Irene Monroe  Table

Irene Monroe  Table


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


Contact             Mission Nathaniel Turner Marcus Bruce Christian Guest Poets —  Special Topics Rudy’s Place The Old South  —  Worldcat

Film Review Books N Review Education & History Religion & Politics Literature & Arts Black LaborWork, Labor & Business Music  Musicians  

Baltimore Index Page

Educating Our Children

The African World

Editor’s Page     Letters

Inside the Caribbean

Digital Links

Home Online

Or Send contributions to: ChickenBones: A Journal /  2005 Arabian Drive / Finksburg, MD 21048  Help Save ChickenBones

Irene Monroe  Table





Irene Monroe is a religion columnist, public theologian, and motivational speaker. As a motivational speaker Monroe gave the 2000 inaugural invocation “Cambridge 2000: A New Vision of Social Justice” at Cambridge City Hall celebrating Cambridge’s newly elected City Council. Participating along with the City of Cambridge celebrating marriage equality at City Hall, on May 16, 2004 Monroe gave the invocation “On the Eve of the Freedom to Marry.” Monroe have also keynoted at A WORLD OF A DIFFERENCE Institute’s 5th Annual Congress sponsored by the Anti-Defamation league in Boston.  Irene Monroe  Bio


*   *   *   *   *



Reverend Irene Monroe—nationally renowned African American lesbian activist, scholar and public theologian—will receive this year’s Spirit of Justice Award from Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). “Reverend Irene Monroe was enthusiastically selected by board and staff for her contributions to the advancement of equality for LGBT people,” said Dianne Phillips, GLAD’s board president. “She has set an inspiring example of leadership and compassion for us all.” The award will be presented at the 13th annual Spirit of Justice Award Dinner on Friday, October 26th at the Boston Marriott Copley Hotel. Reverend Monroe’s powerfully-voiced syndicated queer religion column, written with unconditional love toward all readers, has helped to shape public dialogue on LGBT and racial justice issues. Reverend Monroe’s work aims to highlight how religious intolerance aids in perpetuating other forms of oppression such as racism, sexism, classism and anti-Semitism.

“I am honored to be this year’s awardee,” said Reverend Monroe. “But I’ve not been in the struggle alone. The interconnectedness between my work and that of GLAD’s is best depicted by the African proverb that states, “I am because we are; and since we are, therefore, I am.” My social justice work in churches and in the streets comes to fruition because of GLAD’s activism in the courts on behalf of us all.”

Reverend Monroe is a founder of numerous faith-based LGBT organizations including: The Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry, Equal Partners of Faith, and Christian Lesbians Out. She is one of the founders and member emeritus of the National Black Justice Coalition. Reverend Monroe also served on the Religious Advisory Committee of Human Rights Campaign and was a commissioner on the GLBT Commission in Cambridge that attends to and addresses the needs of Cambridge’s queer community. Reverend Monroe’s syndicated column appears in The Huffington Post, Bay Windows, The Advocate, and The Bilerico project. She is a frequent guest of OUR COMMON GROUND with Janice Graham. Reverend Monroe is featured in the film, For the Bible Tells Me So, and has been profiled in O, Oprah Magazine. She was also profiled in the Gay Pride Episode of ‘In the Life’ TV where the segment on her was nominated for an educational Emmy. She has received the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching several times. In 1998 Reverend Monroe was the first African American lesbian to be bestowed the honor of being Grand Marshall in the Boston Pride Celebration. Reverend Monroe sits on the advisory boards of several national LGBTQ organizations.

*   *   *   *   *



The battle on the home front

Beyond Blaming Kramer

The Black Church won’t reform  

Bush cronies turning campuses dissent-free 

Church’s Code Keeps Jesus on the “Down Low” 

The Era of Black Woman and HIV/AIDS 

Irene Monroe  Bio

No Marriage Between Black Ministers and Queer Community 

On Marriage Equality

Oprah’s Good Intentions

A Queer Year in the Black Community  

The sickness of HIV profiling 

Should Kwanzaa Stay in our Neighborhoods 

When hate speech becomes accepted 

When My Own Newspaper Gets It Wrong 

Where will the leadership on HIVAIDS come from  

Related files

Anarcha’s Story  

Black Immigrants Deported (Kil Ja Kim)

Black Students Protest Laura Bush  

Bush was Being Honest (Kil Ja Kim)

Connecting the Dots: Michael Moore   (Kil Ja Kim)

Corporate Plantation: Political Repression and the Hampton Model 

Fighting the Sickle Cell Anemia Stigma

Displaced and Refugee Definitions (Tamara Nopper)

