ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


ContactMission Nathaniel Turner Marcus Bruce Christian Guest Poets Rudy’s Place The Old South Black Labor — 

Film Review Books N ReviewEducation & History Religion & Politics Literature & Arts Work, Labor & Business Music & Musicians

Baltimore Index Page

Educating Our Children

The African World

Editor’s Page     Letters

Inside the Caribbean

Digital Links

Home Online through PayPal

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

Kam Williams Table

Book & Film Reviews, Interviews, Commentary



Kam Williams  is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications around the country. He is a member of both the African-American Film Critics Association and The New York Film Critics Online. In addition to a BA in Black Studies from Cornell, he has an MA in English from Brown, an MBA from The Wharton School, and a JD from Boston University. Mr.  Williams lives in Princeton, NJ with his wife and son.

*   *   *   *   *



Deal with the Devil

Election Day Returns

Hillary Clinton Revisited and Reviled

New Yorker Cover Depicts the Obamas as Terrorists

Professor Celia Chazelle Advocates Christian Social Activism

Race, Color, Language & Immigration Hysteria

Strange Fruit in Jena

There Must Still Be Something Out of Kilter Response to Don Imus

Vote Fraud Costs Obama

What’s Going On?: Black-on-Black Homicide Hits Home

Who Would Jesus Bomb


*   *   *   *   *




America’s Next Chapter (Cornel West)

Aron Ranen–Black Hair Industry

Brian Sparks Reflecting on Being White

Brooklyn Sudano

Charles Ogletree

Condoleeza Rice

Colin Roach

Cornel West (“America’s Next Chapter”)

Cornel West (“I was with Obama.”)

Cuba Gooding, Jr. in Red Tails

Daryle Jenkins: The Klanbuster

Dennis LeRoy Moore

Djimon Hounsou in New Movie

Don Cheadle: Down with Don

Forest Whitaker: The Last King of Scotland  

Gore Vidal Goes Off  

Jamie Foxx

Kola Boof 

Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs

Len Elmore and March Madness

Master P, Hip-Hop Entrepreneur

Maxine Waters  

Maya Soetoro-Ng on Family and Brother Barack

Melissa Marris-Perry

Michael Steele

Michele Norris

Mo’Nique Oscar-Worthy

Naturi Naughtonas

Nicole Ari Parker

Nicole Beharie

Rashida Jones

Rel Dowdell

Reverend Al Sharpton

Roland Martin

Roland Martin Reflects on Obama

Russell Simmons Occupy Wall Stree

Rutina Wesley

Salli Richardson-Whitfield

Samuel Jackson–Black Snake Moan (Sharif and Williams)

Sean Diddy Combs

Shawn and Damien Wayans

Sheila Johnson: America’s First Black Woman Billionaire

Shelby Steele

Skip Gates

Soledad O’Brien at Ground Zero: Japan’s Triple Crisis

Spike Lee

Stedman Graham

Stephen Carter

Sugar Ray Leonard

Tasha Smith

Tavis Smiley

Troy Johnson

Thandie Newton

Vanessa Williams

Will.i. Am. of Black Eyed Peas


Ziggy Marley

Reviews (Kam Williams)


The 10 Best Black Books of 2007

The 10 Best Black Books of 2008

The 10 Best Black Books of 2010 (Non-Fiction)

African American Lives 2

American Violet

As an Act of Protest

The Audacity of Hope

Black Cinema  (2005)

Blacktrospective 2006

Boys of Baraka

Condoleeza Rice Memoir

Cooked From the Streets to the Stove, from Cocaine to Foie Gras

Crisis of the Black Intellectual

Cuba Gooding, Jr. in Red Tails

Diary of a Lost Girl (book)

Divas on Screen Black Women in American Film

Do I Have to Be a Starving Artist in the 21st Century?

Do Me Twice: My Life after Islam (book review)

Dreamgirls Top Film of 2006

Film Reviews of The Help

Four Sophisticated Film Reviews 

                                               Flags of Our Fathers / SoulMate / Death of a President  / Color of the Cross

Gook: John McCain’s Racism

The Great Debaters Top Film of 2007

My Holy Bible for African American Children

How to Reclaim the American Dream — Review of The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama

I’m African and Proud

Medical Apartheid

Michele Norris: Breaking the Silence Gracefully

My Mother Was a Maid (The Help)

NAACP Image Awards    

The New Paradigm for Financial Markets (George Soros book)

A Queen Sweep   

Ralph Ellison: A Biography

Red Tails in the Sunset

Revisiting a Banner Year for Black Writers (book) 

