Glen Ford Table

Glen Ford Table


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



Glen Ford Table




Glen Ford has had a long career as a radio host and commentator. In 1977, Ford co-launched, produced and hosted America’s Black Forum, the first nationally syndicated Black news interview program on commercial television. In 1987, Ford launched Rap It Up, the first nationally syndicated Hip Hop music show, broadcast on 65 radio stations. Ford co-founded the Black Agenda Report. Ford is also the author of The Big Lie: An Analysis of U.S. Media Coverage of the Grenada InvasionBigThink

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Glen Ford of the Black Agenda Report . . . a long time critic of Obama even when he was a Senator, debated Dyson last year during the primaries and was said to have bested Dyson in the exchange. There was the promise to hold another debate which never happened. Ford,  a former radio newsman, is known for coming to the table with indisputable facts opens up his remarks with some troubling statistics and numbers that about the amount of money given to banks on President Obama’s watch. he then launches in on Dyson and doesn’t let up.—HipHopandPolitics

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Glen Ford is a 37-year veteran of Black radio, television, print and Internet news and commentary. He is executive editor of and was co-founder of—OpEdNews

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Because He’s a “Competent” Black Man

Blacks Will Never Gain Wealth Parity

The Butchering of Gaddafi Is America’s Crime  

Cancer in the Congressional Black Caucus

Clarence Thomas the Anti-Black 

Cynthia McKinney Confronts Media Malice 

Cynthia McKinney Deserves Your Support

First Black President Cuts Funds for Black Higher Education

Gridlock Is a Blessing

Hip Hop Profanity Misogyny and Violence  

The Little Rock Nine 

Mortgage Crisis Lesson

NATO: Free Africa from the Africans!

New York Times  Defines Black Politics

The Non-Sovereign State of Haiti

Obama Apologist Harris-Perry Says Support Prez

Obama Bound for Mount Rushmore?

Obama Insults Half a Race

Rwanda Crisis Could Expose U. S. Role in Congo

Self-Help A Stolen Word Wielded as Weapon

Smiley vs. Sharpton

Tear Down the Ghetto

The US  Control of Gulf of Guinea 

U.S.-Ethiopian Occupation of Somalia

When NOT to Vote Black


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Modern Chinese Tanks for the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF)  

       Hunger for a Black President

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The African World 

The AFRICOM Plot Thickens (Stanton)

Agnew Insults Moderate and Militant Negroes

Bankster Coup d’etat (Stanton)

Baraka: Act Like We Know 

Benefits of Whiteness 

The Big End of the American Economy?  (Lawson)

Bridging the Racial Gap in Education (Marvin X) 

A Brief Economic History of Modern Baltimore (Bob Moore)

Bush Proverbial Corner

Capitol Hill in Black and White

Castrating the Whistle Blower (Moses)

Civil Rights: Struggle for Black Power (Table)

Clinton Obama Ticket in 08 (Dixon)

Congressional Black Caucus Grade Plummet (Stills)

Corporate Colony and Civic Virtue (Discussion Miriam, Jerry, Jeannette)

Cynthia McKinney Accepts Green Party Nomination‏  (video)

Deng and Alek: Lovers Paradise Lost (Anonymous, short story)

Destroying Homes for the Holiday (Carl Dix)

The Dropout Challenge (Boggs)

Dying for Growth

Economic status of African Americans (Lewis, Moses, McCarthy)

The Economy

Eighteen Months After Katrina

Heroic Minds (Jonathan Scott) 

If this be Lynching . . . (As in Merrill-Lynch) (Moses)

Its the Economy Stupid (Rhonda Soto)

Kip Ward Heads Africom  (Mark P. Fancher)

King Sugar Obituary

Letter to Sister Cynthia McKinney

The Liberal Republicanism of Gordon Wood (Hayward)

Liberty and Empire (Moses)

Money is Speech (Moses)

Moratorium on Theory (Lewis)

Nagin’s Reelection as Mayor of New Orleans (Mtangulizi Sanyika)

Motherland Grillz Venture (W. E. B. Blingen)

Myths of Low-Wage Workers (Beth Shulman)

Obama and the Israeli Lobby 

Obama Victory Creates African Excitement

Of Obama and Oakland

On the Passing of Piri Thomas (Rivera)

Open Letter to Ed Schultz, MSNBC (Moses)

Oprah and Bad Samaritans  (Margaret Kimberley)

Poet-Bashing Police (Robert Hass)

Points to Paradise

Politics of Knowledge (Hayes)

Raising Cain (Lewis)

The Real Michael Steele (Kam Williams)

Religion & Politics 

Responses to Jean Baudrillard

Running to the Right: Barack Obama (Dixon)

Scholarship of Indictment

Single Payer Health Care and Auto Industry

Slow Death in Gaza (Kimberley)

Speech by President Hugo Chávez

Straying from official orthodoxy (Lewis)

Time to Repair the Constitution’s Flaws (Levinson) 

Two Nations of Black America (Angela Davis Interview)

The Venezuelan Revolution (Sharif)

Walter Reuther (Thompson)

A War on Error (Roberts)

What do you say to fathers (Jordan)

What It Means to Be Negro (Bates)

Which U.S. Presidents Owned Slaves?

