ChickenBones: A Journal
for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes
The Sunni regimes may react violently to the rise of Shia Islam and its Sunni counterparts
such as the Brotherhood and Hamas, but as we see in Iraq, the violence is simply birth pains,
thus when the child is delivered, the pain shall subside. Get over it!
Jerusalem and Spirituality
By Marvin X
Hizbullah represents a paradigm shift in the Middle East. Its military wing has created a balance of terror with respect to Israel and its continued oppression of Palestine. Hizbullah reveals the utter shame of Arab governments whose impotent armies and corrupt regimes have been unable to confront the Zionist entity. The response of Arab governments to Hizbullah’s current war with Israel is a pitiful index of their failure and submission to western imperialism.
Hizbullah is the forward arm of Shia Islam in the Middle East, initially sparked by the 1979 Iranian revolution and now Iraq, the first Shia government in Arab history. Hizbullah is thus an embarrassment to the Sunni political regimes in the area, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Gulf states.
Hizbullah’s alignment with Hamas is a signal of how militant Sunni and Shia Islam will shift the political landscape in the Middle East. Their unified attack on Israel is a victory in spite of the final outcome because it has brought the balance of terror to the Zionists, forcing them into bomb shelters and fleeing their northern border towns as well as cities on their southern border with Gaza due to continued missile bombardment.
This military/political shift has deep implications for the future. Firstly, Hizbullah is not going anywhere, they are an integral part of Lebanese society, politically, spiritually, socially and militarily. If and when their military wing is integrated into the Lebanese army, they will remain a crucial factor, just as we see from the integration of Shia militias into the Iraqi army and police.
The Middle East has some new boys on the block and they are dancing in the streets, giving the Zionists a run for their (your, US taxpayer) money and guns.
Between the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood, including Hamas, and Hizbullah, they will ultimately revolutionize the Middle East simply because they have the hearts and minds of the Arab masses, and thus militant Islam shall be the process and product of real democratic reforms.
Shia Islam, no matter its shortcomings and contradictions, is the new spiritual/political force in the area. The Zionist attempt to destroy Hizbullah shall only give rise to new configurations of the Shia revolution since it is a geo-political reality, encompassing Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
The Sunni regimes may react violently to the rise of Shia Islam and its Sunni counterparts such as the Brotherhood and Hamas, but as we see in Iraq, the violence is simply birth pains, thus when the child is delivered, the pain shall subside. Get over it!
The moderate and secular Muslims would do well to remain silent since their moment in history has essentially passed, just as the US civil rites movement was superseded by the Black liberation movement of the 60s. Many of the civil rites leaders were labeled uncle toms by the BLM, and similarly, in the Middle East we have Uncle Abdullahs who need to ride their camels into the desert, find an oasis and retire.
When a spiritual energy is unleashed upon the planet, it is like a tsunami, sweeping and engulfing all in its path, whether we like it or not, whether we believe it or not. We may call it terror and it most certainly is, but nothing can stop it, no military exercises, no political chicanerythe force is simply irrepressible and like it or not, we must submit to the new order.
Having said the above, what shall we expect in the future aside from continued upheaval and bloodshed? Clearly, Israel is not sincere about a two state solution but appears to be content to drag out the problem for another fifty years. Her refusal to accept and recognize the democratically elected Hamas administration is an example of intransigence, of course backed by American and European imperialists.
No one should be swayed by her cry about Hamas being terrorist. After all, after events of the last few days, who can deny the bloody reality of Israel’s state terrorism, so her refusal to recognize Hamas is unacceptable subterfuge, a delay tactic that the pseudo-democratic Western imperialists finds acceptable, but after all, anything Israel does is acceptable, such as the present attempt to slaughter Hizbullah, and in the process completely destroy Lebanon for the second time in recent memory. Let us not fail to mention the slaughter and destruction in Gaza.
Again, Israel and America have no intention of giving justice to the people of Palestine. If Iraq is an example of American democracy, we hate to see the result of the push for democracy in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Gulf states. Why should we not expect a violent upheaval when these regimes present their sham attempt at the democratic process, especially when it is clear the militant fundamentalists will win the votes of the oppressed Arab masses.