Rough Crossings  (book)

Sister Citizen (book)

The Stork Market:America’s Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry

Visionary Chris Hedges Issues Dire Warning

We Gotta Have It   (book)

Women of a New Tribe

*   *   *   *   *


Big Fight Sugar Ray Leonard

Interview with

Kam Williams

Rel Dowdell Changing the Game

Interview  by Kam Williams

The Ethnic Cleansing of HBCUs in the Age of Obama (

Jahi Issa)

 Support Letter for Dr Jahi Issa (


*   *   *   *   * Oscar nominations 2012: full list

Juano Hernández (July 19, 1896 – July 17, 1970) was a Puerto Rican stage and film actor of African descent who was a pioneer in the African-American film industry. He made his debut in an Oscar Micheaux film, The Girl from Chicago which was directed at black audiences. Hernández also performed in a serious of dramatic roles in mainstream Hollywood movies. His participation in the film “Intruder in the Dust” earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination for “New Star of the Year.” . . . In 1949, he acted in his first mainstream film, based on William Faulkner‘s novel, Intruder in the Dust, in which he played the role of “Lucas Beauchamp”, a poor Southern sharecropper unjustly accused of murder. The film earned him a Golden Globe nomination for “New Star of the Year.” The film was listed as one of the ten best of the year by the New York Times. Faulkner said of the film: “I’m not much of a moviegoer, but I did see that one. I thought it was a fine job.

That Juano Hernandez is a fine actor—and man, too.” Film historian Donald Bogle said that Intruder in the Dust broke new ground in the cinematic portrayal of blacks, and Hernandez’s “performance and extraordinary presence still rank above that of almost any other black actor to appear in an American movie.”—Wikipedia

*   *   *   *   *


The Grace of Silence: A Memoir

By Michele Norris

 Book Review by Kam Williams

*   *   *   *   *

Riding the Rails

Director: Michael Uys; Lexy Lovell

Don’t miss this ride! Riding the Rails tells the unforgettable story of the 250,000 teenagers who left their homes and hopped freight trains during the Great Depression. Featuring a foot-stomping soundtrack of such folk greats as Jimmie Rodgers, Woody Guthrie, Doc Watson, Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry, Riding the Rails vividly combines the clear-eyed memories of witnesses with archival footage of teens riding atop speeding trains and newsreel interviews with lean-bodied kids full of bravado. Striking in its detail and depth of emotion, Riding the Rails is that rare film that will inform, dazzle, and profoundly move its audience. This is not a ride you want to miss. Featuring music by Jimmie Rodgers, Doc Watson, Woodie Guthrie, Brownie McGhee, and Sonny Terry. Special DVD features include: new video segment featuring an interview with the filmmakers; photo gallery featuring archival images from the National Archives and the Library of Congress; excerpt from the companion book; scene selection; English audiotrack; and closed captions.—WGBH Boston

*   *   *   *   *

In Class with Hancock: A Black Family Man’s View‏

A Film Review by Biko Agozino

*   *   *   *   *







Books on Blacks in American Film


Why We Make Movies: Black Filmmakers Talk About the Magic of Cinema (2003)


Black Film as a Signifying Practice: Narration and the African American Aesthetic Tradition  (1999)


Representing; Hip Hop and the Production of Black Cinema (1999)


Manthia Diawara. Black American Cinema (1993)


bell hooks, Reel to Real: Race, Sex, and Class at the Movies  (1996)


Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies and Bucks: An Interpretative History of Blacks in American Films


*   *   *   *   *



Don Cheadle: Down with Don 

The ”Brooklyn’s Finest” Interview with Kam Williams

*   *   *   *   *


Films on DVD


Barber Shop / Woman, Thou Art Loosed / Amistad / Crash /

Hustle and Flow

/ Tupac / Douglass


Sugar Cane Alley  / Malcolm XGet on the Bus / Bowling for Columbine  Sankofa / Daughters of the Dust


Lumumba / Sometime in April / The Agronomist  /  Black Orpheus / The Sidney Poitier DVD Collection


Cotton Comes to Harlem / The Spook Who Sat by the Door / Putney Swope / Education of Sonny Carson


*   *   *   *   *



Martin Sheen (Actor), John Franklin Sawyer (Actor), Susanna Styron (Director)

Sony Pictures  [VHS] (1998)

Paul, an only child, loves visiting the Dabney family. The Dabneys have seven children, and they’re a much poorer family. During Paul’s tenth summer, set in the 1930s, a family member he never even met passes away, and he goes to stay with the Dabneys while his parents go off to the funeral. That’s when he meets Shadrach, a 99-year-old black man that was born a slave and was sold off to Alabama, being separated from his family in Virginia. He’s been gone all these years. Sensing death in his old bones, he travels back to his native Virginia, wanting to be put to rest where he belongs. Shadrach happens to be a Dabney, just like the white family he came to. Will this family be nice enough to do for him what he wants to be done? What will happen along the way?

