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

Straitjacket Fits: So Long Marianne (1990)

Straitjacket Fits: So Long Marianne (1990)

With Leonard Cohen much on our mind again with his new album Old Ideas, it was time to go to the vaults to find this version of his classic, as done by New Zealand's Straijacket Fits. This... > Read more

Grace Jones: Me, I Disconnect From You (1981)

Grace Jones: Me, I Disconnect From You (1981)

Before interviewing Gary Numan recently I put a call out on Facebook to anyone who had questions for the man they wanted answered. He was a delight to speak with (see here) and happy to... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Florence, Italy: A long way from Footscray

Florence, Italy: A long way from Footscray

The instructions on how to get to her hotel were quite specific: she said they were located directly opposite Cartier. Which was true, but it might have been equally easy to describe it as being... > Read more

CoCo Rosie: The Adventures of Ghost Horse and Stillborn (Rhythmethod)

CoCo Rosie: The Adventures of Ghost Horse and Stillborn (Rhythmethod)

I'll admit this is my first encounter with the bewitching Cassidy sisters who are Coco Rosie, but I have fallen under their strange spell: soft hip-hop beats and simple samples; fairytale lyrics... > Read more