Brief Overview Of The Life And Poetic Music Of Linton Kwesi Johnson

Poetic musician LKJ

Linton Kwesi Johnson: Internationally bestselling artist, reggae poet, and activist

Linton Kwesi Johnson is one of the most internationally renowned Jamaican artists whose work is expressed in a “dub poetry” form using the patois of the Jamaican dialect.

His message, ideology, and philosophy are similar to that of Mutabaruka. The only difference is, as a dub poet, although Rasta is important to him on the level of a cultural force that broadened and opened the consciousness to African heritage and African ancestry, he is not a Rastafarian.

Born on 24 August 1952 in Chapelton, Jamaica, Johnson came to London at the age of 11 to live with his mother. Like most Jamaican artists he holds on fast to his African culture. His middle name “Kwesi” broadly establishes his identity as someone holding on to the roots of his African origin. The name comes from the Western part of Africa. For example in Ghana, the Akans and the Fantis named male babies born on Sundays as “Kwesi” and females as “Esi” because Sunday is called”Kwesidah”

In England, LKJ went to school at Tulse Hill secondary school, Goldsmith’s College and the University of London. He joined the Black Panthers while still at school. “That’s where I learned my politics and about my history and culture. That is where I discovered black literature, particularly the work of W.E. B. Dubois, the Afro-American who inspired me to write poetry”, said LKJ.

In 1977, he was awarded the C-Day Lewis Fellowship, becoming the writer-in-residence and working at the Library Resources and Education officer at Keskidee Centre, the first home of black theatre and art. As a poet, his first collection of poetry “Voice of the Living and Dead” and “Dread Beats an’ Blood” were published by the Race Today Review and later the same year, a documentary film on “Dread Beat an’ Blood” was made. In 1980, Race Today Review published his third book “Inglan is a Bitch”.

“If Association of Chief Police Officers, has come out and admitted that, racism is institutionalised within the police force, that the black nurses within the health service for years have gotten a raw deal. When one thinks of all these things, yeah, Inglan is a Bitch,” said LKJ.

As an artist, LKJ travelled extensively from Japan to South Africa and from Europe to Brazil. His poetry songs are amongst the top-selling Reggae albums in the world and his works have been translated into Italian and German.

His live concert, recorded at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London 1985, was nominated for a Grammy Award. In 2004, his own recording company was delighted to launch the first ever DVD of an LKJ concert. He has been in the music business as a recording artist for over twenty-five years.

20 Young Writers Of Color Share Their Favorite Poems

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Article originally published in  The Huffington Post by Priscilla Frank Arts Writer.

“The vulnerability and realness I’ve witnessed within the poetry world is unlike any other medium in my mind.”

In December, The New York Times invited noted writers, actors and public figures to share their favorite poems, reaching out to people like Ta-Nehisi Coates, Elena Ferrante Tavi Gevinson, Lena Dunham and Junot Díaz, among others.

After reading the published list, Tabia Alexine, a Los Angeles-based curator and creative, was disappointed. “It was a compelling group, but not as diverse and intersectionally colorful as I’d hoped,” she explained to The Huffington Post. Soon after, Alexine embarked on a project of her own, reaching out to young writers of color she admired to bring the original list the multiplicity both readers and writers deserve.

Alexine collected the perspectives of 20 new voices, each explaining the power of a single poem. “The responses reflect a spectrum of experience among the writers,” she explained. “But I did notice that several poems discussed discovery, social justice, and resistance through existence and survival.”

Looking forward, Alexine hopes future articles in outlets like The New York Times will represent a wider range of backgrounds and perspectives. And that the cultural landscape at large will follow suit. “I hope to see poetry and art by talented persons of color more widely distributed via TV, film, in commercials, at events, galleries, and conferences,” she continued. “I love seeing books like The Breakbeat Poets sold at major retailer, Barnes & Noble. I also believe performance poets and writers deserve increased honorariums for their work. I want to be a catalyst, pushing all of those things forward.”

Right in time for Black History Month, Alexine’s diversified anthology speaks to the importance of poetry to voices too often marginalized or silenced. “It can be such a powerful platform for truth-telling, disruption, affirmation, and empathy,” she said. “The vulnerability and realness I’ve witnessed within the poetry world is unlike any other medium in my mind. These 20 individuals are unapologetically taking up space and making noise as writers, activists, performers, educators, literary editors, students, and so much more.”