After America’s failed attempt at democratic reform in Iraq, occupied Palestine, Lebanon, Afghanistan, will she continue to pursue her fake democracy in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere? It is doubtful, especially in the oil rich nations that have been excused from allowing political freedoms for decades in order to keep oil flowing to the West. At the very least, the West will allow fundamentalists to create unity governments if they promise not to disrupt the oil flowor contract it to the Chinese. As we see, the Chinese have already made deals with Iran, Sudan, Nigeria and elsewhere in competition with the West. And most certainly, the Chinese have been backing regimes America calls terrorist such as Iran and the genocidal Sudan.
As we move into the future, hold onto your hats, but especially keep your eyes on the oil pipelines snaking their way through the Middle East and elsewhere. There may be big trouble on the horizon, and if not big trouble, then certainly a lot of turbulence.
The final irony in the paradigm shift we mentioned at the outset is that Sunni Islam originated in the democratic election of the prophet Muhammad’s successor, but is about to be overcome by its Shia opponents who believed the successor should have been from the prophet’s bloodline. The Shia have been awaiting the day of their political domination since 632AD, and now it appears to have finally arrived.
But it is evident from the Hamas/Hizbullah attack on Israel, the Shia realize their revival or assumption to power will not happen without unity with Sunnis. This unified approach is evident in Lebanon and Iraq. And according to the Americans, Shia Iran has been helping the Sunni insurgents all along.
The main Sunni opposition is from those who hold or once held political power, i.e. PLO, Bathists, and other corrupt, sell-out leaders who have everything to lose, especially their heads, in any revolutionary process. When the Sunni leaders in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan decried Hizbullah’s attack on Israel, the Arab masses reacted by marching and calling these leaders traitors and sellouts to imperialism.
If and when Muslims can overcome the current sectarian strife, perhaps by following the example of Hamas and Hizbullah, there is the possibility of an Islamic revival that will astound the world. Even though the Shia are the minority, if they exercise progressive political action, including power sharing, Islam may indeed outshine its past glories.
For sure, Muslims must move hastily to reform and seize their natural resources, ignoring the West in all but essential things, such as technology but certainly not morality. Ignore the terrorist label but continue resistance whenever necessary because it is a human and divine right. Do not apologize for resisting oppression, for no one would request an apology except the oppressor himself, when he has never apologized for his injustice, exploitation and dehumanization.
The world is full of infinite possibilities, and Muslims have every right to their share without infringing on the rights of others, whether Christian, Hindu or Jew.
With respect to Palestine, what if we abandoned the two-state solution and formed one democratic state, encompassing Israel and occupied Palestine. Could the two peoples live together in peace? Could the children of Abraham’s God share the land?
As much as America is the problem by financing the military strength of Israel, perhaps America can provide the solution to this spiritual and social disaster called Israel. After all, if the sons and daughters of former slaves and slaver masters can co-exist, then certainly Arabs and Jews can share the land and create a truly democratic state in the Middle East, ending a half century of death and destruction.
Can there be more hatred between black and white Americans than between Arabs and Jews? Can there be more injustice? Black Americans don’t have one inch of land for three centuries of slavery and another century of wage slavery
Perhaps America can compensate both Arabs and Black Americans for injustices done to them.
Why can’t American style integration be the solution for Arabs and Jews, but integration without justice is a non-solution, and this is true for Black Americans as well. Little black boys and little white girls may stroll the street hand in hand, but without justice in the form of reparations, and finally without a real change in the heart of white and black Americans, one day the cancer of racism will be terminal.
And it shall be the same in Israel and occupied Palestine, both people must enjoy justice, for it is only justice that will allow both peoples to transcend their myths and enter the space called reality.
Justice is the word we hear the least in the Middle East, but ultimately it shall be the word uttered the most, for it shall be the new myth, the only myth that can solve the conundrum. Nobody wants more than justice, nobody wants less. Justice can and must be shared by all. It is thus the final paradigm to herald the new day of peace and righteousness. Justice recognizes the equality of everyone, their essential humanity that is acknowledged by all concerned and can be ignored by none.
