ChickenBones: A Journal
for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes
Deporting Haitians to Haiti . . .will further exacerbate the human
tragedy which is only beginning to be measured as flood waters
recede. Haiti survives, not only on foreign aid . . . but through
the 2 billion remittances sent from Haitian living abroad.
Books by Miriam DeCosta-Willis
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Hurricane Devastation in Cuba and Haiti
Bush administration’s heartless lack of compassion for poor countries
Dear Family & Friends,
It appears that hurricane Ike has spared New Orleans but is moving toward Texas, with several routes projected.
Over the weekend, the last of the 3,000 evacuees left emergency shelters here in Memphis, but now many of them are standing in mile-long lines in 98-degree heat to get emergency food stamps. It is heart-breaking.
Even more moving are the photographs coming out of Cuba, where 5-story waves and tsunami-like floods have ravaged the country. Because hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated, only four people have died so far.
In spite of the devastation, our government’s cruel embargo against the people holds, and individuals cannot send money into the country.
The situation in Haiti is even worse: hundreds of people have died, houses have been destroyed, mud is three-feet deep, roads are impassable, and water and food are unavailable in the outlying villages.
The Haitians need help. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
I called Dr. Marie Racine, a Haitian, college professor, and president of the Lambi Fund to find out the best way to help. I have known Marie for over 30 years and have been impressed by her work in Haiti. She and her husband have worked tirelessly to help the impoverished; since his death, she still makes trips to her homeland several times a year to carry supplies.
If you would like to help the Haitians, who have been hit by four hurricanes in the past few weeks, please consider sending a check to
The Lambi Fund of Haiti / P. O. Box 18955 / Washington, DC 20036 / (202) 833-3713
You may also donate on line at www.lambifund.org. Check out the web to see news about hurricane damage, photos, and the grassroots work of the organization, which works from the bottom up (maintaining that the people need a hands up and not a hand out). Also click on “Spring Trip.”
All gifts, no matter how small ($5 or $10), may mean the difference between life and death to a child or a grandfather. We to whom much is given . . . .
Love and peace,
P. S. Please send this appeal to others with caring hearts.
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Dear Family & Friends,
Here is an opportunity to support the people of Cuba by answering the worldwide call to artists and intellectuals. Please read the information below and, if you want to help, click on the web site to add your name.
The web site is in Spanish. On the left, click on “Para Adherirse” (to adhere; basically, “to support”). Five long blue blocks will come up:
(1) Nombres (first name[s]), (2) Apellidos (last names), (3) e-mail address, (4) Profesión (profession), (5) País (country). If you just click on each block, the titles will disappear and you can write in your info. It only takes a couple of minutes.
Afterwards, just click on “Adherirse” at the bottom, and your name will be added to the list.
Also, a friend told me that we can donate through Pastors for Peace, a group that has a long history of helping the Cuban people. They carry medical supplies and food stuff into the country through Mexico and Canada. I plan to send a donation tonight. The web site is www.IFCONEWS.org and the address is IFCO; 418 W. 145th St.; NY, NY 10031. If you send a check, write c/o hurricane in your memo box; don’t write Cuba. You know how our government is!
Love and peace, Miriam
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US to Cuba: Drop Dead La Alborada – September 9
The reaction of the US government to the destructive one-two punch of hurricanes Gustav and Ike has been mild. The US offered to allow organizations that are already licensed to provide humanitarian aid to continue to do so. It offered Cuba a team of disaster expertsfrom FEMA, presumablyto visit the island and estimate the costs of recovery. And it offered Cuba $100,000 in assistance. Other than that, both President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that there would be no alteration in the blockade. Washington had already received the request of some Cuban-American organizations, supported by Senator Barack Obama, to suspend limitations on family travel and remittances for 60 to 90 days, in order to allow family members in the US to deliver in person to their relatives money and emergency goods. Hard-line Representative Lincoln Diaz-Balart, on the other hand, argued that no change in the blockade rules was necessary. So far, nothing more has been heard from the US government.
