ChickenBones: A Journal
for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes
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Your children are not your friends and they are not your peers. They are looking
for how to direct their bodies towards good and expansive ends. In our culture
we had traditions that had parents do just that, not just hand them a credit card
Books by Maulana Karenga
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Karenga Reiterates the Importance of Kwanzaa
By Junious Ricardo Stanton
At his annul message in Philadelphia Maulana Ron Karenga the founder of the Pa-African cultural celebration Kwanzaa told an enthusiastic audience at the William Penn High School in North Philadelphia Kwanzaa calls its celebrants to take on a larger vison of themselves and the world. Appearing at an event sponsored by the local Kwanzaa Cooperative and the Philadelphia area Kawaida Organization which he founded, Maulana Karenga exhorted the listeners to use the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa called the Nguzu Saba to transform their lives and by extension the world.
Anchoring ourselves in the rich ancient and current resources of our own culture, we must extend outward, and be rightfully concerned not only with the well-being and flourishing of our families and community, but also with the well-being and wholeness of the world. As if to remind us of this responsibility, one of the three ways to say human being in Swahili is mlimwengu which literally means world dweller, one who lives in the world. And we know from the Odu Ifa that we are divinely chosen to bring good in this world in which we live, grow and ground ourselves. It is here that the vision and values of Kwanzaa call on us to think and act in such a way that we not only prevent and counter evil and injury to the world, but also create the foundation and framework for its health, well-being and wholeness as a shared and ongoing good. Clearly, this calls for us to embrace principles and engage in practices which support and achieve this aim, and Kwanzaa offers as a clear path to pursue this in the Nguzo Saba, the Seven Principles. For these core values are not simply principles, but also at the same time required practices.
The inter-generational audience was extremely receptive to Karengas message. They responded in the usual call and response manner, whenever Karenga said anything that resonated with them, shouting out teach, tell it, come on, hold that thought or Ashe much to Karengas delight. Departing from his prepared text, Karenga challenged the audience to action, to take charge and restore order in the family, the community and world.
The health of the world is good for us. If the forests are destroyed, f the tropical forests are destroyed, if the ozone is destroyed and the waters are polluted and the ground are poisoned and kind of thing, so we can not think just in terms of a gang problem. We do have a gang problem, but it aint just in the community. The guy that globalizes the world is a bandit and a band of gangsters. Whoever thought that globalism was anything else but white thuggery spread abroad… You cant keep giving an outlaw a pass.
The crowd roared in approval.
Karenga not only s poke on global issues he also hit on problems in our community.
You cant talk about being a strong parent if you let your children to take over your house. One of the saddest things you can see is to see older people bowing and bucking for their children. Okay baby its your turn. How can it be baby turn, baby didnt even know there was a turn? Baby is baby, thats why you call baby baby, baby hasnt got made yet… You have to see yourself as a responsible person. I speak especially to the adults because the children will never grow up if you retrograde back to infancy. Your children are not your friends and they are not your peers. They are looking for how to direct their bodies towards good and expansive ends. In our culture we had traditions that had parents do just that, not just hand them a credit card or become an ATM machine to sell for them. Teach them to speak truth, do justice, to honor their elders and their ancestors, cherish intelligence and their children.
Karenga tied his message about Kwanzaa and the Nguzo Saba to the need to take on a global view of life and commit oneself to do good and bring about a transformation of the world.
It is this unbending belief in the good undergirded by the work and struggle that gives it life and lifts us up that makes us have faith that Darfur, Haiti and all oppressed people will eventually be free, that the victims of Katrina will rise above the ruins around them and rebuild, that justice will actually be for everyone, that we can find and follow a way to a worthy peace in the world, that the critical needs of health care, housing and hunger will be honestly confronted and met, and that we can together conceive a way to a new world, begin to walk towards it, work tirelessly for it, and eventually achieve and enjoy it together. If we practiced just some of these principles just some of the time what a wonderful transformation we could bring about in the world.
The atmosphere in the school was warm and festive. An African Marketplace was set up in the hallway which offered educational and culturally oriented items. The program also featured performances showcasing positive organizations making a major impact on young people. Karengas lecture was preceded by performances by the Say Yes To Education Freedom Steppers and the Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble.
A video of the program was made for information about securing a copy call (215) 769-7324
posted 31 December 2007
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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 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.
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By Derrick Bell
In nine grim metaphorical sketches, Bell, the black former Harvard law professor who made headlines recently for his one-man protest against the school’s hiring policies, hammers home his controversial theme that white racism is a permanent, indestructible component of our society. Bell’s fantasies are often dire and apocalyptic: a new Atlantis rises from the ocean depths, sparking a mass emigration of blacks; white resistance to affirmative action softens following an explosion that kills Harvard’s president and all of the school’s black professors; intergalactic space invaders promise the U.S. President that they will clean up the environment and deliver tons of gold, but in exchange, the bartering aliens take all African Americans back to their planet. Other pieces deal with black-white romance, a taxi ride through Harlem and job discrimination.
Civil rights lawyer Geneva Crenshaw, the heroine of Bell’s And We Are Not Saved (1987), is back in some of these ominous allegories, which speak from the depths of anger and despair. Bell now teaches at New York University Law School.Publishers Weekly
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By Peter Edelman
If the nations gross national incomeover $14 trillionwere divided evenly across the entire U.S. population, every household could call itself middle class. Yet the income-level disparity in this country is now wider than at any point since the Great Depression. In 2010 the average salary for CEOs on the S&P 500 was over $1 millionclimbing to over $11 million when all forms of compensation are accounted forwhile the current median household income for African Americans is just over $32,000. How can some be so rich, while others are so poor? In this provocative book, Peter Edelman, a former top aide to Senator Robert F. Kennedy and a lifelong antipoverty advocate, offers an informed analysis of how this country can be so wealthy yet have a steadily growing number of unemployed and working poor. According to Edelman, we have taken important positive steps without which 25 to 30 million more people would be poor, but poverty fluctuates with the business cycle.
The structure of todays economy has stultified wage growth for half of Americas workerswith even worse results at the bottom and for people of colorwhile bestowing billions on those at the top. So Rich, So Poor delves into what is happening to the people behind the statistics and takes a particular look at the continuing crisis of young people of color, whose possibility of a productive life too often is lost on their way to adulthood.
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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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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 incarcerationbut her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.Publishers Weekly
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By Irshad Manji
In Allah, Liberty and Love, Irshad Manji paves a path for Muslims and non-Muslims to transcend the fears that stop so many of us from living with honest-to-God integrity: the fear of offending others in a multicultural world as well as the fear of questioning our own communities. Since publishing her international bestseller, The Trouble with Islam Today, Manji has moved from anger to aspiration. She shows how any of us can reconcile faith with freedom and thus discover the Allah of liberty and lovethe universal God that loves us enough to give us choices and the capacity to make them. Among the most visible Muslim reformers of our era, Manji draws on her experience in the trenches to share stories that are deeply poignant, frequently funny and always revealing about these morally confused times.
What prevents young Muslims, even in the West, from expressing their need for religious reinterpretation? What scares non-Muslims about openly supporting liberal voices within Islam? How did we get into the mess of tolerating intolerable customs, such as honor killings, and how do we change that noxious status quo?
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By James Carville and Stan Greenberg
Its 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 warfareit is a matter of survival. Told in the alternating voices of these two top political strategists, Its the Middle Class, Stupid! provides eye-opening and provocative arguments on where our governmentincluding the White Househas gone wrong, and what voters can do about it.
Controversial and outspoken, authoritative and shrewd, Its 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.
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From The World and Africa, 1965
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update 14 July 2012