Shadrach is a heartwarming and extremely realistic film. Being raised in Alabama, I can relate to the underlying plot of the film a lot. One thing that’s really shocking is that Paul looks almost just like my little brother, making me kind of watch the movie as if it was through my younger sibling’s eyes. Both of those facts along with the great acting by everybody, especially Harvey Keitel, made Shadrach really hit home for me in a way. Not to mention that it reminds me of my own childhood, when I was looked at as being middle to upper class, but almost all of my friends were less fortunate, and I never thought a thing about it.

It’s a shame that Shadrach seems to be relatively unknown. It’s just a simple drama movie with elements of a coming of age film, but it’s a real good one that will hit home for certain people, maybe in more than one way. All I did was rent it after hearing that it’s “a good southern movie.” I’m glad I did, because now I look to purchase it one day in the future. As long as the cussing nearly every other word doesn’t bother you (it shouldn’t; that’s just the film trying to be realistic of the times), you’ll love Shadrach—retrowens,


*   *   *   *   *


Blaxploitation films on DVD


Baadasssss Cinema (documentary) / Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song


 SuperflyCleopatra JonesFoxy Brown / Shaft / Shaft’s Big Score! / Shaft in Africa /


 Slaughter  /   Slaughter’s Big Rip-Off  /  Hell Up in Harlem  / Black Caesar  / Across 110 th Street 


Legend of Nigger Charley / The Ladies Man / Undercover Brother / Austin Powers in Goldmember


*   *   *   *   *

Barry Michael Cooper  —  Screenwriter for New Jack City, Above the Rim, & Sugar Hill


*   *   *   *   *

 We Gotta Have It

Twenty Years of Seeing Black at the Movies, 1986-2006

By Esther Iverem—Reviewed by Kam Williams

Do Me Twice: My Life after Islam A Memoir by Sonsyrea Tate / Women of a New Tribe By Jerry Taliaferro


*   *   *   *   *

African Underground: Democracy in Dakar is a groundbreaking documentary film about hip-hop youth and politics in Dakar Senegal. The film follows rappers, DJs, journalists, professors and people on the street at the time before during and after the controversial 2007 presidential election in Senegal and examines hip-hop’s role on the political process. Originally shot as a seven part documentary mini-series released via the internet – the documentary bridges the gap between hip-hop activism, video journalism and documentary film and explores the role of youth and musical activism on the political process.

*   *   *   *   *

Selected Film Reviews


African American Lives 2 (Skip Gates PBS Series)

African Films on DVD

The African Studies Film Festival Program at Morgan

Akeelah and the Bee  (Review) ( Marvin X)

Antwone Fisher (Review)  (Kwaku Person-Lynn, Ph.D.)

As An Act of Protest

          Anthology Film Archives

          Best Black Movie   (Kam Williams)

          Dennis Leroy Moore Bio

          Dennis Leroy Moore Interview

           Exposing the Black Man’s Psyche

           Most Daring Film Out Right Now  

           The Pushkin Effect (Rome Canaal)

           Strong Black Atavistic Image


Banished How Whites Drove Blacks Out of Town  (Kam Williams)

Barry Michael Cooper  

Being a Maid (McBride)

Books on African Film

Birth of a Genre

The Birth of a Nation  (Review)

Boys of Baraka (Review) (Kam Williams)

Bringing Down the House  (Review) (Film Critique; Junious Ricardo Stanton)

Color of the Cross  Review (Kam Williams)

Congo White King  (Review) Review 2) (Esther Iverem)

Conversation on Black Film

Daughter from Danang  (Review) The Imperial Camera Lens as Documentary Form (Soo Na)

Deacons for Defense  Review   (Amin Sharif)

Death of a President 

 Review (Kam Williams)

Dreamgirls (Review) (Kam Williams)

Flags of Our Fathers Review (Kam Williams)

Good Looks! Programming  (Amin Sharif)

Gospel of the Game  ( Marvin X)

How the Riots Might Have Turned Out (The Spook Who Sat by the Door)