The Cubans, who are quite capable of making their own estimates of damage, declined the US offer to send estimators. They said nothing about the offer of $100,000, which would be a drop in the bucket of the billions of dollars that reconstruction will cost. They asked only that the US lift temporarily the requirement that Cuba pay in cash and in advance for any emergency food purchases. The Cubans had reason to ignore the proffer of a small amount of cash, equivalent to slightly more than the cost of one Hellfire missile. On a prior occasion the US had offered $50,000, in a mocking gesture. And there was a further matter of pride involved: they were not about to accept small change as charity from the same and only country that maintains a blockade against it. When the original sanctions were put into place in the early 1950s, the stated goal was to “make them scream.” In later versions, in particular the Toricelli law of 1992 and the Helm-Burton law of 1996, the purpose was to create such economic chaos on the island as to force the people to rise up in arms against the government. The substance of the embargo/blockade, going on for nearly 50 years now, has been to strangle the Cuban economy and cause misery for the Cuban people. In this context, the US unwillingness to relax or suspend the rules for a brief time following the hurricanes of this year can be seen as not simply cruel, but in fact consistent with its permanent policy towards Cuba, a policy that is by now more a matter of state than of government. It is not a policy carried over from one president to another. The Congress has made it the law of the land to keep the blockade in place until Cuba meets certain conditions, essentially by consenting to become a neo-liberal dependency of the US. Until such a time, the US government is required to continue to seek the strangulation of Cuba. Why, then, would the US agree to a truce? Even less, why would it give Cuba assistance to recover from the blows inflicted by natureor, as may be the case, as a result of man-made global warming? The logic is ruthless, but clear. The destruction wrought by the hurricanes favors US policy. Less clear is why the US has not taken any action to help Haitians to escape from a survival mode of burning wood for energy that inexorably leads to the loss of vegetation, and thus soils, and to the inability to grow food even for itself. Haiti is required to accept the rules of neo-liberalism, regardless of the human consequences. When a hurricane strikes Haiti, it is regularly accompanied by a massive loss of life; not directly from hurricane winds, but from uncontrolled flooding resulting from the lack of vegetation in combination with poverty that forces people to build in places where flooding is guaranteed to happen.
In the case of Cuba, the US keeps in place another law, the Cuban Adjustment Act, that encourages irregular departures from the island by promising visas to all Cubans who reach a US territory. One possible consequence of the devastation of the hurricanes will be to convince more Cubans to seek an alternative future in the US. What will the US say or do if such a migration takes place? One indicator is prior practice: It will accuse the Cuban government of consciously provoking a mass departure, and, noting that it will consider such an event an act of war, will threaten to take retaliatory action. It’s all a complicated logic frozen into place over the decades. It makes little sense (just what is Cuba’s ability or disposition to threaten the US?), and the whole world opposes it. But there is little chance that either the White House or the Congress will do anything before the beginning of next year, if then. In the end, the policy of blockade will find support from significant political interests in the US, for one election or another, or from strategic economic and military interests. But, especially after this summer, the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean will take note and learn the lesson, in a further extension of a process of distancing themselves from the US that is already under way. When it comes to solidarity and collaboration, they are concluding more and more, a better world is possible.
* * * * * Temporary Protected Status
With the press reporting 5 million out of Haiti’s 8.5 million people homeless, without water, food or shelter, if there was ever a time for the federal government to grant this status it is now. These successive September, 2008 storms and hurricanes – Fay, Gustav, Hanna, Ike – have not only left multitudes homeless but have destroyed any hope of Haiti domestically ameliorating the massive starvation that the world became aware of with the April food riots, by utterly flooding out Haiti’s food crops in the Artibonite breadbasket area of Haiti.