Surely, destroying the cedars of Lebanon shall bring no peace to Israel, no security, rather it shall hasten towards the final solution when the peoples of the area shall have had enough of the interlopers and they shall be forced to flee the land God supposedly gave them as His chosen people.
But if you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. If God were your Father, you would love the Palestinians and give them justice, but you seek to kill them because you have America at your back.
O, Israel, do not let the wrath of God come upon you, for none of your weapons shall avail you on that day. As the people are fleeing Lebanon at this hour, it is possible you shall flee Israel at another hour. Even after two hundred years in the Holy land, did not the Crusaders take flight back to Europe. Did they not abandon Jerusalem?
Israel can be part of the solution or remain part of the problem, but she must make a great leap forward, transcending myth and ritual to embrace her neighbors, and they must embrace her, otherwise their land shall be made desolate and it shall be inhabited by no one for a thousand years.
It matters not what the kings of Israel, Egypt, Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, or the King of America even, think, plan or do, for the devil planned and Allah planned, but surely Allah is the Best Planner. And when He finds a people unable to do His will, such people have been discarded and replaced by people who willingly submit, such is the power of the Lord of the Universe, such is the mercy and blessing coming to those who flow with the flow and are not ungrateful.
As for America, she too has a date with destiny for her iniquities. She has portrayed herself as the protector of life while in reality she is the taker of life, the destroyer of life, doing her death deeds across the planet. When not killing directly, she kills indirectly through the sale of weapons of mass destruction, then has the nerve to decry her opponents the right to supply weapons to their surrogates. If America can pinpoint the source of Hizbullah’s aggression as Syria and Iran, shall we not designate America as the root of Israel’s arrogance? If there could be no Hizbullah without Syria and Iran, there would certainly be no Israel without America. America is the reason for Israel’s season. American taxpayers give Israel five billion dollars annually in economic and military aid. Thus, it is beneficial to the US military-corporate-university-petrochemical-pharmaceutical complex to have Israel use such weapons to wreak havoc in the Middle East, in the manner of the Vandals who destroyed North Africa in ancient times. They are the neo-Vandals, who are kept supplied by US arms makers. Don’t stop killing in Lebanon and Gaza said George and Condi, it’s good for America’s economy, it’s delightful for the arms merchants and other related corporations such as Hal Burton and Bechtel, run by former generals. America shall reap what she has sown, and she knows she has it coming. Any and every bully knows one day he’s going to meet his match. It is sad that the deaf, dumb and blind American people have been lulled to sleep by the corporate media and the Israel lobby. No politician dare speak against Israel, Democrat or Republican, black or white. They all sing Silent Night, no matter that the majority of the world is against Israel’s aggression and oppression. American politicians are hostage to Zionism and fear election loss if they dare tell the truth about Israel. According to America’s propaganda machine called ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX, NPR, Hizbullah is responsible for the destruction of Lebanon. Hamas is why Gaza has been leveled. It has nothing to do with Israeli genocide, ethnic cleansing. Americans should know they will be destroyed for lack of knowledge. In the Information Age, ignorance is unacceptable. Whatever happens to America will be the fault of Americans as a result of ignorance, apathy, lethargy, and passivity. As with Katrina, it was not a natural disaster, but a man-made disaster, the result of man doing things on the cheap, just as Americans are doing now worldwide, thus it is better to kill than give justice, it is better to kill than give diplomacy a chance.