Hooked: The Legend of Demetrius ‘Hook’  Mitchel (Documentary) (Review)

Hustle and Flow  (Review) (Esther Iverem)

K-Ville Cop TV Show

The Last King of Scotland  (Forest Whitaker Interview)

My Son The Fanatic   (Review) (Marvin X)

The Passion of Christ  Review (John Sankofa)

Maangamizi (the Ancient One) (film review; Marvin X)

Malibu’s Most Wanted  (Review — The Beat Goes On (Junious Ricardo Stanton)

Melvin Van Peebles and his Pals

NYFCO Movie Awards 2006 (Kam Williams)

The Pursuit of Happyness  (Review  Marvin X)

The Right Time: Lesbian and Bisexual Characters in Black Movies (Sarah Warn)

Roots Review (Gerald Forshey)

Sam Greenlee’s Book as Film  (The Spook Who Sat by the Door)

Silence: In Search of Black Female Sexuality in America (Review) (R. Lewis)

SoulMate  Review (Kam Williams)

Talk To Me (Vince Rogers)

Tears of the Sun  (Review)  (Bakari Akil II)     

Top Films of 2005)  (Kam Williams)

Top Films of 2006 (Kam Williams)

The Trouble With Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property (Film Critique; Junious Ricardo Stanton)  

Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family

Unchained Memories (Review) (Amins Sharif)

Unforgivable Blackness The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson (Review) (Amin Sharif)

*   *   *   *   *

Books on African Film

African Film: Re-Imagining a Continent / Symbolic Narratives: African Cinema / African Cinema: Politics and Culture 


Africa Shoots Back: Alternative Perspectives In Sub-Saharan Francophone African Films  / Black African Cinema  


African Cinemas: Decolonizing the Gaze / Questioning African Cinema: Conversations with Filmmakers

*   *   *   *   *

African Films on DVD

Heart of Darkness: The Democratic Republic of the Congo (ABC News Nightline)

Black Girl / Borom Sarret Sugar Cane Alley Kirikou and the Sorceress Lumumba  

Amandla: A Revolution in Four Part Harmony /

 Cry, The Beloved Country   /  The Power of One  / Bopha / Mandela and deKlerk / Cry Freedom  / Hotel Rwanda

/ Sarafina / Yesterday

Tsotsi  / Hyenas Mandabi  / Xala Madame Brouette  / Yeelen / Life on Earth / Karmen Gei 

Guimba The Tyrant / Daresalam  / Abouna

*   *   *   *   *


Divas on Screen

Black Women in American Film

by Mia Mask

Book Review by Kam Williams

*   *   *   *   *

Related files

Birth of a Genre 

Interview with Gore Vidal

Melvin Van Peebles

*   *   *   *   *

Zippety Doo Dah, Zippety-Ay: How Satisfactch’ll Is Education Today? Toward a New Song of the South

Dr. Joyce E. King on Black Education and New Paradigms

*   *   *   *   *


Manning Marable Reinvents Malcolm X

Excerpts of Reviews of Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention

Compiled by Rudolph Lewis

My Mother Was a Maid

Letter to Don By Dr. Joyce E. King

 Film Reviews of The Help (Lewis) / Who or What Does “The Help” Help   / Omar Offendum: Soundtrack of the Revolution (Interview by Julia Pyper )

*   *   *   *   *


Basil Davidson obituary—By Victoria Brittain—9 July 2010—Davidson [(9 November 1914 – 9 July 2010) a British historian, writer and Africanist] was enthused early on by the end of British colonialism and the prospects of pan-Africanism in the 1960s, and he wrote copiously and with warmth about newly independent Ghana and its leader, Kwame Nkrumah. He went to work for a year at the University of Accra in 1964. Later he threw himself into the reporting of the African liberation wars in the Portuguese colonies, particularly in Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau. . . . In the 1980s, with most of the African liberation wars now won—except for South Africa’s— Davidson turned much of his attention to more theoretical questions about the future of the nation state in Africa. He remained a passionate advocate of pan-Africanism. In 1988 he made a long and dangerous journey into Eritrea, writing a persuasive defence of the nationalists’ right to independence from Ethiopia, and an equally eloquent attack on the revolutionary leader Colonel Mengistu and the regime that had overthrown Haile Selassie. Guardian

*  *   *   *   *

Basil Davidson’s  “Africa Series”

 Different But Equal  /  Mastering A Continent  /  Caravans of Gold  / The King and the City / The Bible and The Gun

