolm X at UC Berkeley

*   *   *   *   *

Malcolm X

A Life of Reinvention

By Manning Marable

Years in the making-the definitive biography of the legendary black activist. Of the great figure in twentieth-century American history perhaps none is more complex and controversial than Malcolm X. Constantly rewriting his own story, he became a criminal, a minister, a leader, and an icon, all before being felled by assassins’ bullets at age thirty-nine. Through his tireless work and countless speeches he empowered hundreds of thousands of black Americans to create better lives and stronger communities while establishing the template for the self-actualized, independent African American man. In death he became a broad symbol of both resistance and reconciliation for millions around the world.

Manning Marable’s new biography of Malcolm is a stunning achievement. Filled with new information and shocking revelations that go beyond the Autobiography, Malcolm X unfolds a sweeping story of race and class in America, from the rise of Marcus Garvey and the Ku Klux Klan to the struggles of the civil rights movement in the fifties and sixties.

Reaching into Malcolm’s troubled youth, it traces a path from his parents’ activism through his own engagement with the Nation of Islam, charting his astronomical rise in the world of Black Nationalism and culminating in the never-before-told true story of his assassination. Malcolm X will stand as the definitive work on one of the most singular forces for social change, capturing with revelatory clarity a man who constantly strove, in the great American tradition, to remake himself anew.

Pulitzer Prize for History 2012 Winner—For a distinguished and appropriately documented book on the history of the United States, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000). Awarded to Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, by the late Manning Marable (Viking), an exploration of the legendary life and provocative views of one of the most significant African-Americans in U.S. history, a work that separates fact from fiction and blends the heroic and tragic. (Moved by the Board from the Biography category.Pulitzer

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Books by & About Malcolm X

Malcolm X: The Man and His Times  /  Seventh Child: A Family Memoir of Malcolm X  / Martin and Malcolm and America 

Ghosts in Our Blood: With Malcolm X in Africa, England, and the Caribbean

 The Black Muslims in America The Autobiography of Malcolm X  / Malcolm X Speaks / By Any Means Necessary

February 1965: The Final Speeches  / For Malcolm: Poems on the Life and Death of Malcolm X

*   *   *   *   *

Malcolm X’s daughter to add to father’s autobiography—Ilyasah Shabazz, Malcolm X’s daughter, has agreed to write the foreword to three chapters omitted from the original “Autobiography of Malcolm X.” Released in 1965, the classic returned to No. 1 on the best-seller list 30 years later. The “lost” chapters were recently discovered by Detroit attorney Gregory Reed who acquired them, at auction, from the estate of Alex Haley, who co-wrote the book with Malcolm. Shabazz, author of “Growing Up X,” says she believes “the chapters were omitted because they showed too much of my father’s humanity.” Reed plans to release them during a commemorative celebration of what would have been Malcolm’s 85th birthday on May 19 at the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial & Education Center, the former Audubon Ballroom in Harlem where he was assassinated in February 1965.—NYPost   

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The Death of a Prophet, of Creative Militancy

By Rudolph Lewis

*   *   *   *   *

Martin Luther King

     Cardinal Bernardin on Dr. King (commentary)

     Chaos or Community 

     Commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington by Lil Joe

     Chronology of the Life of  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

     Edward Kennedy on Dr. King (commentary)

     Ernest Withers–Civil Rights Photographer (bio; exhibit)

     Eulogy by Five Birmingham Girls by Dr. King

     I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King, Jr. (speech)

     The Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

     Letter from Alabama Clergymen

     Letter from Birmingham Jail

     Living Scripture in Community by George W. Miller (essay)

     Martin and Malcolm on Nonviolence by James Cone

     Martin Luther King Speaks to AFL-CIO (speech)

     Martin Luther King’s Vision   by Kenneth L. Smith and Ira G. Zepp, Jr. (essay)

     The State of the Dream (Since Dr. King’s Death)

     What Would “Dr. Kang” Say? by. J.B. Borders



The Word of the Lord Is Upon Me

The Righteous Performance of Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Jonathan Rieder

“You don’t know me,” Martin Luther King, Jr., once declared to those who criticized his denunciation of the Vietnam War, who wanted to confine him to the ghetto of “black” issues. Now, forty years after being felled by an assassin’s bullet, it is still difficult to take the measure of the man: apostle of peace or angry prophet; sublime exponent of a beloved community or fiery Moses leading his people up from bondage; black preacher or translator of blackness to the white world? This book explores the extraordinary performances through which King played with all of these possibilities, and others too, blending and gliding in and out of idioms and identities. Taking us deep into King’s backstage discussions with colleagues, his preaching to black congregations, his exhortations in mass meetings, and his crossover addresses to whites, Jonathan Rieder tells a powerful story about the tangle of race, talk, and identity in the life of one of America’s greatest moral and political leaders.