Deporting Haitians to Haiti under these circumstances is wrong and will further exacerbates the human tragedy which is only beginning to be measured as flood waters recede. Haiti survives, not only foreign aid as commonly believed but through the 2 billion remittances sent from Haitian living abroad. No other national group anywhere in the world sends money home in higher proportion than Haitians living abroad. By continuing to deport Haitians at this time, the US Government cruelly and inhumanely decreases the amount of this critical and direct support to Haitians in Haiti, who would otherwise starve and die. Continued deportations also increase the stress on Haiti already fragile economy and environmental crisis by sending thousands of people back to a hurricane-wounded land without homes, jobs and food. The US government maintains that granting TPS to put a moratorium on deportations to Haiti could induce mass migrations. This evidences unequal treatment of Haitians.
TPS has been granted in the past to nationals of Sudan, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau, Somalia, Burundi, Bosnia-Herzegovina, El Salvador and Guatemala due to political unrest in those countries. TPS was granted to Hondurans and Nicaraguans after Hurricane Mitch in 1998 and to Salvadorans after an earthquake in 2001. In 1997 President Clinton granted Haitian nationals deferral enforced departure from the United States. This did not induce mass migration of Haitians to the United States. The facts do not support the US position and exhibits an arbitrary, capricious and unfair double standards with regards to the applications of (HLLN Urgent Action Alert: Help the people of Gonaives, Haiti directly – Also, ask for TPS for Haitians nationals) MargueriteLaurent
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Barack Obama Responds
CHICAGO, IL Senator Barack Obama issued the following statement on the need for humanitarian assistance to Haiti following devastating storms:
My thoughts and prayers are with the hundreds of thousands of Haitians struggling to survive the floods and devastation caused by the hurricanes and tropical storms of the past six weeks, and I extend my deepest sympathies to those affected by the loss of more than 500 lives.
Time is of the essence in helping Haiti cope with this humanitarian crisis and begin to recover. Tens of thousands of Haitians have been displaced and left without shelter, Haiti s already struggling agricultural sector has been devastatedand hurricane season is not yet over.
The Haitian-American community is doing its part by supporting family and friends in Haiti in their time of need. Now the United States government and the international community must intensify relief efforts to bring food, water and shelter to the storm victims.
I welcome the dispatch of $100,000 in emergency assistance by USAID and the promise of 50 tons of relief supplies, as well as the deployment of U.S. Coast Guard personnel and material and the pending arrival of the USS Kearsage to help alleviate the immediate crisis in Gonaives. But theres more we can do.
The ships, helicopters and air cargo capacity of the U.S. Southern Command should be directed to provide Haiti the logistical support our Armed Forces so ably provide around the world in times of humanitarian crisis.
I also urge the United States to work in partnership with President Rene Preval and the new Haitian government under the leadership of Prime Minister Michele Pierre-Louis, and with key international actors (the United Nations Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, the Organization of American States, and crucial bilateral donors) to immediately assemble a task force on reconstruction and recovery to begin work as soon as the storms pass.
Together, we can help Haiti recover from this terrible series of storms and renew efforts to bring hope and opportunity to the people of Haiti Barack Obama
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Castro says Gustav hit Cuba like nuclear bomb
Wed Sep 3, 2008 3:46pm EDT
HAVANA (Reuters) – Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro said on Wednesday that Hurricane Gustav hit Cuba like a nuclear bomb and left authorities struggling to feed people on the hard-hit Isle of Youth.
In a column on the Internet, he said Gustav, which slammed into western Cuba with winds of 150 mile per hour (240 kilometers per hour) on Saturday, had damaged or destroyed 100,000 houses and dealt a blow to agriculture.
He said television shots from the Isle of Youth, which is 40 miles off Cuba’s southwestern coast “reminded me of the desolation I saw when I visited Hiroshima,” referring to the Japanese city destroyed by a U.S. nuclear bomb in 1945 at the end of World War Two.
“Now the battle is to feed the hurricane victims,” Castro wrote, saying that only two of 16 bakeries on the island were functioning.
The ailing 82-year-old, who has become a prolific column writer since giving up power to brother Raul Castro following undisclosed surgery two years ago, printed a letter from a friend from the Isle of Youth who said authorities estimated that 20,000 of the 25,000 houses on the island had been damaged.
