Le Roi Jones: Our Nation is Like Ourselves (1970)

 |   |  <1 min read

Le Roi Jones: Our Nation is Like Ourselves (1970)

Recorded at Buffalo State University, Le Roi Jones -- aka Amiri Baraka -- wasn't taking any prisoners in this powerful reading where he was among the first to reclaim and redefine the "N" word and throw "motherfugga" into the public domain.

It was also -- like the earlier work by The Last Poets and Gil Scott Heron -- a call to arms, or at the very least a cry against complacency and plea for unity of purpose in the black communities.

Jones/Baraka was one of the most direct and articulate of black poets, writers and commentators, and his essays on jazz were among the few coming from inside the culture.

He moved through a Beat phase and into the furious and fiery politically-inspired period in the late Sixties/early Seventies (when street revolution seemed a genuine possibility) and then into an advocate for post-Marxism and Third World politics which skewered the colonial legacy.

One of the most important, relevant and interesting black poets and writers of the 20th century, he has somehow faded from the greater consciousness -- and at the time of this writing he is in his late 70s. 

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Joe Harriott: Gana (1967)

Joe Harriott: Gana (1967)

Alto saxophonist Joe Harriott was not the first to take inspiration from Indian classical music (John Coltrane had looked across to it previously) but -- with violinist and harpsichord player John... > Read more

Felius Andromeda: Meditations (1967)

Felius Andromeda: Meditations (1967)

There are a number of stories about John Lennon being so smitten by Procol Harum's Whiter Shade of Pale that he would play it over and over, often while tripping. This from a man whose band had... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

BILL EVANS' 1963 ALBUM MOON BEAMS: Art from the heart place

BILL EVANS' 1963 ALBUM MOON BEAMS: Art from the heart place

By the merest shift of the prism Moon Beams, the album by the jazz trio lead by pianist Bill Evans, could easily be under Essential Elsewhere. But that of course would deny the genius of his... > Read more

GUEST WRITER ANDREW SCHMIDT reflects on being shaped by the people and culture of South Auckland

GUEST WRITER ANDREW SCHMIDT reflects on being shaped by the people and culture of South Auckland

I am a South Aucklander by birth. Born in Papakura in the old maternity hospital by the railway hump bridge. I grew up in George Street, a state house enclave just around the corner from Kelvin... > Read more