Iowa Presidential Campaign

Iowa Presidential Campaign


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



Much of the problem with Braun‘s campaign, of course, lies with her. Unlike what Sharpton has sought to

do with issues of economic, social and racial justice, Braun never made her campaign a referendum

on “poor and working women’s rights. She should have stormed the debates with a thousand welfare mothers, black,

white and Hispanic. She should have organized a woman’s march on Washington and dared Now to refuse to support her. 



Carol Moseley Braun’s Presidential Campaign

By Amin Sharif


[Rudy, you] are right, when you say that the fundamental problems facing poor people in America of every hue will not be solved by the election of a Democrat as President. And, I find it astonishing that African-Americans have not found a way to put pressure on the status quo to make the changes necessary for their continued advancement. We have recently celebrated the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King. And, although I have never been an advocate of non-violence, I do believe in campaigns of “direct action.” 

It was Martin Luther King’s tactics of direct action that brought the Civil Rights Movement to the forefront of the American political agenda. You have posted so many articles on the Civil Rights Movement, the anti-lynching Movement, the anti-war movement so that it should be apparent that poor and Black people should have learned by now that it is by ACTING IN OUR OWN SELF INTEREST that advances are made.

You spoke of Carol Mosley Braun—a black, female presidential candidate. While, Ms. Braun was way to conservative for my taste, I was simply astonished by the lack of traction that her campaign received from middle class black women. As you remember, there was a lot of discussion in the ’60’s about how Black male leadership dominated the Civil Rights and the Black Power movements. 

And, one would have thought that with decades of raging feminism (black and white), Carol Mosley Braun would have at least stayed in the hunt well beyond Iowa. Yet, there was not great ground swell for a black woman candidate. There was no Oprah going out on a limb to help her fellow sister. NOW did not hold massive rallies for Carol . I can only conclude from the campaign of Sister Braun that Black men and women have totally forgotten how to place political pressure on the political system from with inside or outside.

Much of the problem with Braun‘s campaign, of course, lies with her. Unlike what Sharpton has sought to do with issues of economic, social and racial justice, Braun never made her campaign a referendum on “poor and working women’s rights. She should have stormed the debates with a thousand welfare mothers, black, white and Hispanic. She should have organized a woman’s march on Washington and dared Now to refuse to support her. 

Carol  should have taken out ads against Conny Rice branding her a modern day Thomasina. She could have ROCKED the whole campaign and put all the white male candidates under the gun. But, she didn’t. Why? Because, she did not see the power that lies dormant in every poor black, white, and Hispanic woman!!!!

The fact is that conservative middle-class blacks need black radicalism to be evident if they are to broker any deals with the American political system. It was the threat of MLK’s direct action. Malcolm X, SNCC, and the Panthers revolutionary organizing made White America want to sit down with moderate blacks. But it seems that we have forgotten the basic laws that lead oppressed people forward: 1. Power only concedes to Power! 2. There can be no progress without struggle! We must remember that only the hungriest of men is ready to act to save himself from starvation by ANY MEANS NECESSARY!

We can not look to white politicians or middle class blacks to help us anymore. We can no longer consider Black people whose bellies are full to make an effort to feed us, or heal us from the scars of indignity. It is time that we wake the Black Middle Class up and ask them: ARE YOU FOR US OR AGAINST US! If they are the former, we should embrace them as our brothers and sisters. But, if they are against us, then we should consider them the enemy!

The Struggle Continues,

amin sharif

*   *   *   *   *’s 25 Best Selling Books



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#16 – The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

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#23 – Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

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#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

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#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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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 15 December 2011




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