ChickenBones: A Journal
for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes
My Arab Muslim father spoke out against the building of Lake Nuba
and the enslavement of Dinka children by Arab Northerners in Sudan.
Books by Kola Boof
Nile River Woman (Poems, Feb. 10, 2004) / Long Train to the Redeeming Sin-Stories About African Women (April 6, 2004)
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Boof Speaks on Israeli Radio
An Untoned-Down Commentary on Sudan
By Kola Boof
Background: For many, many years, the radical Islamic government of Sudan has waged, what President George Bush called, “a brutal and shameful” war against its Christian and animist citizens in southern Sudan to force them to convert to Islam. Negotiations in 2002 in Machakos, Kenya, produced an agreement between the government and the South’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), but the war continues. Meantimes, over two million people have died, and another four million have been displaced.Nafisa Goma
My dearest ones in Israel, the devil has been very busy. For no matter who risks life and limb to tell the truth about the evil injustices carried out by the Arab Muslim governments of North Africa and by the mullahs that advise these governments, the media in America has responded with a hideous prejudice against Jews, against black African Sudanese, and against any fair-thinking person who dares despise the Arab imperialism that is not only destroying the Middle East, but now threatens to destroy authentic African culture of the Nile River more than it already has.
It does not matter
that I speak as the daughter of an Arab Egyptian father, a woman born Islamic in Omdurman, Sudan, or that I am an accomplished African woman writer, obviously of some intelligence.
It does not matter
that my parents were murdered in my presence, because my Arab Muslim father spoke out against the building of Lake Nuba and the enslavement of Dinka children by Arab Northerners in Sudan.
It does not matter
that I have witnessed Muslim women rolled up in carpets and set on fire, because they failed to produce male children.
It does not matter
that I speak, most regrettably, as the former mistress of two of the Arab world’s most powerful men, Hasan al Turabi and Osama Bin Laden, or that I have been a paid hostess at the parties of President Hosni Mubarak and Moamar Khadafi, or that I provided proof of this before I was profiled by Fox News, and therefore, have knowledge of their true faces.
Anyone who speaks the truth in America about the evils of the Arab world is ignored, shunned and accused of supporting the so-called Jewish desecration of the Arab birthright.
Of course, we all remember that the Black Plague was blamed on Jewish people, even in nations where there were no Jews living, and this today, is the similar anti-semitic blame game, but for being a black African woman who has said so in America, I have been written off as “crazy”, “emotional”, “a whore” and “a hoax”.
I don’t deny that I’m a controversial, provocative public figure. I reject all man-made religions, be it Christianity, Islam, the Jewish faith, Buddhism or any worship that was created by men. I am a womanist and an African mother. I bare my breasts in the river once a month and I believe in the womb.
I have not lied about the atrocities of the Arab world. I have not lied about the cruel evils of Islam against African people and those who refuse to join it. I have told these truths, not because I hate any race or religion of man, but because I believe that it’s wrong for human beings to take part in any cult of hate, any orgasm of violence against other humans.
According to my Sudanese Zarpunni (the women’s neighborhood) and all the black women before me, the Palestinians have sterilized black women since the 1950’s.
It is well known by African women that our wombs are loathed in Arab nations, because it is our wombs that produce the authentic black man. Our tongue bequeaths him his heritage and identity.
Who on this planet will deny me this truth?
In America, I have been greatly criticized by my black American brothers and sisters for supporting Israel instead of Palestine, but as a black woman and a mother of black children, how can I support the colorstruck machinations of the Palestinians?
Unfortunately, the Americans have truly mistaken me for a witch, because the Arabs have money to get their message out and I have only my books and no money,
and even then
the media portrays me as an extremist and a supporter of Bush and the Conservative Republicans, which is an unmitigated lie. I am as liberal and as Democratic as any American black, but I also know the truth about Arab Muslim societies and about the culture that creates terrorism.
The Black Americans have no knowledge of the true history that has existed more than a thousand years between the Arab Muslim invaders and the authentic African people. The powerful light skinned Black American even looks more like the dark skinned Arab than like the authentic charcoal African, so they are often weak to the propaganda of false Islamic organizations in America.
Organizations that spread the lie that Islam is an African religion and that the Arab man is our brother, the Israeli our enemy because of whiteness. They feel no bond with Israel.
But for the sake of my own nation, the Sudan, I am committed to changing that. I feel very strongly that Israel and New Sudan should form an alliance against the Arab world.
Obviously, I am in disagreement with my beloved hero, Dr. John Garang, but I truly believe that the peace talks in Machakos
will produce nothing
but dust, riches for the sellouts, and eventually, more Arab Muslim racism, more exploitation of blacks by the Oil companies, more black slaves for the kitchens of Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, Iraq, Libya and Saudi Arabia.
