Maxims

Premise:  Books Are Weapons recognizes the revolutionary effect literacy can have on reclaiming our independence from the confines of mediocrity. Literacy enables the self-determination necessary to enjoying the basic human rights. Literacy, bring a tool for coming to terms with one’s otherness, effects a change of consciousness more significantly than any other stimulant to the mind. [...]

Paul Robeson’s thoughts on the Morris Jumel Mansion.

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“I am an American. From my window I gaze out upon a scene that reminds me how deep-going are the roots of my people in this land. Across the street, carefully preserved as an historic site, is a colonial mansion that served as a headquarters for General George Washington in 1776, during desperate and losing [...]

“I Am Mad About Nigerian Literature …”

“I am mad about Nigerian literature”…says Kurt Thometz, American who sells Nigerian books in New York. By HENRY AKUBUIRO (ifeanyi_mcdaniels@yahoo.com) Lagos Sun, Sunday, February 19, 2006 The world is indebted to Harlem in New York, USA, for its contribution to world literature and art. The Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s was an epoch in American history [...]

On Collecting

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Style reveals the man. The building of a library is an act of style, an expression of what we are and a good measure of who we are. Collecting is an act of self-realization. One collects books and builds a library to create an intensified environment. It is a philosophical statement as this room is [...]

On Bibliophiles

Bibliophile_th_Marilyn Reading

Reading, the unpunished vice, promises, as most vices do, a finer world within the world. Beyond the narrow realm of our senses is the greater reality retained in and contained by that cumbersome and collectable commodity, the book. While all book collectors consider themselves bibliophiles, most bibliophiles perceive collecting as the precious sport of a [...]

Chet Baker

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Deep in a Dream   By James Gavin As Though I Had Wings   By Chet Baker   At 3 a.m. on May 13, 1988, Chet Baker nodded out, threw himself out, or was thrown out of, a hotel room window in Amsterdam, quite as if he had wings. Long ago and far away, I dreamed a [...]

Pimpnology

Coney Island Pimpnology 1994

Pimpnology: Regarding Players, Hoes, Johns & The Life Capitalism 101:  Urban anthropologists Christina and Richard Milner’s keen street ecology, Black Players: The Secret World of Black Pimps (Little, Brown and Co., 1972), laid out the game as played by what, in the early 70s, was commonly referred to as the System.  In the System, “Each [...]

On the Origin & Importance of Small & Fugitive Pieces

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The Black World Today Harlem, New York I’ve recently read, with great interest, that the African American Literature section of the Borders Books store at the Stonecrest mall in Lithonia, Ga, is suffering a pestilence of “pornography for black women.” The earnest author, most recently of A Love Story, Nick Chiles reports to the New [...]

Chinua Achebe

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KURT THOMETZ NEW YORK CITY Things Falling Together On Saturday, May 4, the great Nigerian author Chinua Achebe (Things Fall Apart, A Man of the People, Anthills of the Savannah) spoke at NYU’s Vanderbilt Hall. It was an elegant venue for the man who is arguably the greatest literary stylist of the second half of [...]