Why South Sudan Want Obama to Lose White House Bid

Wilson Jeremiah Moses Table

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Glen Ford Interview Big Think (video)  / Glen Ford: Breaking the Obama Spell (video)

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Worsening wealth inequality by race

White Americans have 22 times more wealth than blacks—a gap that nearly doubled during the Great Recession. The median household net worth for whites was $110,729 in 2010, versus $4,995 for blacks, according to recently released Census Bureau figures.

The difference is similarly notable when it comes to Hispanics, who had a median household net worth of $7,424. The ratio between white and Hispanic wealth expanded to 15 to 1.

The gap between the races widened considerably during the recent economic downturn, which whites weathered better than blacks, Hispanics and Asians.

The latter three groups saw their median household net worth fall by roughly 60% between 2005 and 2010, while the median net worth for white households slipped only 23%. This allowed whites to leap ahead of Asians as the race with the highest median household net worth.


money.cnn, Tami Luhby 21 June  2012

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Obama No—He’s a vacuous opportunist. I’ve never been an Obama supporter. I’ve known him since the very beginning of his political career, which was his campaign for the seat in my state senate district in Chicago. He struck me then as a vacuous opportunist, a good performer with an ear for how to make white liberals like him. I argued at the time that his fundamental political center of gravity, beneath an empty rhetoric of hope and change and new directions, is neoliberal. His political repertoire has always included the repugnant stratagem of using connection with black audiences in exactly the same way Bill Clinton did—i.e., getting props both for emoting with the black crowd and talking through them to affirm a victim-blaming “tough love” message that focuses on alleged behavioral pathologies in poor black communities. Because he’s able to claim racial insider standing, he actually goes beyond Clinton and rehearses the scurrilous and ridiculous sort of narrative Bill Cosby has made infamous.—Adolph Reed Jr.  2008

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Obama and the Criminal Justice System

Barack Obama delivered another masterful speech Sunday. The news report I saw made it seem like he merely did an impersonation of Bill Cosby, but he was more subtle and sophisticated than that. Nonetheless, it was a speech that Cosby would be proud of since it did endorse Cosby’s arguments. Obama said that yes black communities needed more jobs and better schools and that past injustices did play a role in the absence of fathers in black homes, but that black people could not use those things as excuses. He said that black men should not be languishing in prison when they should be out looking for a job. There are too many issues here that should be unpacked and discussed for me to deal with all of them at this point, but I’ll tackle a few. The injustices are not only in the past. Our current criminal justice system is biased by race and class as I illustrated last week in “Whites, Blacks and Illicit Drugs”. If we had different criminal justice policies there would be fewer black men in prison. We need to work to eliminate the race and class biases in the criminal justice system. We need to expand opportunities for drug treatment. We need to use alternative, community-based sentencing for certain non-violent offenders. If we had elected officials who were committed to reforms of this sort, there would be more black men available to be the fathers that Obama and Cosby would like to see. This is a very real issue for black women in the poorest black communities. Even the conservative (by my standards) scholar Isabel Sawhill admits that “for certain subgroups of African-American women” she “did find a shortage of eligible men” for them to marry. We simply can’t improve the rate of two-parent families in the poorest black communities without dealing with the present racial injustices in our criminal justice system. Obama argues that blacks should not use issues like the lack of jobs, the high rate of poverty, the high degree of economic inequality as excuses for the absence of men in black families. But there is a growing body of research that identifies the lack of jobs, poverty and economic inequality as important causes of the higher rates of crime in black communities.2 If we want to keep black men out of prison, we will also need economic policies to address these issues. The economic development of poor black communities is also important because black men who are unemployed are probably less likely to marry. Poor black women are probably not interested in marrying unemployed black men. Unemployed black men are probably reluctant to marry if they cannot contribute financially to the household. The more education one has the more likely one is to marry. The issue of the separate and unequal education that black students receive is, again, not simply an excuse. If we improve the educational attainment of blacks, we will likely increase marriage rates. If Obama wishes to increase the marriage rates in black communities, he needs to (1) recognize the racial disparities in our criminal justice system as one of the current injustices facing black America, (2) institute policies that lead to good jobs for blacks, and (3) improve the quality of black schools. Is Obama able to recognize the importance of these policies? Will Obama be willing and able to deliver them, if he does?—Thora Institute

posted 24 November 2011 

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Voter Suppression in 2012 Past is Prologue—Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III—In 1870 Congress ratified the 15th Amendment to the Constitution which declared, “The right of citizen’s of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” In response to this Amendment a number of former Confederate states employed devices such as the poll tax, literacy tests, the grandfather clause, and white primaries to ensure that African American’s were denied their constitutionally guaranteed right to vote. When these devices failed, tactics such as night rides, bombings, lynching, and other terrorist tactics were used to intimidate prospective African American voters.

