ChickenBones: A Journal
for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes
“Crunk” is the old Grandmama who put your Mama through
college by sellin’ liquor on Sundays, but now her Daughter
lives on Cape Cod and don’t visit. “Crunk” is the Daddy who
shot pool to pay the rent after he quit his supervisor job
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Kings of Crunk
By Vince Rogers
The phenomenon of getting Crunk is currently a worldwide phenomenon. It is being transferred around the world via “Crunk” music. The whole world is Walkin it out, Leanin wit it and Rockin wit it, inspired by our A-Town flavor. In the eyes of the world, Hotlanta is on fire right now.
The reality though, is that all significant roads of our journey in this nation, started in Georgia and have all passed through Atlanta. From Slavery’s first port stops in Savannah, to the inspirational images of affluent Blacks rollin’ in Southernplayalistic Cadillacs down “Sweet” Auburn Avenue, no other place in Black America is more important. I believe the next great leader or significant movement in our journey will have its roots here in Atlanta also. So lets get it Crunk.
Crunk is much more than music though, and the A has always and forever been “Crunk”. Hank Aaron got “Crunk” when he cranked out 715 to surpass the New York “Babe” and batted in our Black pride. Then there was the Kingno not Elvis, but the original “King of the South” who would crank up the bells that let freedom ring for Black people from Valdosta, GA to Vallejo, CA. Spike Lee first cranked out his vision of filmmaking in the “SWAT” and redefined how the world would see us for years to come. Hosea Williams got “Crunk”, even when he was drunk and spent his whole life “Unbought and Unbossed in the Dirty South.”
Northern Niggas laugh when they see Lil Jon, Lil Scrappy and Pastor Troy jump around and act like clowns. They dont realize thats the same spirit that made us fight for their rights. We made it possible for Black Manhattanites to crank up their Bentleys and ball out to Bach. The reason “Niggas” can wear colors in “Cali” is ‘cus we fought for their rights on Peachtree Street and in back alleys. They tried to take the “Crunk” out to the “Westside” but found out it wasn’t necessarily the best side. They just ended up turning it into some gangster shit.
When people hear the “Crunk”just like the Rock and Roll, Jazz and Blues the South gave to the worldthey can feel it deep inside. They like to pretend they don’t though, because they went to college. We know they feel it though, because “Crunk” is whats deep inside the Black Manat least the ones who love themselves and don’t give a fuck what nobody else thinks about them. No matter how many acts, bills, and laws are passed to protect our civil rights, down here we know a man isnt really a man unless he has something hes willing to get Crunk for.
“Crunk” is the old Grandmama who put your Mama through college by sellin’ liquor on Sundays, but now her Daughter lives on Cape Cod and don’t visit. “Crunk” is the Daddy who shot pool to pay the rent after he quit his supervisor job. He quit ‘cus some “Boss” wanted him to tell who was stealin’ on the job and it was a Black woman stealin’ powdered milk for her babies. “Crunk” is a man who never bothered to get a driver’s license, but made a livin’ takin’ ladies wit’ no car home from the grocery store. Crunk is how we got over.
“Crunk” is Nat Turner. “Crunk” ain’t Condoleeza. “Crunk” is Denmark Vesey. “Crunk” is not Colin Powell. Funny enough Crunk is Alton Maddox, but maybe not Vernon Jordan. Crunk is James Brown. The Dirty South is where he learned what made him feel like he could say loud that he was Black and proud.
You say “Crunk” is stupid and youre ashamed of it, but getting “Crunk” is the only reason we won our freedom. “The only reason “Niggas” can wear Brooks Brother’s suits up North is because we got “Crunk” down South in our cotton t-shirts. Yep, in our white tees .Okay!!!!????
WE RAISE HELL, WE TALK SHIT, WE DO THE DAMN THANG, WE ARE REBELS!!!!
We are the descendants of “Niggas” who made their own liquor and grew their own food. Our Uncles carried switchblades in their boots for late night run-ins wit’ “Good Ole Boys and a deck of cards in their back pocket to pay for their niece’s piano lessons. Our Aunties fried chicken for weary civil rights workers and gave them a place to rest their battered heads.