brilliant interpretive endeavor grounded in the sociology of culture, The Word of the Lord Is Upon Me delves into the intricacies of King’s sermons, speeches, storytelling, exhortations, jokes, jeremiads, taunts, repartee, eulogies, confessions, lamentation, and gallows humor, as well as the author’s interviews with members of King’s inner circle. The King who emerges is a distinctively modern figure who, in straddling the boundaries of diverse traditions, ultimately transcended them all. Beyond Vietnam  /


Other Books by Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. Strength to Love / The Measure of a Man Why We Can’t Wait

A Testament of Hope  /  A Knock at Midnight   /  The Papers of  Martin Luther King, Jr., 1948-1963


Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story

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*   *   *   *   *


The People Are the True Poets

When asked if she

was getting tired

of walking,

one old sister said:


“My soul has been

tired for a long time.

Now my feet are tired

and my soul is resting.”


The rest of us

are just journeymen

making a dishonest living.

Julius Lester, Search for the New Land (1969)


There Was No Spring in 1968

The winds of winter died

as our northern half

of the world tilted

toward the sun, but

there was no spring, April

was scarcely old enough

to know its name

when Martin Luther King

was hurled into Death


King was not cold

before blacks turned

night into day. They

knew that the bullet

had killed a little

of each of them.


For ten days blacks

“joined together”

and “worked together”

and the smoke

from the purifying

flames even drifted

over the White House

in huge black billows.

Julius Lester, Search for the New Land (1969; pp150-151)


King Preaches His Own Funeral

If any of you are around

When I have to meet my day,

I don’t want a long funeral.

And if you get somebody

to deliver the eulogy

tell him not to talk too long.

Tell him not to mention

That I have a Nobel Peace Prize—

That isn’t important.

Tell him not to mention

That I have 300 or 400 other awards—

That’s not important.

Tell him not to mention

where I went to school.


I’d like somebody to mention that day


Martin Luther King, Jr.,

tried to give his life serving others.


I’d like somebody to mention that day


Matin Luther King, Jr.,

tried to love somebody


I want you to say that day

that I did try

to feed the hungry

I want you to be able to say that day

that I did try in my life

to visit those who were in prison.

And I want you to say

that I tried to love and serve



Yes, if you want to

Say that I was a drum major.

Say that I was a drum major for justice

Say that I was a drum major for peace

Say that I was a drum major for righteousness

*   *   *   *   *

Only a dying culture would seek to save itself by feeding upon its dead. Only a dying culture would exult about putting some men on the moon while half of mankind lives on the starvation level. (Julius Lester, Search for the New Land (1969; p. 148)

Martin Luther King, Jr., called upon black people to be as Christian as Christ.—Julius Lester, Search for the New Land (1969; pp151-153)


Revolutions proceed, not by the intensity of one’s desires, but by their own laws. The revolutionary’s duty is to know that what to do can never be separated from when to do. There is, however, always something to do.—Julius Lester, Search for the New Land (1969; p. 160)


(Jet—April 18, 1968)

*   *   *   *   *


NATO or the UN Supporting the Interests of Capital By Connie White 


Positively Black Table


Race, Racism & Reparations by J. Angelo Corlett (Book Review)


Ralph Garlin Clingan


Against Cheap Grace

Nuking Westerns and White Manliness

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks


Related Files

Addendum: An Apologia

The African World

America Beyond the Color Line  

Black Panther Platform & Program

A Blues for the Birmingham Four

The Confessions of the Murderers (commentary) 

Conversations with Kind Friends  

Funeralizing Mahalia 

George H. White & Ida B. Wells Lynching Index 

Mahalia Jackson 

Moore v. Dempsey   

Myths of Low-Wage Workers

NAACP Takes Voting Rights ID Issue to United Nations

Portraits of Blacks

Positively Black Table

The Old South

Press Release from United for a Fair Economy

Religion and Politics2

Response to Addae

Responses to Skip Gates

Sanctions on Zimbabwe

Skip Gates and the Talented Fifth 

Six Killed in Bombingham 

Social Role of Black Journalism 

State Of Black America  

The State of Black Journalism  

state of black nation 2005

State of the Dream    

The State of the Dream 2005

The State of HBCUs

Victory Is Assured  By Stanley Crouch 

What Would “Dr. Kang” Say?

White Privilege Shapes the U.S. 

