ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



Home was where any holiday love / ones would come over and you were

always glad to see them and they / were always happy to see you.





By Austin L. Sydnor Jr.

Home was where you were

always expected—never rejected.


Home would always understand, home

may never agree but home

kept an open-mind, an open-heart.


Home was where every Sunday

there was always a comfort of love.


Home was where any holiday love

ones would come over and you were

always glad to see them and they

were always happy to see you.


Home was where when you did something

wrong, home always open

his/her heart and always forgave.


Home was an open door for you

because you always found that place to go.


Home was always a place where after

struggling trying to hold on from day

to day, home always gave you

the strength that spark to carry on.


Home, sweet home, O they tell me of that

home—home is right here—in my heart!!

posted 19 April 2006

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A Bio Statement by Austin L. Sydnor Jr.

I was born the second child, first of twin, and first male, named after my father. I have one sister, and two brothers. I grew up on the west-side, near downtown, Baltimore. My father was an ordained minister and my mother was active in the church. Later, she became a deaconess and director the gospel chorus at the church.

My father and mother were older parents. But that did not bother me, because I realized that I did not have any choice and this was a blessing. This was the strength I needed to face whatever life or even death brought my way. I took piano lessons, but later on that was not my fortitude. It did help me later. I directed two choirs over at my mother’s church—the young people and later on her chorus.

I graduated from Baltimore City College in 1969. I had a social conscious belief in other as I met several people from high school. I participated in the S.O.U.L. School, Black Student Union, and Black United Front. I later went to Liberation House Press. I joined VISTA. This is where I learned typesetting. During 1970, there was a student rebellion, and when I was downtown, a person, Walter H. Lively, asked me to get involved in printing. I could never actually print per se, but I had an interest in pre-press, now called word processing, but back in the day it was called typesetting. I was fascinated by typesetting, because it helped me to be creative and it helped me later on to understand the art of computer through the word processing field.

I have been to several community colleges and also have courses in theology from a Baltimore seminary. I received “Employee of the Month” in 1993 at one of my employments and a certificate for computer skills at one of the local community college in the state.

Currently, I am assisting NathanielTurner.Com, ChickenBones: a Journal, with Brother Rudolph Lewis, who is the editor. I helped in word processing and scanning photographs for the journal. I have a son and two grandchildren whom I have supported.

I tried to be open-minded, persistent, and persevere. I always believe in helping the disenfranchised through many activities within the neighborhood, church affiliation, volunteer service and actively being involved with ChickenBones for the past few years. The first thing you learn is who you are, and I realize that through the good and bad situations, that I persevere through this knowledge of “who I am” and “where I need to go” to handle the condition and/or situation and not only of myself but also through the conditions of the poor and oppressed.

Some of the scriptures that interest me the most are: Psalm 84:10: For a day in the courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness; Proverbs 18:24: A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother; Mark 3:21: And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself; II Corinthians 5:17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new; and Hebrew 13:8: Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

I pick these scriptures because I believe that theology, like in life, should be from the bottom up. The poor and oppressed people are slave in an endless cycle and they are on the bottom and do not have any way out except to reach up. Blackness is not exclusive as white Christian theology, but it includes everyone who has been rejected as Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus was rejected twice in his home town of Nazareth. As feeling like Jesus, because he was rejected on my behalf, this helps me to be accepted through his suffering, dying, and rising that He did—not for selfish glory—but the liberation of the poor and oppressed.

This helps me to endure the suffering of others—so that we all can be free. Black theology gives self-confidence, self-control, self-discipline, self-esteem, and self-interest. This theology helps us to overcome as our forefathers and mothers tried to do for us. This is not “foolish” pride or a racist ideology/theology, but a love that was way back on Calvary, that sets us free. Black theology takes risks. White theology takes risks for “worldly pleasures.” The haves (white theology) against the have-nots (black theology). I assist in ChickenBones, so that we learn from our past, live in the present, and prepare for the future. This journal is important so we will learn the truth. The Bible says “the truth will set us free.” “Living for me, living for me, all my transgression and now I am free, all because of Jesus is living for me.”

*   *   *   *   *’s 25 Best Selling Books

For July 1st through August 31st 2011  


#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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The Price of Civilization

Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity

By Jeffrey D. Sachs

The Price of Civilization is a book that is essential reading for every American. In a forceful, impassioned, and personal voice, he offers not only a searing and incisive diagnosis of our country’s economic ills but also an urgent call for Americans to restore the virtues of fairness, honesty, and foresight as the foundations of national prosperity. Sachs finds that both political parties—and many leading economists—have missed the big picture, offering shortsighted solutions such as stimulus spending or tax cuts to address complex economic problems that require deeper solutions. Sachs argues that we have profoundly underestimated globalization’s long-term effects on our country, which create deep and largely unmet challenges with regard to jobs, incomes, poverty, and the environment. America’s single biggest economic failure, Sachs argues, is its inability to come to grips with the new global economic realities. Sachs describes a political system that has lost its ethical moorings, in which ever-rising campaign contributions and lobbying outlays overpower the voice of the citizenry. . . . Sachs offers a plan to turn the crisis around. He argues persuasively that the problem is not America’s abiding values, which remain generous and pragmatic, but the ease with which political spin and consumerism run circles around those values. He bids the reader to reclaim the virtues of good citizenship and mindfulness toward the economy and one another.

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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 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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updated 16 August 2008




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