Hampton U Students Protest 

Hold the United States Accountable

How To Love A Thinking Man

How to Love a Thinking Woman

The Image of the Black Criminal  (Kil Ja Kim)

Impotence Need Not Be Permanent  

Is Gay Marriage Anti Black

J Marion Sims  

Justice for the Poor

Karenga on Malcolm 


Kwanzaa Message 2004 

Kwanzaa Message 2006 

Land of My Daughters 

Malcolm My Son

Marvin X Table 

Maulana Karenga Bio

On Political Struggle

Outside Within

Paul Robeson’s Greetings to Bandung

The Problem of “Settling”

Question From the Inside  (Kil Ja Kim)

Response to Shaquille O’Neal  (Kil Ja Kim)

The Right Time (Sara Warn)

Ron Karenga   

Some Bodies That Matter  (Kil Ja Kim)

The State of Black-Asian Relations (Kil Ja Kim)

To White Women Who Think  (Kil Ja Kim)

Status and Standard Language 

Toward a Feminist Theology

We Real Cool


The White Anti-Racist is an Oxymoron  (Kil Ja Kim)

To White Women Who Think  (Kil Ja Kim)

The Very Idea Stem Cell Research

Willie Ricks 60s Civil Rights Worker 

Wish I Could Tell You the Truth        

*   *   *   *   *

To get African-American male ministers, in particular, to think outside of their narrowly constructed boxes about race is an arduous task. And much of the reason is because of the persistent nature of racism in the lives of black people and the little gains accomplished supposedly on behalf of racial equality. Many African Americans see that civil rights gains have come faster for queer people. From the Stonewall Riots of 1969 to May 17, 2004, the LGBTQ movement has made some tremendous gains into mainstream society, a reality that has not been afforded to African Americans. And while the freedom to marry has been an arduous struggle and a right long overdue for LBGTQ people, the debate did not begin with queer people. The marriage debate here in the U.S. began when African-American slaves were forbidden to marry, so they “jumped over the broom” – an African-American tradition – in front of their slave masters to consecrate their nuptials until the end of the Civil War in 1865. Black Ministers and Queer Community

*   *   *   *   *

More than 100 African-American LGBTQ clergy, religious activists and our allies came to hear sermons and speeches on how to develop specific strategies to challenge the systemic homophobia in black churches, from its pulpits to its pews. Most notably, the Rev. Al Sharpton delivered the event’s keynote address.

“Martin Luther King said there are two types of leadership. There are those who are thermometers, who measure the temperature in the room, and those who are thermostats, who change the temperature. I come to tell you to be thermostats. Turn up the heat in the Black Church. Make these people sweat,” said Sharpton, a former Democratic presidential candidate. The Black Church wont reform

*   *   *   *   *

With suppressed information deriving from Gnostic gospels and apocryphal texts finally emerging from out of the closet, ecclesiastical authorities wrestle to keep the millennia-long lid on tight about the historical Jesus.

However, the debate about Jesus’ sexuality takes him from his mother’s womb to his tomb. The Christian depiction of Jesus as that of a life-long virgin who had no sexual desire and who never engaged in sexual intercourse raises anyone’s suspicion, because by today’s sexual standards, Jesus’ homosocial environment of 12 men suggests, according to the law of averages, that at least one out of the bunch was gay.

And given the nature of compulsory heterosexuality playing in Jewish marital laws during Jesus’ time, Jesus might have been forced to be on the “down low.” Churchs code keeps Jesus on the down low

*   *   *   *   *

In July 2005, one of Washington, D.C.’s prominent African-American ministers, the Rev. Willie F. Wilson, pastor of Union Temple Baptist Church in Southeast Washington who in 1999 opened his church for a forum on discrimination against same-gender loving (SGL) people, set off a firestorm with his now-notorious sermon denouncing gays and lesbians. 

With graphic language, Wilson told an approving audience punctuated with Amens, “Lesbianism is about to take over our community. Women falling down on another woman, strapping yourself up with something, it ain’t real. That thing ain’t got no feeling in it. It ain’t natural. Anytime somebody got to slap some grease on your behind and stick something in you, it’s something wrong with that. Your butt ain’t made for that. No wonder your behind is bleeding. You can’t make no correction with a screw and another screw. The Bible says God made them male and female.” A queer year in the black community

*   *   *   *   *

Racial epithets are such a mainstay in the American lexicon that their broad-based appeal to both blacks as well as whites have anesthetized us not only to the damaging and destructive use of epithets, but also to our ignorance of their historical origins.