Work, Labor & Business Editor’s Page 

Zimbabwe Crisis   


     The 200th Anniversary of the Haitian Independence by Manes Pierre

     African Slavery — Religion   and Colonial Brazil

     Anarcha’s Story  by Alexandria C. Lynch, MS III  J Marion Sims

     Aristotle and America to 1550 by Lewis Hanke

     The Atlantic Slave Trade  by Madge Dresser

     The Black Hearts of Men  By John Stauffer (book review)

     Latin America’s Indian Question  by David Maybury-Lewis and Paul H.Gelles

     Pre-Reformation Religious Ideas by James T. Moore

     “Time Longer Dan Rope” by  Dr. Acklyn Lynch

     What It Means to Be Negro  by Daisy Bates 


Some New Light on the Garvey Movement


Southern Needs  by Michael Manley


Stokely Carmichael


     Amite County, a perspective on SC by Jack Newfield

     Beginning, a perspective on SC by Jack Newfield

     Black Power  

     “Kish Mir Tuchas, Baby” , a perspective on SC by Jack NewField

       A Tribute to Kwame Toure/Stokely Carmichael


War, Peace, & Empire

     ACTION: all out to stop the war

     Another look at Israel Table   

     The Congressional Black Caucus  Statement on War with Iraq

     The Color Line and the War By Roy Wilkens

     ChickenHawks Crow for War by Matt Bivens

     The Fight for Global Justice by Danny Glover

     Hard Truths: September 11, 2001 by Haki Madhubuti

     How the Riots Might have Turned Out by Cornish Rogers

     How To Stop The Killing in the Pan African Hood by Marvin X

     The Letters of David Parks (& Vietnam)

     Life of Black Army Chaplains

    Lynching Index

     The Military Industrial Complex  by Junious Ricardo Stanton

     Official: George Bush is Not God  

     Opium in the Far East

    The Pain of Violence and Death in the Hood

    PEACE YES / WAR NO  by Kalamu ya Salaam

    Plummer, Allensworth, Steward, et al

    Poll Finds Blacks Least Likely  to Back War Against Iraq

    Prayers for Fellow Prisoners  by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    The San Francisco Anti-War March

    Securing My Homeland by Judy Simmons

    “A Son Goes to War” By Gordon Parks 

    Thinkable Genocide: the Tragedy of Rwanda


    Unending War By John Maxwell




    What is Fascism by Junious Ricardo Stanton




    What Price the American Empire by Patrick J. Buchanan

    What’s Next  by Julian Bond

    World Empire and the Balance of Power by James Burnham


W.E.B. Du Bois



     Credo or Affirmation of Faith

     Dawn of Freedom   

     Du Bois & Civil Religion

     Du Bois More Man Than Meets the Eye

     Jacob and Esau  

     Letter to Yolande 1958

     Negro Church  DuBois’

     The Souls of Black Folk (table)  

     Speaks to Africa  

     Toussaint L’Ouverture and Nat Turner 

Related files

Fifty Influential Figures  

Myths of Low-Wage Workers

Press Release from United for a Fair Economy

Religion & Politics 

Skip Gates and the Talented Fifth   Responses to Skip Gates 

State Of Black America

The State of Black Journalism  

The State of HBCUs

The State of the Dream 2005

state of black nation 2005

State of the Dream  

White Privilege Shapes the U.S.   

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Lyndon Baines Johnson Signs 1964 Civil Rights Act

The Civil Rights Act of 1964

was passed after increasing political pressure and violence against African-Americans. The drive for its passage was boosted by the assassination of JFK. This was the most far-reaching legislation of its kind since Reconstruction. It included 11 titles which dealt with voting practices, segregation, provided financial aid to desegregating schools, extended the life of the Civil Rights Commission for four more years, outlawed federal funds for educations institutions or programs practicing discrimination, outlawed employment and union discrimination, required gathering census data by race in some areas, prevented federal courts from sending a civil rights case back to state or local courts, established the Community Relations Service (CRS) to arbitrate local race problems and provided right of jury trial in any case that arose from any section of the act.

—Civil Rights Acts and Other Remedies

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241, enacted July 2, 1964) was a landmark piece of legislation in the United States that outlawed major forms of discrimination against African Americans and women, including racial segregation. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public (“public accommodations”).

