ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



We as members of Kuntu Writers Workshop have been used to a

high standard of excellence and creativity, the spirit of Afrika and

the knowledge of our place in history and literature



Kuntu Writers Workshop 

will resume on

Saturday, May 3, 2003 12 NOON – 3:00PM

A Report by Frances Lee Wilson

Spokesperson, Project Director, Newspaper Editor


Greetings to Everyone,

The University of Pittsburgh, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Africana Studies, Dr. Joseph Adjaye, Ph. D. Chair, Mrs. Timamu Betty Penny and I take this moment to express there be the full continuation of the Historic Kuntu Writers Workshop and  it will be under the direction of Frances Lee Wilson with the advisory support of several members. These matters may be discussed at future meetings. Timamu Betty Penny wishes to relate that she is proud and thankful for your commitments and furtherance of her husband, Rob Penny’s legacy, his work and efforts in placing our history and heritage first in the way of achievement and knowledge, his love of reading, writing, telling the story for all generations to hear and bringing the heart of Afrika into our daily lives with rejoicing, involvement and traditions of family, work and village collective spirit.

Please, note the Memorial Funds through the Pittsburgh Foundation and The University of Pittsburgh, that are in place in honor of the Phenomenal Rob Penny and please spread the powerful words of contribution and support for these treasured causes along with the respectful pride that we have had in the cherished privilege of being a vital and valued part of a legendary tradition, set in place and faithfully committed to by Rob Penny for over 27 years. 

As we go forth in his vision, we have the gift of knowing his goals and desires and they will always be first. He had continually expressed the ‘Collective’ way of collaboration, structure and unity. In the present and future gatherings may the peace, humility and shared striving for the Beauty of Blackness and the Telling of Our Stories be infused with the spirit of our mission. 

We as members of Kuntu Writers Workshop have been used to a high standard of excellence and creativity, the spirit of Afrika and the knowledge of our place in history and literature, as we maintain these values we have to also maintain our giving of time, wisdom, energy and resources to ensure the smooth flow of Rob Penny’s and August Wilson’s legacy and historic institution. There will be many new projects and programs implemented in the ongoing development of Kuntu Writers making their distinct and indelible mark in the various cultural and literary venues.

Kuntu Writers Workshop will resume on

Saturday, May 3, 2003 12 NOON – 3:00PM


Kuntu Writers Workshop Mission Statement

1. To bring writers together for meaningful discussion.

2. To assist writers in getting published and or produced.

3. To be a presenting organization.

Kuntu Writers Workshop Vision

To develop and celebrate Black writers and enhance cultural enrichment in the global community.

Kuntu Writers Workshop

Department of Africana Studies

3T01 Wesley Posvar Hall 230 S. Bouquet St

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260

412 648.7540

Frances Lee Wilson

Kuntu Writers Workshop Director, Spokesperson, Newsletter Editor  

To ensure the continuation of the values and ideals that Rob Penny dedicated his life to, his family and the Department of Africana Studies at the University of Pittsburgh have established two funds in his memory: The Rob Penny Memorial Student Assistance Fund is intended to provide educational assistance to undergraduate students majoring in Africana Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. The Rob Penny Memorial African Cultured Fund will provide awards to school children in designated Pittsburgh Public Schools and community Artist. All donations should be sent to the following

The Rob Penny Memorial Student Assistance Fund

CAS Developmnt Office

University of Pittsburgh

926 Cathedral of Learning

Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Attention: Mr. James Sismour

The Rob Penny Memorial African Centered Cultural Fund

The Pittsburgh Foundation

One PPG Place

30th Floor

Pittsburgh, Pa 15222

Rob Penny Memorial Booklet $15.00

All proceeds from the booklet will benefit the Memorial Funds. Please make checks and Money Orders out to the fund(s) you choose with the total number of booklets you desire.

Send to: The Department of Africana Studies 3T01 WWPH 230 S. Bouquet St University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Please send the word for support and contribution to everyone. Family, Friends, Organizations -Social, Cultural, Literary and Professional.   

The rich history and mission of KWW, has not been duplicated elsewhere in the region, is too important to set aside. The work of this transition requires the energy and teamwork of committed members. These facts though not new are essential. I look forward to the cooperative spirit, the enlightening discussions, the rivers of words  to be presented for workshopping and readings and literary excellence in appreciation of themagnificent and loving remembrance of the Phenomenal Rob Penny’s nurturing embrace to guide our efforts, goals, decisions and growth.

As we together in harmony make the transitions of change we will still keep the focus on writing for eternity with consciousness, community involvement, group dynamics and developing literary crafts to the point of being presented, produced and published.

May you all have the full embrace of peacefulness and passion within your daily lives and the spirit of the Beauty of Rob Penny in pursuing your vision and creating your art of words …

In Poetics and PlaysFrances Lee Wilson Director, Newsletter Editor Kuntu Writers Workshop Robert Lee Penny and August Wilson, Founders 1976 Rob Penny, Coordinator 1976-2003 [In Memoriam] ‘Telling Our Stories as We Write for Eternity!’

*   *   *   *   *’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

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The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

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 incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

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The Gardens of Democracy: A New American Story

of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government

By Eric Liu and Nick Hanaper

American democracy is informed by the 18th century’s most cutting edge thinking on society, economics, and government. We’ve learned some things in the intervening 230 years about self interest, social behaviors, and how the world works. Now, authors Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer argue that some fundamental assumptions about citizenship, society, economics, and government need updating. For many years the dominant metaphor for understanding markets and government has been the machine. Liu and Hanauer view democracy not as a machine, but as a garden. A successful garden functions according to the inexorable tendencies of nature, but it also requires goals, regular tending, and an understanding of connected ecosystems. The latest ideas from science, social science, and economics—the cutting-edge ideas of today—generate these simple but revolutionary ideas: The economy is not an efficient machine.

It’s an effective garden that need tending. Freedom is responsibility. Government should be about the big what and the little how. True self interest is mutual interest. We’re all better off when we’re all better off. The model of citizenship depends on contagious behavior, hence positive behavior begets positive behavior.

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Predator Nation

Corporate Criminals, Political Corruption, and the Hijacking of America

By Charles H. Ferguson

If you’re smart and a hard worker, but your parents aren’t rich, you’re 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 crimes—there is no other word—committed 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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Greenback Planet: How the Dollar Conquered

the World and Threatened Civilization as We Know It

By H. W. Brands

In Greenback Planet, acclaimed historian H. W. Brands charts the dollar’s astonishing rise to become the world’s principal currency. Telling the story with the verve of a novelist, he recounts key episodes in U.S. monetary history, from the Civil War debate over fiat money (greenbacks) to the recent worldwide financial crisis. Brands explores the dollar’s changing relations to gold and silver and to other currencies and cogently explains how America’s economic might made the dollar the fundamental standard of value in world finance. He vividly describes the 1869 Black Friday attempt to corner the gold market, banker J. P. Morgan’s bailout of the U.S. treasury, the creation of the Federal Reserve, and President Franklin Roosevelt’s handling of the bank panic of 1933.

Brands shows how lessons learned (and not learned) in the Great Depression have influenced subsequent U.S. monetary policy, and how the dollar’s dominance helped transform economies in countries ranging from Germany and Japan after World War II to Russia and China today.

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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)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


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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

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

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update 9 July 2012




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Related files: Brentin Mock Remembrance  Peter Hart Remembrance  Kuntu Writers Workshop  Frances Wilson Remembrance