Afro-lunacy in bloom

AFRO-SURREAL: Fragments from the files of Dr. Snakeskin



"Ticket to Heaven," the last of the series of Our Gang comedies, was produced by Oscar Micheaux in 1944, with music provided by Babs Gonzales and his band, Three Bips and a Bop, on a makeshift sound stage constructed inside of a Harlem tenement building. The plot summary is as follows: With the help of Farina, Pineapple, and Stymie, Buckwee runs amok after reading an early Nation of Islam pamphlet that promises a place in heaven to any Black Muslim who killed a white person for Allah. The throats of the entire gang are slashed with unsheathed straight razors. Alfalfa is forced to sing "Ole Man Ribber" before his throat is slit by a young Robert Blake in blackface. Directed by Spencer Williams, the script was written by Flournoy Miller, who dedicated this final episode to the memory of his late partner, Aubrey Lyles. Miller then moved on to penning scripts for Gosden and Correl's. Amos 'n' Andy television show. The controversial episode aired last Nov. 22, 1963, much to the glee of the N.A.A.C.P.


You can't eat with everybody. You got to have the right vibrations.

Vera Grosvenor, dancer-vocalist, Sun Ra Arkestra

Menstrual blood, in both the Hoodoo folk traditions of the American South and the Straga traditions of southern Italy, is used to bind one's affection to another. In Sicily, for example, a few drops of blood pricked from a woman's finger is stirred into a man's coffee. In the southern states, a man might get Hoodoo'd with a few drops of menstrual blood mixed into his red beans and rice. This spell is also quite effective when worked in the reverse by men substituting menstrual blood for the obvious. The following is an excellent recipe a lady might serve a gentleman caller for lunch.

Tomato with Basil Dressing

diced tomatoes

1 bunch basil

4 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

5 Tbs. olive oil

2 cloves garlic

3 tsp. of menstrual blood

Salt and pepper

Let stand for 30 minutes. Serve with Toscanini bread, Parma ham, salami, and a carafe of red wine. Bon appetit!


"What fool coon nonsense is this?" the Devil asked. "You call this a sacrificial offerin'? These ain't nothin' but some greasy, chewed-up chicken bones! What happened to my sammich?"

"Ah' done et' it" R.J. replied. "Ah gots hongry on de way ober 'cheer!"

"Well how in the hell do you expect to play the greatest blues guitar in the history of the world if all you got to show for it is some splintered chicken bones all spit up with some nasty ol' nigger slobber? What's wrong with your head, boy? I'm the devil! You gots to give me somethin' ... !"

In the moonlight, R.J. turned his empty lint-lined pockets inside out. He gave the Devil a helplessly pathetic half-smile. "You is 'bout the most pitiful colored boy I done ever laid these infernal eyes on," the Devil said. "But I'll tell you what I'm gonna do .... "


A report released late last night from the Crab Corner sheriff's department confirmed recent rumors concerning retired physical education instructor, D.T. Ward, 68, who alleged over the weekend that a spectral, feral-eyed black man passed through the walls of his newly-paneled basement Saturday morning, and greeted him with a strange but cheery salutation.

"At first, I thought he was askin' for a plate of 'green eggs 'n' ham,'" D.T. told a disbelieving deputy. "Like in them Dr. Seuss books. But now that I think on it, what he said sounded somethin' more like what them magician fellas say 'fore they pull a rabbit outta their hats — Wham! Bam! Alley Ka Zam!