After years of struggle in the courts, legislatures, and the streets, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibiting “covered jurisdictions” from imposing any “voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure . . . to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.” Some of the jurisdictions covered by the Act are in Alabama, South Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Before he signed the 1965 Act Johnson explained, “This act flows from a clear and simple wrong. Its only purpose is to right that wrong. Millions of Americans are denied the right to vote because of their color. This law will ensure them the right to vote.”

Today this ugly part of America’s past has once again become its present. As a result of Republican’s taking control of statehouses after the 2010 mid-term elections, a number of states such as Alabama, South Carolina, Texas, Mississippi (sound familiar) and others have enacted laws imposing new restrictions for voter ID, voter registration, and early voting.

According to the report Voting Law Changes in 2012 from the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law, these new restrictions will have a disproportionate impact on younger voters, people of color, low-income voters, and those with disabilities. It’s no coincidence that these demographics also tend to vote for Democrats. According to The NY Times, “It has been a record year for new legislation designed to make it harder for Democrats to vote — 19 laws and two executive actions in 14 states dominated by Republicans…”—blackagendareport

*   *   *   *   *’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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Ancient, Ancient: Short Fiction

By Kiini Ibura Salaam

Ancient, Ancient collects the short fiction by Kiini Ibura Salaam, of which acclaimed author and critic Nalo Hopkinson writes, ”Salaam treats words like the seductive weapons they are. She wields them to weave fierce, gorgeous stories that stroke your sensibilities, challenge your preconceptions, and leave you breathless with their beauty.” Indeed, Ms. Salaam’s stories are so permeated with sensuality that in her introduction to

Ancient, Ancient

, Nisi Shawl, author of the award-winning Filter House, writes, ”Sexuality-cum-sensuality is the experiential link between mind and matter, the vivid and eternal refutation of the alleged dichotomy between them. This understanding is the foundation of my 2004 pronouncement on the burgeoning sexuality implicit in sf’s Afro-diasporization. It is the core of many African-based philosophies. And it is the throbbing, glistening heart of Kiini’s body of work. This book is alive. Be not afraid.”

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Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin

By John D’Emilio

Bayard Rustin is one of the most important figures in the history of the American civil rights movement. Before Martin Luther King, before Malcolm X, Bayard Rustin was working to bring the cause to the forefront of America’s consciousness. A teacher to King, an international apostle of peace, and the organizer of the famous 1963 March on Washington, he brought Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence to America and helped launch the civil rights movement. Nonetheless, Rustin has been largely erased by history, in part because he was an African American homosexual. Acclaimed historian John D’Emilio tells the full and remarkable story of Rustin’s intertwined lives: his pioneering and public person and his oblique and stigmatized private self.

It was in the tumultuous 1930s that Bayard Rustin came of age, getting his first lessons in politics through the Communist Party and the unrest of the Great Depression.

A Quaker and a radical pacifist, he went to prison for refusing to serve in World War II, only to suffer a sexual scandal. His mentor, the great pacifist A. J. Muste, wrote to him, “You were capable of making the ‘mistake’ of thinking that you could be the leader in a revolution…at the same time that you were a weakling in an extreme degree and engaged in practices for which there was no justification.”

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So Rich, So Poor: Why It’s So Hard to End Poverty in America

By Peter Edelman

If the nation’s gross national income—over $14 trillion—were divided evenly across the entire U.S. population, every household could call itself middle class. Yet the income-level disparity in this country is now wider than at any point since the Great Depression. In 2010 the average salary for CEOs on the S&P 500 was over $1 million—climbing to over $11 million when all forms of compensation are accounted for—while the current median household income for African Americans is just over $32,000. How can some be so rich, while others are so poor? In this provocative book, Peter Edelman, a former top aide to Senator Robert F. Kennedy and a lifelong antipoverty advocate, offers an informed analysis of how this country can be so wealthy yet have a steadily growing number of unemployed and working poor. According to Edelman, we have taken important positive steps without which 25 to 30 million more people would be poor, but poverty fluctuates with the business cycle.

The structure of today’s economy has stultified wage growth for half of America’s workers—with even worse results at the bottom and for people of color—while bestowing billions on those at the top.

So Rich, So Poor delves into what is happening to the people behind the statistics and takes a particular look at the continuing crisis of young people of color, whose possibility of a productive life too often is lost on their way to adulthood.—DemocracyNow

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Sex at the Margins

Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry

By Laura María Agustín

This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label ‘trafficked’ does not accurately describe migrants’ lives and that the ‘rescue industry’ serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice.

“Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality.”—Lisa Adkins, University of London

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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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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

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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 4 May 2012





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