Learn about their favorite poems, and the stories behind them: 

http://goo.gl/jZQGlp

White Negro (MZUNGU MWEUSI) A Poem By JOHAN VAN DONGEN

 

The author

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Johan Van Dongen is a Dutch Micro-Surgeon, Scientist and author. His four decades of research revealed that Aids and Ebola were medical crimes plagued on Africans by Europe and America. The viruses were man-made and engineered from the laboratory as bio-warfare product and tested on Africans to depopulate the continent.

He quickly published a book of his research of the crimes in his native language (Dutch) in Holland. The Dutch government didn’t take his publication likely, since the plot is to cover up those medical crimes. He therefore faced many legal actions and eventually lost his job while he was a lecturer at one of the universities in Holland.

European and American scientists say they are clever, but not clever enough than Johan Van Dongen, because he isn’t coward to speak the truth. 

http://www.amazon.com/Greatest-Medical-History-Against-Mankind-ebook/dp/B016W89W1G

Wendye Savage’s After The Rain

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Living inside gray clouds

Moistened with my own tears;
Blue skies beyond my finger tips
Life’s storms are brewing here.

Stirring up confusion
And all types of strife in me;
I know there’s shelter deep within
So in it’s refuge I shall seek.

I’m merely holding on to it
A fine line that keeps me sane;
Lord, I can’t cross over it
There’s joy after the rain.

The Author

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Gifted by God, inspired by life,Wendye Savage, the 49 year old author of the self revealing book titled One Sweet Day and mother of five children and United States Army veteran uses her powerful gift of poetry to deliver life, hope and humor to catalyze the movement of inspiration and inner peace.

The author is known for being an inspiration to others through her zest for life and ability to be transparent without reservation. In her writings you will find humble notes of heartfelt inspiration.

http://www.amazon.com/After-Rain-Wendye-Savage-ebook/dp/B005130OSY

The author’s website: http://www.thepoeticflow.com/home.html

Tears, Assurance And Consolation

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David Newton, a classically trained sculptor in the European tradition, has dedicated his career to transforming ordinary African-American people and forgotten historical moments into unforgettable, timeless monuments of beauty.

Tears, Assurance And Consolation

Anguish and torment have taken over their souls

Psychologically and physically scarred, they seek comfort

The soul is willing to forgive but the mind finds it hard to forget

Because the scar is like an image hanging on the wall

My heart believes there is God, yet I try to find out if Africans have God

I want to know why so much pain?

Why so many tears from my eyes?

Why a particular race should pass through such a rough road?

Do I have to believe that God created man in his own image?

As the moon unravels wonders

I will take the opportunity to free my mind

The shackles are already removed from my feet

I heard the voice calling and saying trust in Jesus

His blessings, no money can buy and no one can steal from you.

A short poem written by Joel Savage@Copyright/ 11/3/2015.

Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry

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Throughout her illustrious career in letters, Maya Angelou gifted, healed, and inspired the world with her words. Now the beauty and spirit of those words live on in this new and complete collection of poetry that reflects and honors the writer’s remarkable life.

Every poetic phrase, every poignant verse can be found within the pages of this sure-to-be-treasured volume—from her reflections on African-American life and hardship in the compilation Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ’fore I Diiie (“Though there’s one thing that I cry for / I believe enough to die for / That is every man’s responsibility to man”) to her revolutionary celebrations of womanhood in the poem “Still I Rise” (“Out of the huts of history’s shame / I rise / Up from a past that’s rooted in pain / I rise”) to her “On the Pulse of Morning” tribute at President William Jefferson Clinton’s inauguration (“Lift up your eyes upon / The day breaking for you. / Give birth again / To the dream.”).

Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry also features her final long-form poems, including “A Brave and Startling Truth,” “Amazing Peace,” “His Day Is Done,” and the honest and endearing Mother:

“I feared if I let you go
You would leave me eternally.
You smiled at my fears, saying
I could not stay in your lap forever”
 
This collection also includes the never-before-published poem “Amazement Awaits,” commissioned for the 2008 Olympic Games:

“We are here at the portal of the world we had wished for
At the lintel of the world we most need.
We are here roaring and singing.
We prove that we can not only make peace, we can bring it with us.”