What kind of people are these they really make you wonder Hurry Allah, with fire and water…. –Marvin X, lyrics from Woman, Man’s Best Friend, 1972
American leaders don’t want Jack to jump out of the box, rather keep him asleep, steeped in ignorance, exhausted from wage slavery, diverted by sports and entertainment, anesthetized by religiosity, traumatized by partner and street violence. The Qur’an says don’t hide truth while you know, but these leaders are apparently smarter than God, so they must await the fire whose fuel is men and stones (Qur’an). As I have written, this is the end of the age of innocence. To hell with your leaders, lead yourselves to the promised land. Your leaders are filthy, wicked and beyond redemption. Lead yourselves out of darkness into light. Jesus didn’t wait on his father, he said, “I and my father are one.” So it’s on you, Mr. and Mrs. America to get a healing so you can stop being the curse of the world, but become a blessing. You can’t stop the killing outside America because you wont stop the killing inside America. Mama told you charity begins at home and spreads abroad. Somebody better listen to what Mama said. She also said, “Use the mind God gave you.” It is a certainty, Christian fundamentalists shall be the death of America, the result of their white supremacist theology, devoid of the revolutionary Jesus, replaced with the Christianity of the imperial throne, proclaimed in the manner of Crusaders, “Onward Christian soldiers.” Their support of Israel is merely a sham to herald the return of their messiah whom they would immediately crucify as a terrorist for associating with the oppressed. See his Sermon on the Mount . America’s fundamentalists cannot have it both ways, they cannot be pro life and pro death in their support of war. Why save a fetus to grow up only to die for America’s war machine? And furthermore, what would Jesus do? Would he be in favor of war in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Afghanistan or anywhere? Would he tell diplomats not to stop the killing, crush Hezbollah and Hamas into the sand? Baldwin said, “How dare they talk about the Prince of Peace while they bomb the hell out of Vietnam….” (from Marvin X’s 1968 interview with James Baldwin). While we chide Christians, we are yet cognizant of the leftist, liberals and radicals who are undercover Zionist zealots who need to come out of the closet and enter a white supremacy 12-step recovery program. For decades the American left has prevented substantive discussion and condemnation of Israel. The undercover Zionists should stop faking, remove their liberal/leftist persona and admit they are agents for Israel. And it’s OK, just stop claiming you are radical when in fact you are reactionary obstructionists who have perennially prevented Arabs and Muslims from discussion, dialogue and debate in the media, anti-war rallies, university campuses and elsewhere. You have censored speakers, writers and anyone else with views attacking Israel. You too are guilty of hiding truth while you know. Your reactionary nationalism, racism and tribalism has infected your thinking with myopia that prevents a clear examination of the facts on the ground. Could it be that the idea of a Zionist state in the midst of Muslim Arabs, with the resulting displacement of Palestinians, was an idea doomed from the outset? The resulting generational hatred and inevitable desire and necessity for tribal vengeance on the part of Arabs portends many days of darkness in the Middle East, thus the American leftist/liberals need to educate the public steeped in ignorance, propaganda and religiosity. The pseudo leftist/liberal Jews need to seriously process their issues before they can be of any benefit to the deaf, dumb and blind American public. True, Israel is a reality, but shall it remain a reality for all time? Shall it survive the current shift in the Middle Eastern political winds? Can it survive the coming upheavals in the political structure of archaic Arab regimes that have given birth to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hizbullah, Al Qaida and other Muslim warriors throughout the world. We are for peace, we are for justice, nothing more, nothing less. The American left/liberals must come to the same conclusion. History shall be the judge. Moderate American Muslims, along with their counterparts throughout the world, make mockery of the prophet’s dictum to “fight those who fight with you, drive them out from where they drove you out, and persecution is worse than slaughter.” Moderate Muslims are comfortable in the midst of American materialism, although traumatized by 9/11 into the Silent Night mentality, full of fear and trembling, retreating to a full diet of religiosity and inaction that signals their irrelevance now and in the future. We ask them to stand up for truth, justice and equality for all Americans and all human beings. Is this not the Sunnah of the prophet Muhammad? Did he cower in the face of repression and oppression? Was Bilal silent when persecuted in the Mecca sun? No, he cried, “Al Ahad, Al Ahad, Al Ahad, the One God.” But your cry is convenience, collaboration and capitulation because you fear captivity. America is the new Gulag, so get ready for it. You are a disgusting representative of your Islamic heritage, no better than Christians and Jews who have placed themselves squarely on the wrong side of history. Black Americans are not exempt from world events, especially in the Middle East. Black American Christians share the same myopic, archaic mythology about Israel as the White Christian fundamentalists. Black American Christian support for Israel is well known. Their abysmal ignorance is equally well known, but it shall not absolve them of responsibility in establishing peace and justice throughout the world. Peace with justice is the primary duty of all those who claim belief in the teachings of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. In sum, the American people must force their political leaders into a new stance with respect to the Middle East. America cannot continue supporting reaction in Israel and reaction in the Arab world. Such reaction is against the people of Israel, Palestine and the Arab masses in general. America’s support of reactionary Arab regimes in order to keep oil flowing will not continue with security. Oil has caused much blood to flow throughout the Middle East, and the Arab masses are slowly coming out of their slumber to reclaim their dignity and human right to benefit from the natural resources of their land. It would be wise for Americans to advise, rather, demand that American corporations and military machines depart from the Middle East at the earliest date for the peace of the world. The American alliance with Israel and corrupt Arab regimes will bring no national security to America, thus it should be halted immediately, replaced with an even handed approach to Israel and a sincere approach to Arab radicals who shall ultimately seize power from the reactionary politicians, kings and sheiks. Shall America be part of the problem or part of the solution? Only the American people can decide, simply because their political and spiritual leaders have sold out for a mess of pottage. Their addiction to white supremacy and imperialism lead them, in the words of Baldwin, to “…Rationalizations so fantastic it approaches the pathological….”
