Hang Time A Poetic Memoir

Hang Time A Poetic Memoir


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



In the days before, the Obama administration issued a policy statement on November 17 saying explicitly

that the president would veto the bill, as it would challenge “the president’s critical authorities

to collect intelligence incapacitate dangerous terrorists and protect the nation.”



 Summer Hill Seven. Hang Time!: A Poetic Memoir. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2006

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Hang Time!: A Poetic Memoir

By Summer Hill Seven


Summer Hill Seven created poemedy – a lyrically poetic storytelling form where the past meets the present to create poignant, passionate theater for today and tomorrow.  Hang Time! is for tomorrow.—David Lamb,Writer/Producer Platanos & Collard Greens


This is a profound work of art by a very talented and gifted poet.  I highly recommend it to all who appreciate the spoken and written word.—Sekou Molefi Baako, Executive Director, Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center-Queens Public LibraryPresident, Black Caucus of the American Library Association


Summer Hill Seven’s ebullient “neo-beat-hip-hop” verse explodes from the page to the stage with a powerful multicultural message!  Delightful!—Phil Hubbard,Chair of Performance Studies Department University of Nevada Las Vegas


Summer Hill Seven is an exceptionally gifted writer and performer whose work is both entertaining and thought provoking.—Sanford Robbins,Director, Professional Theatre Training Program, University of Delaware


Fiercely powerful! —Jennifer Weaver, Daily News of Southern Utah

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Obama to approve indefinite detention and torture of Americans—15 December, 2011—Less than a month after he threatened to veto terrifying legislation that would cease constitutional rights as we know it, Obama has revoked his warning and plans to authorize a bill allowing indefinite detention and torture of Americans.

After passing in the House of Representatives earlier this year, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 went before the US Senate last week, where it was met with overwhelming approval. In the days before, the Obama administration issued a policy statement on November 17 saying explicitly that the president would veto the bill, as it would challenge “the president’s critical authorities to collect intelligence incapacitate dangerous terrorists and protect the nation.” . . .Under the legislation, a literal police state will be installed over the United States. Republican Congressman Ron Paul said earlier this week that “this should be the biggest news going right now,” as the legislation would allow for  “literally legalizing martial law.”—RT

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Indefinite Military Detention Of U.S. Citizens Is A Win For Terrorists, Former Admiral Says—WASHINGTON — A measure that Congress will likely pass this week allowing indefinite detentions of Americans by the U.S. military will mark a significant loss in the war on terrorism, says a retired admiral who ran the Navy legal system.

The National Defense Authorization Act, passed by the Senate just over a week ago after a heated debate, includes a provision that requires the military to hold foreign-born terrorism suspects, and also lets the military grab U.S. citizens for indefinite detention. The House and Senate are expected to release the final legislation as soon as late Monday, and in spite of a personal lobbying effort by President Obama, it is expected to include the controversial language.—HuffingtonPost

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Would You Wear my Eyes?

Dear Friends, in my continual update of the pages of ChickenBones: A Journal, I am in a mode of rediscovery. Some pages I remember and some I don’t.  One I did not recall is a poem by New Orleans born poet Bob Kaufman, “Would You Wear my Eyes?”—WouldYouWearMyEyes  It reminded me of a story by New Orleans born poet Kalamu ya Salaam, “Could you Wear My Eyes?”—CouldYouWearMyEyes?  I have no idea whether Kalamu was aware of the poem when he wrote the story. Possibly, he did. Kalamu is so hip and aware.

In my politically imaginative brain, unexpected things come to the hopper. I made some critical comments about participants of the campaign for the presidency. One friend accused me of being a Republican, maybe it’s a brand for a dirty rag. The other friend said I was putting out “anti-Obama bologna.” Of course, one with a thin skin should not be a journalist. But writers are not without resources, especially of the literary kind. And so as fortune would have it, I came across the above two literary pieces. One may liken them to manna from heaven. Or for the less religiously inclined, as a pure chance occurrence. I share them nevertheless as a plea for understanding.

Of course, I do my best to be even-handed and objective in my scribblings and reports in response to the unhealthy political climate. I welcome editorials and opinions and papers from those who support Mr. Obama and the uniqueness of his presidency. I can think of only one benefit  of Mr. Obama’s government that has accrued to me, though distant, and that is: My step-daughter who has a son over 21 can keep him on her insurance policy. I do not belittle that in the least.

I do have larger concerns than the $1,000 here and the $1,000 there that has come down from on high. There is the continual war-mongering that is on-going. And then there is the matter of “preventive detention.” Now I have never been a great proponent of our undemocratic Constitution, nor has my ancestors felt deeply, unlike those of Mr. Obama’s, of America as “exceptional.” Yet I do appreciate the segregated education I have enjoyed and I appreciate greatly being allowed to receive several degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park: ChickenBones: A Journal would not have existed, otherwise. A popular instrument against tyranny.

But I fear we are not headed toward making that imperfect Constitution more perfect, as Mr. Obama has promised. I fear rather that we are determined to make it a billy club of oppression, and a pepper spray repression of political dissent, with worse to come. Now, of course, these fears may be the results of the political climate of domestic intrigue and overseas undermining of governments. Drones and the dropping of bombs on civilians. They may be just paranoia of one too-filled with self-importance. In any case, it is difficult for me to ignore the reports of Huffington Post, that “preventive detention” will be coming online this week with the signature of Mr. Obama to a piece of legislation, the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.”

To some I know when George Bush signs a piece of reactionary legislation it is one thing. He is a fascist. Because he is a Republican and Republicans have not done anything that can be spoken of without reservations, since Teddy Roosevelt, Mr. Obama assured us in his Kansas speech. But then when a Democrat signs a piece of reactionary legislation, well, he is just doing what he has to do. Well, so be it. (The news reports and a video link is above.) We will all stew in the same pot. There is much to be said about togetherness, whatever the condition!—Rudy

*   *   *   *   *’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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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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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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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 15 December 2011




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