We ride with no tags on our cars and carry no driver’s license. We sat at segregated lunch countersfor you. We smoke weed in broad daylight on the front porch and sell hot TVs out of jellybean colored cars with bling spinnin wheels. We spent the night in Birmingham jails for you.
When the going got rough we fought the good fight and stayed put down South. We made it possible to run away and live up North ‘cus we ain’t scared to run our mouth.
This red Georgia clay still runs red with the ancestors blood and African spirits. They continue to call out to you wherever you are if you open your soul to hear it.
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* The word crunk is supposedly a combination of crazy and drunk. True to its name, crunk utilizes a chaotic interpolation of club-oriented beats and a high-energy chorus. http://rap.about.com/od/genresstyles/p/Crunk
** Crunk is a type of hip hop music, classified as a subdivision of Memphis Rap and Dirty South. . . .
*** Some of the Dirty South music is characterized by its bouncy, club-friendly beats and lyrics generally concerning flashy jewelry, luxury automobiles, women, and occasionally gangster lyrics. An offshoot of Dirty South music is Crunk, featuring beats with loud, pounding bass. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crunk
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Vince Rogers was raised in Atlanta’s Bowen Homes housing projects and went on to attend Morehouse College as an academic scholar. Although he is a widely published writer of essays, poetry, short fiction, and scholarly papers, he is most proud of being Editor of his high school newspaper, the Frederick Douglass North Star.
His works were among the Official Inaugural Selections of “I’ve Known Rivers” The Museum of the African Diaspora Story Project: Reproduction of the New Breed Leaders & Black Mecca for the Sold Brother. He was the TimBookTu Featured Writer for December of 2006. His scholarly paper The Evolution of Shawntae Harris was presented at the Hip Hop’s Defiant Divas Conference at Vanderbilt University.
He contributes to Clean Sheets Magazine; TimBookTu; Taj Mahal Review: An International Journal; Chicken Bones: A Journal; Thereby Hangs a Tale; Catalyst Magazine; Southern Screen Report; Pulp Magazine; Nghosi Books Anthology: Longing Lust and Love ; 3 Lights Gallery (UK) The Launch Exhibition; Black Arts Quarterly (Stanford University).
posted 30 June 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
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#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 Jan Crawford Greenburg
With its closed chambers and formal language, the Supreme Court tends to deflect drama away from its vastly powerful proceedings. But its mysteries hold plenty of intrigue for anyone with the access to uncover them. In Supreme Conflict, Jan Crawford Greenburg has that access, and then some. With high-placed sourcing that would make Bob Woodward proud, she tells the story of the Court’s recent decades and of the often-thwarted attempts by three conservative presidents to remake the Court in their image. Among the revelations are the surprising influence of the most-maligned justice, Clarence Thomas, and the political impact of personal relations among these nine very human colleagues-for-life. Written for everyday readers rather than legal scholars, her account sidesteps theoretical subtleties for a compelling story of the personalities who breathe life into our laws.Tom Nissley
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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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Edited by Jonathan Birnbaum and Clarence Taylor
Contrary to simple textbook tales, the civil rights movement did not arise spontaneously in 1954 with the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. The black struggle for civil rights can be traced back to the arrival of the first Africans, and to their work in the plantations, manufacturies, and homes of the Americas. Civil rights was thus born as labor history.
Civil Rights Since 1787 tells the story of that struggle in its full context, dividing the struggle into six major periods, from slavery to Reconstruction, from segregation to the Second Reconstruction, and from the current backlash to the future prospects for a Third Reconstruction. The “prize” that the movement has sought has often been reduced to a quest for the vote in the South. But all involved in the struggle have always known that the prize is much more than the vote, that the goal is economic as well as political. Further, in distinction from other work, Civil Rights Since 1787 establishes the links between racial repression and the repression of labor and the left, and emphasizes the North as a region of civil rights struggle.
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From The World and Africa, 1965
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update 10 July 2012