Powers given to enforce the act were initially weak, but were supplemented during later years. Congress asserted its authority to legislate under several different parts of the United States Constitution, principally its power to regulate interstate commerce under Article One (section 8), its duty to guarantee all citizens equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment and its duty to protect voting rights under the Fifteenth Amendment. The Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, who would later sign the landmark Voting Rights Act into law.—Wikipedia

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Once Malcolm was dead and the finger was pointed at the Nation of Islam, many of Malcolm’s own followers forgot what their leader was before his conversion to the Nation of Islam. They forgot that Malcolm was a self-admitted criminal with little or no regard for his people. This Malcolm was erased from their memory. Only the iconic firebrand of their cause remained. Malcolm the black revolutionary was much more preferred by his well-meaning followers than Malcolm the Black Muslim.

Oddly enough, many in the Nation of Islam, long after Malcolm had left their ranks, tried to hold on to Malcolm the Black Muslim. They insisted that Malcolm was solely the product of his experience and training in the Nation of Islam. To believe this is to believe that Malcolm never entertained an idea that was not passed down to him by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. We know that history does not bear this out. Malcolm was no robot. He and his mentor had many disagreements over many things. Malcolm X Is Dead

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Occupy Wall Street movement at a crossroads—26 October 2011—The ruling class has responded with a two-pronged strategy. Attempts to channel political discontent back within the political system have been combined with a growing wave of arrests and stepped-up police violence. The latest action was the most brutal. Hundreds of police officers from 12 agencies, decked out in riot gear, surrounded an encampment in Oakland, California early Tuesday morning. Under the direction of Democratic Party Mayor Jean Quan, the police used tear gas, bean bag guns and a sonic cannon to attack and arrest about one hundred peaceful demonstrators and lay waste to the occupation site.

Riot police maintained a heavy presence in Oakland throughout the day. In the evening, hundreds of police met further demonstrations with more tear gas and flash grenades.

There were reports of many injuries. Arrests have been carried out in dozens of US cities, including New York, San Francisco, Dallas, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Phoenix and Denver. Across the Pacific Ocean, encampments in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia have been forcefully shut down and the participants rounded up. These acts of political repression—which if they occurred in Iran or Syria would be condemned by the US political establishment and media—are being carried out with the tacit approval of the Obama administration. Quan’s order came two days after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former White House chief of staff, oversaw the arrest of 150 protestersWSWS 

Non-violent protesters  shot with rubber bullets. / Oakland PD Used Crowd Control Methods Prohibited in War Zones 

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King’s views on this entire question grew out of his early championship of an egalitarian, socialistic approach to wealth and property. “A life,” he wrote, “is sacred. Property is intended to serve life, and no matter how much we surround it with rights and respect, it has no personal being. It is part of the earth man walks on; it is not man.” He repeatedly condemned the United States’ economic system for withholding the necessities of life from the masses while heaping luxuries on the few.

One of our major goals, he declared, should be to bridge the gap between abject poverty and inordinate wealth. To this end he began, during the latter part of his life, to advocate a variety of economic programs, including the creation of jobs by government and the institution of a guaranteed annual minimal income. He was impatient with phrases like “human dignity”’ and “brotherhood of man” when they did not find concrete expression in the structures of society.

The point is that King believed it was God’s intention that everyone should have the physical and spiritual necessities of life. He could not envision the Beloved Community apart from the alleviation of economic inequity and the achievement of economic justice. Harvey Cox has aptly pointed out that King combined with this emphasis two traditional biblical themes: the “holiness of the poor” and the “blessed community.” In the movement King led, blacks were the embodiment of “the poor” and integration represented the vision of “the holy community.” Beloved Community 

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Nobel Peace Prize Winners are Subjects of Prominent PBS Broadcasts—Three women—Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, her compatriot Leymah Gbowee, and pro-democracy campaigner Tawakul Karman of Yemen — have been named co-recipients of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for their nonviolent role in promoting peace, democracy, and gender equality. Their remarkable stories are part of public media’s Women and Girls Lead pipeline of documentaries.

Public media leaders from ITVS, PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting joined the rising chorus of voices congratulating Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, her co-patriot Leymah Gbowee, and pro-democracy campaigner Tawakul Karman of Yemen . . .

Pray the Devil Back to Hell   / Leymah Gbowee Wins 2011 Nobel Peace Prize

*   *   *   *   *’s 25 Best Selling Books



#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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Becoming American Under Fire

Irish Americans, African Americans, and the Politics of Citizenship

During the Civil War Era

By Christian G. Samito

In Becoming American under Fire, Christian G. Samito provides a rich account of how African American and Irish American soldiers influenced the modern vision of national citizenship that developed during the Civil War era. By bearing arms for the Union, African Americans and Irish Americans exhibited their loyalty to the United States and their capacity to act as citizens; they strengthened their American identity in the process. . . . For African American soldiers, proving manhood in combat was only one aspect to their quest for acceptance as citizens. As Samito reveals, by participating in courts-martial and protesting against unequal treatment, African Americans gained access to legal and political processes from which they had previously been excluded. The experience of African Americans in the military helped shape a postwar political movement that successfully called for rights and protections regardless of race.