Timeless and prescient, this definitive compendium will warm the hearts of Maya Angelou’s most ardent admirers as it introduces new readers to the legendary poet, activist, and teacher—a phenomenal woman for the ages.

The Author

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(Born Marguerite Ann Johnson on April 4, 1928) Maya Angelou was an American author and poet who has been called “America’s most visible black female autobiographer” by scholar Joanne M. Braxton. She is best known for her series of six autobiographical volumes, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first and most highly acclaimed, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her first seventeen years. It brought her international recognition and was nominated for a National Book Award. She has been awarded over 30 honorary degrees and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her 1971 volume of poetry, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Diiie.

Angelou was a member of the Harlem Writers Guild in the late 1950s, was active in the Civil Rights movement, and served as Northern Coordinator of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Since 1991, she has taught at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina where she holds the first lifetime Reynolds Professorship of American Studies. Since the 1990’s she has made around eighty appearances a year on the lecture circuit. In 1993, Angelou recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration, the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961. In 1995, she was recognized for having the longest-running record (two years) on The New York Times Paperback Nonfiction Bestseller List.

With the publication of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou was heralded as a new kind of memoirist, one of the first African American women who was able to publicly discuss her personal life. She is highly respected as a spokesperson for Black people and women. Angelou’s work is often characterized as autobiographical fiction. She has, however, made a deliberate attempt to challenge the common structure of the autobiography by critiquing, changing, and expanding the genre. Her books, centered on themes such as identity, family, and racism, are often used as set texts in schools and universities internationally. Some of her more controversial work has been challenged or banned in US schools and libraries.

http://www.amazon.com/Maya-Angelou/e/B000AQ8Q00

“If You Knew My Father”: A Daughter’s Emotional Poem Dedicated To Father, Hulk Hogan

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Brooke Hogan
On Friday, July 25, 20015, Hulk Hogan was sacked by WWE administration for allegedly making racist remarks that referred to her daughter dating a black man. Following the incidence Hulk’s daughter, Brooke, wrote this emotional and touching poem to defend her father.
        Racism is everywhere including WWE. It’s like an ‘abomination’ to speak about it, the reason WWE seems to be like a place without sin. It’s unfortunate that Hulk Hogan has become a scapegoat, following the dismissal of Alberto Del Rio, over similar incidence.
‘IF YOU KNEW MY FATHER’
If you knew the dad I knew,
you’d know his tender heart.He’d never want to hurt his fans,
or family from the start.If you knew my father,
you would know how hard he fought…and the way it brought a smile to people light, medium and dark.We always fight a battle
that people never see,

and sometimes when you’re hurting, you don’t think logically.

Human isn’t perfect,
and perfect is not he,

but I can tell you one thing, it’s just not what it seems.

Cause If you knew the dad I knew,
you’d know he raised me well.

He taught me folks are so much more
than shades could ever tell.

And If you knew my father,
you would know he’s down to earth.

He may have slammed the giant,
but remembers life’s true worth.

If you knew my father,
if you just walked in his shoes…

then you would know that microscope that comes with yellow boots.

If you knew my father,
you would see your own in mine.

And if he was your father, you could never find divide.

Cause me- I bet your father
or someone that you love

Maybe regrets something
they wish they’d never done.

So if you know my father,
remember he’s a man,

and you would crave relief if people judged everything you did.

The lord says to forgive them,
don’t be the one to stone…

so please remember his strong arms when you were all alone.

The lives he’s changed, the friends he’s made,
the people he’s inspired…

It makes me sad to see my dad
defeated and so tired.

If you knew my father,
you would know just how he’s hurting…

For he loves every one of you, regardless of your story.

And if you met my father,
I know he’d give you love!

He’d lift you up, apologize and give you all a hug.

For those who think you know my father,
remember who you are.

We all can make mistakes and carry ugly scars.

Because I know my father,
I can promise this-

Just like you and I, things we don’t mean can sometimes slip.

We all continue learning.
This life can be so rough…

So if you know my father, please try not to be tough.

My father has a daughter,
and I have feelings too.

And if I knew your father, I would do the same for you.