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Friday, April 27, 2012

Five Examples Of African American Spoken Word Poetry

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases five videos of African American spoken word poetry from the USA. Links to the words for four of these poems are provided in this post.

The content of this post is presented for educational, historical, folkloric, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes. The copyrights remain with their owners.

My thanks to the spoken word artists, the musicians featured on some of these videos, and the producers & uploaders of these videos.

Enjoy and be inspired!

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FEATURED VIDEOS

Video #1: Gil Scott-Heron - The Revolution Will Not Be Televised



Uploaded by MusicForYourFunk on Sep 9, 2009

Gil Scott-Heron - The Revolution Will Not Be Televised... (RIP Gil) track 7 from The Soul of the Black Panther Era Vol 1; originally from his 1970 album, Small Talk at 125th and Lenox

-snip-

Click http://www.gilscottheron.com/lyrevol.html for the words to this spoken word poem.

Also click
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Revolution_Will_Not_Be_Televised for more information on this spoken word composition.

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Video #2: Last Poets - Blessed are those who struggle



Uploaded by freein2339 on Dec 5, 2008


The Last Poets with Bernard Purdie...from the LP "Delights Of The Garden"...This is the tune "Blessed Are Those Who Struggle"..

Written by Suliaman El Hadi

Voices: Jalaluddin Mansur Nuriddin Suliaman El Hadi Abu Mustapha

Bass, Guitar: Mann
Drums: Bernard Purdie
Conga: Abu Mustapha Suliaman El Hadi
Percusion: Jalaluddin Mansur Nuriddin Suliaman El Hadi Abu Mustapha

This is a different lineup then the original "Last Poets"

The original Last Poets were formed on May 19, 1968 (Malcolm X's birthday), at Marcus Garvey Park (formerly Mount Morris Park, at 124th Street and Fifth Avenue) in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York City. The original members were Felipe Luciano, Gylan Kain, and David Nelson.

The group continued to evolve via a 1969 Harlem writers' workshop known as "East Wind." Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, Umar Bin Hassan, and Abiodun Oyewole, along with percussionist Nilaja, are generally considered the primary and core members of the group, as they appeared on the group's 1970 self-titled debut (contracted by noted Jimi Hendrix producer Alan Douglas) and, in various combinations, on subsequent releases. Luciano, Kain, and Nelson recorded separately as The Original Last Poets, gaining some renown as the soundtrack artists for the 1971 film "Right On!".

Umar Bin Hassan, and Abiodun Oyewole still perform under the name "The Last Poets".

-snip-
Click http://www.justsomelyrics.com/1346567/The-Last-Poets-Blessed-Are-Those-Who-Struggle-Lyrics for the words to this poem.

Also, click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M5W_3T2Ye4 for a video of The Last Poets' now classic spoken word composition "When The Revolution Comes".

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Video #3: 08. Blackalicious - Ego Trip by Nikki Giovanni (featuring Nikki Giovanni & Erinn Anova)



Neku Rau, Published on Sep 2, 2014

Nia
Track 8
1999/2000
-snip-
Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEyozH0EQqw for another uptempo version of this poem from the "Truth Is On The Way" album. Nikki Giovanni's poems in that album are spoken along with Gospel music. [embedding disabled].

Also, click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/01/nikki-giovanni-ego-trippin-sound-file.html for the words to this poem.

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Video #4: Philip Allen Jr. - When I Became a Man



Uploaded by blacknblues on Oct 1, 2007

When I Became a Man spoken word video. To challenge and inspire men to put the games away, and be the powerful men of God he's called us to be...

-snip-
Click http://www.praverb.net/2009/08/philip-allen-jr-when-i-became-man.html for biographical information about Phillip Allen Jr.

-snip-

Unfortunately, I've not been able to find the words to this poem online, and I don't know if it is appropiate to transcribe & post those words here.

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Video #5: Sunni Patterson performs We Know This Place
at the ROOTS Fest 2011 [Baltimore, Maryland]


Uploaded by iwacubroadcasting on Jun 27, 2011

-snip-
The words to this spoken word composition can be found at http://www.democracynow.org/2007/8/31/the_resilience_of_the_people_is

Click http://www.sunnipatterson.com/#/bio/4519501310 for biographical information about Sunni Patterson.

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2 comments:

  1. Thank you for including the Philip Allen Jr. video. Great spoken word article.

    Patrick

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Patrick.

      I agree that Philip Allen Jr's spoken word video is powerful as are the other examples that are featured in this post.

      I'm glad to give them more circulation.

      Delete