Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Amiri Baraka (1934-2014)

Listen to the Building Bridges tribute to Amiri Baraka on Monday, January13 at 7pm
Find it on the WBAI Archive: http://archive.wbai.org/show1.php?showid=bbridges

Tune in to CPRMetro at http://cprmetro.blogspot.com on Saturday, January 17 at 10am for the stream of his homegoing services:


Friday, January 17, 2014   4:00 - 9:00PM
Metropolitan Baptist Church
149 Springfield Avenue
Newark, New Jersey 07103


Saturday, January 18, 2014   10AM
Newark Symphony Hall
1020 Broad Street
Newark, New Jersey 07102

For more on Amiri’s life and work:  http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/a_f/baraka/baraka.htm

A 2007 interview in which Amiri talks about his life, politics and art, Black-Brown unity and the politics of the day:

Democracy Now! tribute to Amiri:

Thanks to African Voices for permission to reprint the following photo and poem, also available online at http://mad.ly/cc1564?pact=19716413686&fe=1. Thanks also to the photographer, JoAnn Cheathan, and the poet, Gha’il Rhodes Benjamin.

Amiri Baraka
October 7, 1934-January 9, 2014
Photo: JoAnn Cheathan.
Ellie Charles Artists Award ceremony.
King of Word (for Amiri Baraka’s 75th birthday)

U was never
Nor stationary
Nor regular
U was always
Using your pen
As sword
Fighting/ tearing down
In-justices in high and low places

U was never silent but/ even when u wasn’t
sayin’ a word
your words spoke endless decades of life and
death on pages as
permanent as the equations of brownskinned
mathematicians encoding
sanctuaries of memories in our veins
your words
a drum never losing tempo
escorting us beyond blabbering repertoires of

U is OUR poet laureate
cause can’t nobody
slice through the BS like you do

uncensored u stand with DIG-nity
straight from the gut
on your tongue the melody of
ancestral footsteps running in horrific discord
u say the words the deaf can hear
u speak the words that
pierce a seeing man’s eyes into blinding truths

U 75 now, they tell me
but what do that mean
with a man moving full steam ahead
up/down every avenue
all at once boiling
the lies out of his-tories’ illusive fabrications

fore you even changed your name
it was your name
waiting for the change that you came to become
you been here always
scripting out
the next revolution
documenting how it went down FOREAL

“judge a man by his deeds” the old folks say
your deeds ain’t nowhere near done
but one thing for sure
u was never ordinary
u was never hesitant
waiting for somebody else
to say what needed to be said
u was always adding another word
to even the score on the wall

……and so it is written

U is King of Word cause
can’t nobody CHANGE a word u said

© 2009 Gha’il Rhodes Benjamin, Let Loose on the World Anthology

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