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Fiction by Norwegian Women

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Poem Raise Your Head and Try Again Featured in Blackberry: A Magazine

My poem, Raise Your Head and Try Again, about the historical amnesia of Europe and the United States when it comes to their involvement in fermenting and benefiting from the crisis in The Democratic Republic of the Congo, has recently been featured on Blackberry: A Magazine's website.  Here is the link. Do share!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

BIRMINGHAM SUNDAY by Langston Hughes

BIRMINGHAM SUNDAY by Langston Hughes

Four little girls
Who went to Sunday School that day
And never came back home at all--
     But left instead
     Their blood upon the wall
     With spattered flesh
     And bloodied Sunday dresses
     Scorched by dynamite that
     China made eons ago
     Did not know what China made
     Before China was ever Red at all
     Would ever redden with their blood
     This Birmingham-on-Sunday wall.
Four tiny little girls
Who left their blood upon that wall,
In little graves today await:
     The dynamite that might ignite
     The ancient fuse of Dragon Kings
     Whose tomorrow sings a hymn
     The missionaries never taught
     In Christian Sunday School
     To implement the Golden Rule.
Four little girls
Might be awakened someday soon
By songs upon the breeze
     As yet unfelt among
     Magnolia trees.


Birmingham Sunday By Joan Baez; Remembering Our Girls

Joan Baez has forever been one of my role models of a socially and politically engaged artist.  She has been front and center in campaigns for human rights. Here is a link to Joan singing Richard Farina’s song Birmingham Sunday;  a song in commemoration of the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, September 15, 1963

Friday, September 6, 2013

James McBride Will Discuss His New Book -The Good Lord Bird-At the Philadelphia Free Library

Writer James McBride
Abolitionist John Brown

“I was born a colored man and don’t you forget it. But I lived as a colored woman for seventeen years.” These are the words of “Onion” Shackleford, JAMES MCBRIDE’s latest protagonist, looking back on his years running with the ardent and often violent abolitionist John Brown and his ragged ‘freed’ slaves in the Kansas Territory in the late 1850s. Brown’s failed 1859 raid on the federal armory at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia) is imprinted in history books, with no former slaves as survivors. But McBride uses the kidnapped Shackelford, disguised as a girl, as a fictitious lens to look back at our country’s ugly and rich history. McBride returned to Radio Times to discuss his new novel, “The Good Lord Bird.” -
Listen here:

James McBride | The Good Lord Bird  (A
When: Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 7:30PM 
Where: Central Library
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(between 19th and 20th Streets on the Parkway)

Cost: FREE
No tickets required. For Info: 215-567-4341. 

James McBride is the author of the New York Timesbestselling memoir and 2004 One Book, One Philadelphiaselection, The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother, in which “race and religion are transcended by family love” (New York Times Book Review). His novels include Miracle at St. Anna—which he adapted for Spike Lee’s film—and Song Yet Sung, a tragic and triumphant tale of a slave revolt in Maryland during the tense days before the Civil War. McBride is an award-winning composer and screenwriter and a former staff writer forThe Boston GlobePeople, and The Washington Post. InThe Good Lord Bird, a young boy born into slavery joins abolitionist John Brown’s crusade, concealing his identity and gender to survive.
James McBride will be joined onstage by his band for the "John Brown Good God, Good Lord, Good Riddance Gospel Tour."
* Source- Free Library of Philadelphia 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Are My Hands Clean? - A Thought for Labor Day!

Are My Hands Clean?

Performed by Sweet Honey in the Rock. Sweet Honey in the Rock, Live at Carnegie Hall
Here is the link:

Lyrics and music by Bernice Johnson Reagon. Songtalk Publishing Co. 1985

I wear garments touched by hands from all over the world
35% cotton, 65% polyester,the journey begins in Central America
In the cotton fields of El Salvador
In a province soaked in blood,
Pesticide-sprayed workers toil in a broiling sun
Pulling cotton for two dollars a day.
Then we move on up to another rung—Cargill
A top-forty trading conglomerate,takes the cotton through the Panama Canal
Up the Eastern seaboard, coming to the US of A for the first time
In South Carolina
At the Burlington mills
Joins a shipment of polyester filament courtesy of the New Jersey petro-chemical mills of
Dupont strands of filament begin in the South American country of Venezuela Where oil
riggers bring up oil from the earth for six dollars a day
Then Exxon, largest oil company in the world,
Upgrades the product in the country of Trinidad and Tobago
Then back into the Caribbean and Atlantic Seas
To the factories of Dupont
On the way to the Burlington mills
In South Carolina
To meet the cotton from the blood-soaked fields of El Salvador
In South Carolina
Burlington factories hum with the business of weaving oil and cotton into miles of fabric
for Sears
Who takes this bounty back into the Caribbean Sea
Headed for Haiti this time—May she be one day soon free—
Far from the Port-au-Prince palace
Third world women toil doing piece work to Sears specifications
For three dollars a day my sisters make my blouse
It leaves the third world for the last time
Coming back into the sea to be sealed in plastic for me
This third world sister
And I go to the Sears department store where I buy my blouse
On sale for 20% discount

Are my hands clean?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

SEAMUS HEANEY ( 1939-2013)

BY SEAMUS HEANEY ( 1939-2013)

Here is an audio link of Heaney reading this poem; one of my favorites.