On Tuesday, state-run news agency AIN said in a story quoting Cuba Vice President Carlos Lage that more than 90,000 homes had been damaged or destroyed in the mainland province of Pinar del Rio, which Gustav struck after raking over the Isle of Youth.
Pinar del Rio has about 750,000 residents and the Isle of Youth about 86,000.
No deaths from the storm have been reported.
Castro warned that recovering from Gustav would require sacrifice on the part of Cubans and that the cost would be high.
“A hundred million dollars means only nine dollars per resident, and we need much more. We need 30 times, 40 times that number only to cover our most elemental necessities,” he said.
“Such effort must come from the work of the people. Nobody can do it for us.”
Russia, which has been renewing ties with Cuba, its former Cold War ally, said it would send four planes loads of food and other items to the island starting on Wednesday, according to Russian news reports.
After crossing Cuba, Gustav moved into the Gulf of Mexico where its winds weakened to 110 mph (177 kph) and struck the central Louisiana coast on Monday.Reuters
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Statement of U.S. Rep. Kendrick B. Meek Before Departing for Haiti
September 12, 2008 WASHINGTON, DC U.S. Rep. Kendrick B. Meek (D-FL) released the following statement before departing for Haiti today: With the expressed support of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton, and Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, I will be leading a Congressional Delegation (CODEL) trip to Haiti this weekend with fellow Members of Congress to assess the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe that is taking place in Haiti.
I have been given assurances from President René Préval, our US Ambassador to Haiti Janet Sanderson, and the commanders at U.S. Southern Commandall of whom have provided an extraordinary degree of leadership during this trying timethat we will visit some of the hardest hit areas of Haiti caused by Hurricanes Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike during our visit. Haiti is in a critical state. The food riots there earlier this year will pale in comparison to the turmoil Haiti could undergo in the coming weeks if fresh water, medical supplies, food and shelter are not provided to the Haitian people immediately. President Préval has called this disaster Haiti’s Hurricane Katrina, but for the fact that Haiti has been hit by four hurricanes in a span of weeks. The unthinkable horror that happened in New Orleans is happening now in Haiti, but the recovery resources are all but nonexistent there. Our federal government must do more to help our neighbors.
I join with my constituents in Miami, the Haitian Diaspora and fellow people of good will in calling for Temporary Protected Status for Haitians, an end to deportations of Haitians from American soil, and an international relief effort for Haiti like never before. Too often our requests to the White House and federal government agencies have fallen on deaf ears or resulted in too slow of a response. Time is not on our sideHaiti needs help now. U.S. Rep. Kendrick B. Meek represents the 17th Congressional District of Florida which includes parts of Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. He serves as the lone Floridian sitting on the House Committee on Ways and Means, and also sits on the House Armed Services Committee.
Contact: Adam Sharon / 202-225-4506
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Congresswoman Waters Calls for $300 Million
In Disaster Assistance for Haiti Following Recent Hurricanes
September 12, 2008
Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Maxine Waters (D CA) announced she is delivering a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, urging her to include at least $300 million in disaster assistance for Haiti in the supplemental appropriations bill or another appropriate bill. The letter will be signed by more than 60 Members of Congress. Copies of the letter will be sent to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Appropriations. The text of the letter follows:
We are writing to request that you include at least $300 million in appropriations for disaster assistance for Haiti following the devastating hurricanes that swept through that impoverished country.
Over the past month, Haiti has been devastated by four deadly storms in rapid succession, Tropical Storm Fay, Hurricane Gustav, Tropical Storm Hanna, and Hurricane Ike. On Monday, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) reported that 15,134 houses have been damaged or destroyed, and 154 people have been killed. As the flood waters began to recede, additional bodies have been found and buried. Tragically, the death toll may never be known.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), up to 800,000 people in Haiti are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. As of September 6th, more than 100,000 people had taken refuge in temporary shelters and this was before the onslaught of Hurricane Ike. Many roads and bridges have been damaged or destroyed, and crops have been lost. There is a desperate need for food, water, and health services.
Haiti is already the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. It does not have the capacity to respond to the widespread death and destruction caused by storms of this magnitude.
