Rest In Power: Legendary Writer Amiri Baraka Dies At 79

Respect Due!

It would be remiss of me not to pay tribute to someone who transformed my thinking and writing about the Black Atlantic and as part of it’s making, the Middle Passage experience. It was during his performance at that famous Calabash Literary Festival of 2005 when I first heard the famous lines:

“Its my brother, my sister
At the bottom of the Atlantic
There’s a railroad made of human bones
Black Ivory, Black Ivory.”

Those words have stayed with me and at the time informed my writing on the connections in music and performance between Jamaica and South Africa as I was in the early stages of conceptualising my book DanceHall: From Slave Ship to Ghetto.

Walk good! Leroi Jones. Amiri Baraka. Walk good until such time…. The Blues People are here to stay….

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