West Africa Before the Colonial Era: A History to 1850


African Slave Trade: Precolonial History, 1450-1850


John Henrik Clarke—A Great and Mighty Walk

*   *   *   *   *

The Tuskegee Airmen

John Lithgow (Actor), Cuba Jr. Gooding

This true story of the black flyers who broke the color barrier in the U.S. Air Force during World War II is a well-intentioned film highlighted by an excellent cast. Proud, solemn, Iowa-born Laurence Fishburne and city-kid hipster Cuba Gooding Jr. are among the hopefuls who meet en route to Tuskegee Air Force Base, where they are among the recruits for an “experimental” program to “prove” the abilities of the black man in the U.S. armed services. Fighting prejudice from racist officers and government officials and held to a consistently higher level of performance than their white counterparts, these men prove themselves in training and in combat, many of them dying for their country in the process. Andre Braugher costars as a West Point graduate who takes charge of the unit in Africa and in Italy (where it’s christened the 332nd).

The film is rousing, if slow starting and episodic, but it’s periodically grounded by a host of war movie clichés, notably the calculated demise of practically every trainee introduced in the opening scenes (ironic given the 332nd’s real-life combat record–high casualties for the enemy, low casualties among themselves, and no losses among the bombers they escorted). Ultimately the Emmy-nominated performances by moral backbone Fishburne and the dedicated Braugher and the energy and cocky confidence of Gooding give their battles both on and off the battlefield the sweet taste of victory.—Sean Axmaker  / Cuba Gooding, Jr. in Red Tails  / Red Tails in the Sunset

*   *   *   *   *’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

*   *   *   *   *

Aké: The Years of Childhood

By Wole Soyinka

Aké: The Years of Childhood is a memoir of stunning beauty, humor, and perception


a lyrical account of one boy’s attempt to grasp the often irrational and hypocritical world of adults that equally repels and seduces him. Soyinka elevates brief anecdotes into history lessons, conversations into morality plays, memories into awakenings. Various cultures, religions, and languages mingled freely in the Aké of his youth, fostering endless contradictions and personalized hybrids, particularly when it comes to religion. Christian teachings, the wisdom of the ogboni, or ruling elders, and the power of ancestral spirits


who alternately terrify and inspire him


all carried equal metaphysical weight. Surrounded by such a collage, he notes that “God had a habit of either not answering one’s prayers at all, or answering them in a way that was not straightforward.” In writing from a child’s perspective, Soyinka expresses youthful idealism and unfiltered honesty while escaping the adult snares of cynicism and intolerance. His stinging indictment of colonialism takes on added power owing to the elegance of his attack.

*   *   *   *   *


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

*   *   *   *   *

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.

*   *   *   *   * 

Pictures and Progress

Early Photography and the Making of African American Identity

Edited by Maurice O. Wallace and Shawn Michelle Smith

Pictures and Progress explores how, during the nineteenth century and the early twentieth, prominent African American intellectuals and activists understood photography’s power to shape perceptions about race and employed the new medium in their quest for social and political justice. They sought both to counter widely circulating racist imagery and to use self-representation as a means of empowerment. In this collection of essays, scholars from various disciplines consider figures including Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and W. E. B. Du Bois as important and innovative theorists and practitioners of photography. In addition, brief interpretive essays, or “snapshots,” highlight and analyze the work of four early African American photographers. Featuring more than seventy images, Pictures and Progress brings to light the wide-ranging practices of early African American photography, as well as the effects of photography on racialized thinking.

*   *   *   *   *

It’s The Middle Class Stupid!

By James Carville and Stan Greenberg

It’s the Middle Class, Stupid! confirms what we have all suspected: Washington and Wall Street have really screwed things up for the average American. Work has been devalued. Education costs are out of sight. Effort and ambition have never been so scantily rewarded. Political guru James Carville and pollster extraordinaire Stan Greenberg argue that our political parties must admit their failures and the electorate must reclaim its voice, because taking on the wealthy and the privileged is not class warfare—it is a matter of survival. Told in the alternating voices of these two top political strategists, It’s the Middle Class, Stupid! provides eye-opening and provocative arguments on where our government—including the White House—has gone wrong, and what voters can do about it. 

Controversial and outspoken, authoritative and shrewd, It’s the Middle Class, Stupid! is destined to make waves during the 2012 presidential campaign, and will set the agenda for legislative battles and political dust-ups during the next administration.

*   *   *   *   *

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 

*   *   *   *   *


*   *   *   *   *

(Books, DVDs, Music)





update 14 July 2012