My state’s governor, Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, apologized this week for using the racial epithet “tar baby” at a Republican political gathering in Iowa over the weekend while describing a collapse in a Big Dig tunnel that killed a Boston woman on July 10. He said the best thing he could do politically is to “just get as far away from that tar baby” of a subject as he could.

Tar baby is a pejorative term referring to African-American children, especially girls, and was used by whites during American slavery. Today, the term has come to depict a sticky mess or situation, referring to the 19th-century Uncle Remus stories in which a doll made of tar was used to trap Brer Rabbit. When hate speech becomes accepted

*   *   *   *   *’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

*   *   *   *   *

Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

*   *   *   *   *


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

*   *   *   *   *

Millennial Momentum

How a New Generation Is Remaking America

By Morley Winograd and Mr. Michael D. Hais

About every eight decades, coincident with the most stressful and perilous events in U.S. history—the Revolutionary and Civil Wars and the Great Depression and World War II—a new, positive, accomplished, and group-oriented “civic generation” emerges to change the course of history and remake America. The Millennial Generation (born 1982–2003) is America’s newest civic generation. In their 2008 book, Millennial Makeover, Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais made a prescient argument that the Millennial Generation would change American politics for good. Later that year, a huge surge of participation from young voters helped to launch Barack Obama into the White House. Now, in Millennial Momentum, Winograd and Hais investigate how the beliefs and practices of the Millennials are transforming other areas of American culture, from education to entertainment, from the workplace to the home, and from business to politics and government.

The Millennials’ cooperative ethic and can-do spirit have only just begun to make their mark, and are likely to continue to reshape American values for decades to come. Drawing from an impressive array of demographic data, popular texts, and personal interviews, the authors show how the ethnically diverse, socially tolerant, and technologically fluent Millennials can help guide the United States to retain its leadership of the world community and the global marketplace. They also illustrate why this generation’s unique blend of civic idealism and savvy pragmatism will enable us to overcome the internal culture wars and institutional malaise currently plaguing the country. Millennial Momentum offers a message of hope for a deeply divided nation.—Rutgers University Press

*   *   *   *   *

Race, Incarceration, and American Values

By Glenn C. Loury

In this pithy discussion, renowned scholars debate the American penal system through the lens—and as a legacy—of an ugly and violent racial past. Economist Loury argues that incarceration rises even as crime rates fall because we have become increasingly punitive. According to Loury, the disproportionately black and brown prison populations are the victims of civil rights opponents who successfully moved the country’s race dialogue to a seemingly race-neutral concern over crime. Loury’s claims are well-supported with genuinely shocking statistics, and his argument is compelling that even if the racial argument about causes is inconclusive, the racial consequences are clear.

Three shorter essays respond: Stanford law professor Karlan examines prisoners as an inert ballast in redistricting and voting practices; French sociologist Wacquant argues that the focus on race has ignored the fact that inmates are first and foremost poor people; and Harvard philosophy professor

Shelby urges citizens to break with Washington’s political outlook on race. The group’s respectful sparring results in an insightful look at the conflicting theories of race and incarceration, and the slim volume keeps up the pace of the argument without being overwhelming.—Publishers Weekly

*   *   *   *   *

The Gardens of Democracy: A New American Story

of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government

By Eric Liu and Nick Hanaper

American democracy is informed by the 18th century’s most cutting edge thinking on society, economics, and government. We’ve learned some things in the intervening 230 years about self interest, social behaviors, and how the world works. Now, authors Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer argue that some fundamental assumptions about citizenship, society, economics, and government need updating. For many years the dominant metaphor for understanding markets and government has been the machine. Liu and Hanauer view democracy not as a machine, but as a garden. A successful garden functions according to the inexorable tendencies of nature, but it also requires goals, regular tending, and an understanding of connected ecosystems. The latest ideas from science, social science, and economics—the cutting-edge ideas of today—generate these simple but revolutionary ideas: The economy is not an efficient machine.

It’s an effective garden that need tending. Freedom is responsibility. Government should be about the big what and the little how. True self interest is mutual interest. We’re all better off when we’re all better off. The model of citizenship depends on contagious behavior, hence positive behavior begets positive behavior.

*   *   *   *   *

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)

*   *   *   *   *

Ancient African Nations

*   *   *   *   *

If you like this page consider making a donation

online through PayPal

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


*   *   *   *   *

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

*   *   *   *   *

The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

*   *   *   *   *


*   *   *   *   *

ChickenBones Store







update 10 July 2012





Post Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.