O, Jerusalem, where is the peace in thy house? AS the armies draw close to Jerusalem, surely the end is near. Where is thy justice, where is thy mercy?
We have mourned fifty years, O, Jerusalem, but there is no peace in thy house.
There is no justice. How long, O, Jerusalem, shall the people suffer, how long shall they live in refugee camps on thy borders? How long shall their houses suffer bulldozers, their leaders assassinated? There can be no peace without justice. But justice cries in the night. Justice cries in the noon time. When shall justice get an answer. Is murder the answer, mass murder?
O, Jerusalem, O, house of peace, how can you murder a dream? How long can the refugee remain outside the door of his house? O, Jerusalem, who was there before you came, before Abraham, Sarah and Hajar, before Isaac and Ishmael? What if Cannan came home, would you block him from his land, O, Jerusalem?
The world is tired of you, O, Jerusalem. We are exhausted from the struggle of Isaac and Ishmael, sons of Abraham. Why can’t you divide the land of your father. Surely Abraham would give justice. Surely, if you are Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. But all you love is murder. You are not sincere in your desire to share the land. Why do you lie year after year? You won’t talk with moderates. With whom shall you talk? Will you talk with God Almighty, the God of your father?
O, Jerusalem, so you see you are in the land of murderers and you have joined with them in their misery. You now find yourselves in refugee camps. With all your weapons, where is your security, where is your peace?
You have destroyed Gaza for one soldier. You have destroyed Lebanon for two soldiers. What will you destroy for three soldiers? Will you destroy Syria, Iran?
And what if you are destroyed in return? Destruction brings destruction. Sooner or later the killer is killed, sometimes the killer kills himself.
O, Jerusalem, you cry about the source of weapons in Lebanon, but what is the source of your weapons? Are they not from the Mighty Beast, the Great Whore, Babylon (America)?
And so we watch Gaza on fire, Lebanon on fire, Israel on fire. Who shall put out the fire? Who shall bring peace to thy house? There shall be no peace without justice. Share the land, share the wealth, share the glory of God in His House.
O, Jerusalem, the kings of Egypt, Arabia, Jordan, shall fight the king of Persia. The sons of Egypt, Arabia, Jordan, shall leave their father’s house to join the king of Persia. The sons have found their father’s houses wicked, corrupt and decadent. Like Jerusalem, the kings have stunted and retarded their people. The Brotherhood shall rise against the Kings of Egypt, Arabia and Jordan, for the kings are united with the Great Whore, and the kings are united with Jerusalem. They feast together in the din of iniquity, and their food is vile, but they consume it as a hog enjoys his slop.
* * * * *
Bay Area folks can catch Marvin X perform a dramatic reading of Beyond Religion, Toward Spirituality on Sunday, August 27, 4pm, at the Black Repertory Group Theatre, 3201 Adeline St., Berkeley (one block south of Ashby BART).
* * * * *
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 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
* * * * *
Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis
Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as “the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field ‘cut their teeth’.”
* * * * *
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 Mammys behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own familys 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.
* * * * *
From The World and Africa, 1965
* * * * *
* * * * *
If you like this page consider making a donation
online through PayPal
* * * * *
Browse all issues
* * * * *
* * * * *
* * * * *
* * * * *
posted 28 July 2006