Immediate assistance from the United States is critical to meet the emergency needs of the Haitian people and begin to rebuild damaged homes and infrastructure.
We urge you to provide an appropriation of at least $300 million in disaster assistance for Haiti in the supplemental appropriations bill or another legislative vehicle that will be passed before Congress adjourns, and we look forward to working with you to help the people of Haiti rebuild their homes and their lives after these unprecedented storms.
Congresswoman Waters has been a leader in Congress in efforts to assist Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, with democratization and economic development. She has also championed international debt cancellation for poor nations through legislation such as H. R. 2634, the Jubilee Act.
Contact: Michael Levin / 202-225-2201
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Official information on preliminary data of damages caused by Hurricanes Gustav and IkeVery preliminary assessments of the damage caused in the less than 10 days during which the two hurricanes impacted national territory place total losses at around five billion dollars. Unquestionably, one of the most calamitous effects of Gustav and Ike was on housing: more than 444,000 homes damaged, a large number of them with partially or totally destroyed roofs and other impacts; and of that total, 63,249 houses completely demolished.
Every province was affected. The final figures have not yet been determined, given that these could increase due to the combined effects of heavy rainfall and the passing of the first few days. However, the majority of the effects were directly related to those places hit hardest by the worst of the rainfall and winds, in addition to flooding and coastal deluges before, during and after: Pinar del Río and the Isle of Youth, particularly by Gustav (with its Category 4), and Holguín, Las Tunas and Camagüey by Ike (Category 3).
This may also be described as the most complex type of problem not only because in the case of housing it leaves more than 200,000 people homeless for some time, and hundreds of thousands more whose homes require repairs but because building and rebuilding involves financial investment and resources in the millions, and requires years of intense work. Granma
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LeMoyne-Owen College Sends Donation to Haiti
Rick, the students at LeMoyne-Owen College contributed $198.98 today, in dollars and quarters. They are quite poor–working to put themselves through college, the children of single mothers, young folk struggling–but they gave their lunch money or car fare to help those who are less fortunate. My long-time friend Phil, a talented artist and art teacher, is also collecting money from students through the freshman orientation program, so more will be forthcoming. More important than the money, I told him, is the lesson that the students are learning: to be compassionate and generous to others. Love, Laurie
[Here’s my message to him.]
Phil, dear friend, I appreciate so much the effort that you and the LeMoyne-Owen students made today to help the people of Haiti. I hope that you can pull up the photos below that were taken after the hurricane. Please let me know; if not, I’ll get my friend Rick, who’s married to a Haitian, to send them to you. If any of the students want to see them, they could give you their e-mail addresses, so you could forward the photos to them. Also, if any are interested, they may go to www.lambifund.org, the organization to which I’ll send the money, to read about their work, to see other photos and read a report on the hurricane damage. I have the check ready and, as soon as I can write the cover letter, I’ll mail it off. Thanks again. Love, Laurie
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Notable Black Memphians (Miriam DeCosta-Willis)This biographical and historical study by Miriam DeCosta-Willis (PhD, Johns Hopkins University and the first African American faculty member of Memphis State University) traces the evolution of a major Southern city through the lives of men and women who overcame social and economic barriers to create artistic works, found institutions, and obtain leadership positions that enabled them to shape their community. Documenting the accomplishments of Memphians who were born between 1795 and 1972, it contains photographs and biographical sketches of 223 individuals (as well as brief notes on 122 others), such as musicians Isaac Hayes and Aretha Franklin, activists Ida B. Wells and Benjamin L. Hooks, politicians Harold Ford Sr. and Jr., writers Sutton Griggs and Jerome Eric Dickey, and Bishop Charles Mason and Archbishop James Lykeall of whom were born in Memphis or lived in the city for over a decade. . . .
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#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 Eroticanoir.com 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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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. Publishers Weekly
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By Charles C. Mann
Im a big fan of Charles Manns previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. Its exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that its anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, Im proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, globalized entity.
Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.
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From The World and Africa, 1965
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update5 May 2012