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

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.

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section

Romeo Void: Never Say Never (1982)

Romeo Void: Never Say Never (1982)

The British label Stiff Records (which gave the world Jona Lewie, Lena Lovich and Wreckless Eric alongside Elvis Costello and Ian Dury, among others) said everybody had one good single in them.... > Read more

John and Jackie: Little Girl (1958)

John and Jackie: Little Girl (1958)

Simulated female orgasm on records isn't overly common, but there are certainly a few high profile examples. Counting back from Vanessa Daou's Zipless album (1994) and Donna Summer's Love to... > Read more

New Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Crowded House: Crowded House + Woodface

THE BARGAIN BUY: Crowded House: Crowded House + Woodface

Here's one of the budget price gap-fillers for your collection, the Crowded House debut album from '86 and Woodface from five years later when Tim Finn briefly joined brother Neil in his band.... > Read more

LED ZEPPELIN REVISITED, PART TWO (2014): Another turn of the Page

LED ZEPPELIN REVISITED, PART TWO (2014): Another turn of the Page

In a recent interview – although more a passing comment it seemed – Jimmy Page indicated he was keen to get some new music together. That would be smart because 70 year old Page... > Read more