For Irish Americans, soldiering in the Civil War was part of a larger affirmation of republican government and it forged a bond between their American citizenship and their Irish nationalism. The wartime experiences of Irish Americans helped bring about recognition of their full citizenship through naturalization and also caused the United States to pressure Britain to abandon its centuries-old policy of refusing to recognize the naturalization of British subjects abroad. / For Love of Liberty

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The Shadows of Youth

The Remarkable Journey of the Civil Rights Generation

By Andrew B. Lewis

With deep admiration and rigorous scholarship, historian Lewis (Gonna Sit at the Welcome Table) revisits the ragtag band of young men and women who formed the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Impatient with what they considered the overly cautious and accommodating pace of the NAACP and Martin Luther King Jr., the black college students and their white allies, inspired by Gandhi’s principles of nonviolence and moral integrity, risked their lives to challenge a deeply entrenched system. Fanning out over the Jim Crow South, SNCC organized sit-ins, voter registration drives, Freedom Schools and protest marches. Despite early successes, the movement disintegrated in the late 1960s, succeeded by the militant Black Power movement. The highly readable history follows the later careers of the principal leaders. Some, like Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown, became bitter and disillusioned.

Others, including Marion Barry, Julian Bond and John Lewis, tempered their idealism and moved from protest to politics, assuming positions of leadership within the very institutions they had challenged. According to the author, No organization contributed more to the civil rights movement than SNCC, and with his eloquent book, he offers a deserved tribute.—Publishers Weekly

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Michelle Alexander: US Prisons, The New Jim Crow  / Judge Mathis Weighs in on the execution of Troy Davis

The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness 

By Michelle Alexander

The mass incarceration of people of color through the War on Drugs is a big part of the reason that a black child born today is less likely to be raised by both parents than a black child born during slavery. The absence of black fathers from families across America is not simply a function of laziness, immaturity, or too much time watching Sports Center. Hundreds of thousands of black men have disappeared into prisons and jails, locked away for drug crimes that are largely ignored when committed by whites. Most people seem to imagine that the drug war—which has swept millions of poor people of color behind bars—has been aimed at rooting out drug kingpins or violent drug offenders.

Nothing could be further from the truth. This war has been focused overwhelmingly on low-level drug offenses, like marijuana possession—the very crimes that happen with equal frequency in middle class white communities.

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A Hubert Harrison Reader

Edited by Jeffrey B. Perry

The brilliant writer, orator, educator, critic, and political activist Hubert Harrison (1883-1927) is one of the truly important, yet neglected, figures of early twentieth-century America. Considered “the foremost Afro-American intellect of his time,” Harrison, “the father of Harlem radicalism,” combined class consciousness and race consciousness in a coherent political radicalism which stressed the revolutionary importance of struggle for African American equality, emphasized the duty of all workers to oppose white supremacy, and urged Blacks not wait on whites before taking steps to shape their future. His efforts significantly influenced A. Philip Randolph, Marcus Garvey, and a generation of activists and “common people.”

Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918 (By Jeffrey B. Perry)

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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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Greenback Planet: How the Dollar Conquered

the World and Threatened Civilization as We Know It

By H. W. Brands

In Greenback Planet, acclaimed historian H. W. Brands charts the dollar’s astonishing rise to become the world’s principal currency. Telling the story with the verve of a novelist, he recounts key episodes in U.S. monetary history, from the Civil War debate over fiat money (greenbacks) to the recent worldwide financial crisis. Brands explores the dollar’s changing relations to gold and silver and to other currencies and cogently explains how America’s economic might made the dollar the fundamental standard of value in world finance. He vividly describes the 1869 Black Friday attempt to corner the gold market, banker J. P. Morgan’s bailout of the U.S. treasury, the creation of the Federal Reserve, and President Franklin Roosevelt’s handling of the bank panic of 1933. Brands shows how lessons learned (and not learned) in the Great Depression have influenced subsequent

U.S. monetary policy, and how the dollar’s dominance helped transform economies in countries ranging from Germany and Japan after World War II to Russia and China today.

He concludes with a sobering dissection of the 2008 world financial debacle, which exposed the power–and the enormous risks–of the dollar’s worldwide reign.  The Economy

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Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s 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 Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s 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 family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “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 isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake.

She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s 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, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.—


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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

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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 13 January 2012