Because I am a woman and because the men love money more than they love justice, I am given a kiss on the hand and not taken seriously. I am even denied my place of honor in the organization’s struggle to free Sudan. My black brothers of Sudan are very sexist and have called me Queen, but then expected the Queen to lay on her back and be a mere follower. In time, of course, they will regret this, because I am a very intelligent, impassioned person. I say now to anyone that will listen,
– and I don’t say it for tired old men, I say it for future generations –
that the Arab Muslim government in Sudan must be overthrown. There is no other way.
It is impossible to have true peace and solidarity with the people who have called you “abeed” for a thousand years, stolen and sold your children into slavery, raped your mothers and killed your fathers, over taxed you, stolen your land from you and subjected you to racial profiling.
It is not in the hearts of the blacks to go on being ruled and humiliated by the Arabs.
And because my people have named me “Queen Kola”, and because I have not yet lived up to that title, I feel that I must denounce the money offered in the Kenya peace talks and instead uphold the wishes of the people’s hearts:
that we be liberated at last from racial, religious and economic dehumanization and oppression.
It’s no secret that the freedom fighters of Southern Sudan have received guns and ammunition from Israel. Truly, your loyalty to the Goddess Sudan has been flawless, and I submit, sincerely, that I love you for loving my people. I stand by Israel, not only because Israel has stood by me, but because the Palestinians have defiled me.
I truly pray that someday, there will be peace, love and brotherhood between all mankind. The Arab, the African, the European, the Jew, the Asian and all others, I pray, will someday stand as one, but at this moment in time I am very sad to report that the Arab world is not our friend, and that we must recognize this or perish. I submit that both Israel and New Sudan must stop at nothing to prevail against the evil forces that choke them with malice and threaten their very existence. For if the Arabs were to lay down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. But if we of Israel and Sudan were to lay down our weapons today, we would be dead, and the whole world would be witness to yet another genocide.
War is hell, my beloveds. But so is love. And sometimes, kicking a man’s ass is the only love he will accept.
Let us stand against the Arab world, as David slew Goliath. This is not what we wanted, it’s what they wanted. And our children deserve our protection.
In the words of the ancient Nubians,” ‘So let it be written, so let it be done’.
Tima usrah! (through fire comes the family)
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Sudanese American author Kola Boof gave the following speech on Israeli radio in Tel Aviv, Sunday March 28th. Ms. Boof’s powerful message was broadcast throughout the entire nation of Israel. The speech is reprinted this week in several Jewish American and Jewish European newspapers.Nafisa Goma
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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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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
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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.
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By Gil Scott Heron
Shortly after we republished The Vulture and The Nigger Factory, Gil started to tell me about The Last Holiday, an account he was writing of a multi-city tour that he ended up doing with Stevie Wonder in late 1980 and early 1981. Originally Bob Marley was meant to be playing the tour that Stevie Wonder had conceived as a way of trying to force legislation to make Martin Luther King’s birthday a national holiday. At the time, Marley was dying of cancer, so Gil was asked to do the first six dates. He ended up doing all 41. And Dr King’s birthday ended up becoming a national holiday (“The Last Holiday because America can’t afford to have another national holiday”), but Gil always felt that Stevie never got the recognition he deserved and that his story needed to be told. The first chapters of this book were given to me in New York when Gil was living in the Chelsea Hotel.
Among the pages was a chapter called Deadline that recounts the night they played Oakland, California, 8 December; it was also the night that John Lennon was murdered. Gil uses Lennon’s violent end as a brilliant parallel to Dr King’s assassination and as a biting commentary on the constraints that sometimes lead to newspapers getting things wrong.Jamie Byng, Guardian
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Corporate Criminals, Political Corruption, and the Hijacking of America
If youre smart and a hard worker, but your parents arent rich, youre now better off being born in Munich, Germany or in Singapore than in Cleveland, Ohio or New York. This radical shift did not happen by accident. Ferguson shows how, since the Reagan administration in the 1980s, both major political parties have become captives of the moneyed elite. It was the Clinton administration that dismantled the regulatory controls that protected the average citizen from avaricious financiers. It was the Bush team that destroyed the federal revenue base with its grotesquely skewed tax cuts for the rich. And it is the Obama White House that has allowed financial criminals to continue to operate unchecked, even after supposed reforms installed after the collapse of 2008. Predator Nation reveals how once-revered figures like Alan Greenspan and Larry Summers became mere courtiers to the elite.
Based on many newly released court filings, it details the extent of the crimesthere is no other wordcommitted in the frenzied chase for wealth that caused the financial crisis. And, finally, it lays out a plan of action for how we might take back our country and the American dream.Read Chapter 1
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A Novel by Jesmyn Ward
On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family thats about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrinas inexorable winds is the voice of Wards narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her familys raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brothers blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt. Her fathers hands are like gravel, while her own hand slides through his grip like a wet fish, and a handsome boys muscles jabbered like chickens. Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isnt usually just metaphor for metaphors sake.
She conveys something fundamental about Eschs fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, whats salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.
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From The World and Africa, 1965
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update 9 July 2012