*UPDATE: Now with video!*
“The real problem is you don’t know the real problem.” Remind us: Keep peeled.
I’m delighted Filreis chose to play the version of the poem from the Roots’ 2002 album “Phrenology”. The album—I bought it from the Staten Island Mall on day one—was essential in showing this young introverted weirdo that his suspicions about people being easily defined was specious—contrary to everything my small island peers had suggested. Punk. Rap. Poetry. R&B. Soul. Sound collage. Techno. Profoundly compelling instrumentation. Music as preparation. As runway.
Hard to conceive I first heard Amiri Baraka’s words 16 years ago.
Anyway, the podcast discussion is accessible and criminally brief.
After I listened to it, I was sent back to my bookshelves to hunt down a collection of Baraka’s work from 2014—the year he died—SOS. The hardcover version of the work collects some of the poet’s final poems. That’s how I’ll be spending my night.
I had to share it with all of you in hopes you might share it as well. Be well.
For further study:
- Alternate recording of “Something in the Way of Things (In Town)”
- Review: Claudia Rankine on Baraka (2015)
- FBI file on Amiri Baraka via Archive.org
- Video: Gil Nobles interview with Amiri Baraka
- Our Man Jimmy: Amiri Baraka on James Baldwin (2007)
- “My father loved this city of violence. He was a Newarker to his core.”
- ‘Leadbelly Gives an Autograph’ by Amiri Baraka
- “Beat Bush! People Unite!” from “Bushwacked! A Counterfeit President for a Fake Democracy”
- from Baraka’s “Home: Social Essays”
- “Black Art”
- Rich collection of Baraka audio from ubu.com
- A great little-known poem “The Academic Cowards of Reaction”