Soul!; 306; Baraka, The Artist
The following program is from WNET 13. Whoa! What can it be? What can it be? Whoa! What can it be? Oh, that's holding me. What can it be? That's holding me. That's holding me. Holding me from getting free. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Do you do you? Do you know? If you do tell me, tell me, tell me, whoa, you don't know. Maybe it's just we always talking. Me, me, me, me, me, me, me. When it's, we, we, we, we, we. It's that, me, me, me, me, me. It's that me that's holding me. We need to hook all them me's together. All them bad, bad, me's together. Close, close together.
All the Muslims, Memphis, Memphis, Memphis, Nationalists, Jitterbuds, Pimps, Hooked-Up, Sweet Flesh Mamas. All us, y'all, them inside ourselves. Need to get on outside ourselves. All of them me's need to hook up into a big, We a big, we a big, big, big, big, big, Black, Black, we all them big, Black, Bad, Me's need, need, need to hook up. Hook up, hook up into a bad, Black, We a bad, bad, Black, Black, Black, We a bad, we, yeah, yeah, bad, bad, we, yeah, We a, we a, we a, we a, bad, Bad, Black, Devil, Jammin, we, yeah. APPLAUSE Snapshots of everything. We are picked and pick ourselves for what we do in our. We make our eyes stretch and fill our bones.
We pack our heads with what we want to pack them with. Then look for a road. And that looking is itself a road. Then we walk our walk and talk our talk, all of it together, creating the thing we are. If we are something we can love, laughter is Eden's reign. Our work, good work, love, bills it, dirt and hope and flowers of thought. Reach and climb into talking pictures ourselves. We put on like warm flesh garments, snug up the mind so the brain fits. So the words come out right. In the darkness we stare at our brothers performing. Are we growing our way? We walk our road and look at the sights. We are sights for other travelers. What do they see? In what kind of album and does it matter? Going to the common paradise, men and women, children, and all the other stuff we need for a really good rhyme. It's rhythm that carries us anyway. The beats, realities, hard. And what we are is gestures of the master.
What we are is gestures of the master. What we are is gestures of the master. Without space, without time, don't put us down as merely singers. We are the song. Thank you. Thank you. Tonight on Soul, Baraka, the artist, with a model of Mary Baraka, and your host for the evening, Ellis Haysfield. Thank you. Thank you. It's an honor. It's all I can say. Thank you. Thank you.
I like so much. I guess spirit reaches your latest book, and on the back of it, it says, Imam Uemiri Baraka, master poet and playwright, founder and spiritual leader of the Committee for Unified New Art, co-convener of the historic National Black Political Convention, and new elected chairman of the Congress of African People. Innovative sage and guiding light of the new nationalism, Carverida, whose profound words of magnificence turned immediately into deeds of divine significance. I think that's really it. It really sums up a lot of my feelings about you, and I wanted to tonight you really sort of talk with your Baraka, the artist, and always, whenever we get together on soul, it seems to have to take things out of their chronological sequence and congratulate you on a new addition to your family.
That's right. That's right. So the last time it was Raj Jua, and this time it's, well, he doesn't have a name yet. I'm still studying that. But another son born, October the 6th, actually the day before my birthday. So I guess I'm trying to crowd in all those levers some reason. That's beautiful. And I think I mean, you know, get, you know, a lot of that credit too. Of course you send her a lot. Oh, my love. I like to say that, Imam, who before you we have, what I think is a profound statement from a Black writer. A library from one man that includes black music, Dutchman and the slave, black magic poetry, blues people, home, raise, raise, raise, rise, black spirits, the system of Dante's hell, tails, four black revolutionary plays, black five,
which you'll call with Larry Neil, in our terribleness, and a documentary called African Congress that you edited, the new nationalism, jello, it's nation time, and I guess the last one, the spirit reach, but I don't want to call spirit reach the last, and because now you even publish the newspaper. And I say congratulations to you. Thank you very much. Maybe we should start off, Imam, who wanted to really find that you wanted to be a writer, to be an author. I don't know. That's hard to say. We used to edit a little newspaper in the, what is it, elementary school, that I went to. And I started writing, I guess, in high school, short stories, and then college, poetry, and then the army, I guess, I started coming on like a writer, you know, and I think it was about that time I was really,
again, to be serious about it. Also, when you said short stories, did you always write your short stories with an interpretation of seeing them presented in theater, or did you write them strictly as pieces to be read? No. You see, I started writing short stories in high school, as, I don't know, what sort of as short works of fiction, you know, I was under influence of science fiction writers, and I had read a combination of science fiction, Idial and Poe and Richard Wright, if you can deal with that combination. And that's what the influence was at the time in early high school. Yeah, I can understand the influence is too bad, there's so many black people don't understand what Richard Wright, you know, we haven't gotten around to doing something that's significant on Richard Wright. So many things have been left out in our history. And then after you moved from, from, I guess, from how would you move to New York? Right.
And then I remember your first book of poetry that had a lot of dedication, a lot of people are still moving on today, and then it was a theater group in Harlem that you started. What influenced you to move from, say, writing into going into live presentation of your work? Well, it wasn't, let me see, it wasn't actually a conscious decision. Strange enough, some of the poetry, I started writing poetry that had a lot of dialogue in it. Poetry that would have someone's name with a speech, you know, and then, in the system of Dante's hell, I wrote a couple of short plays in that, in the middle of that, even though that was supposed to be a novel. And then, you know, one night I sat up and wrote a play called The Toilet. And then immediately afterwards, within the space of the year, I had written a couple more plays, I think the baptism and Dutchman. And the slave, that was written, I think, the next year.
So it was just, suddenly, you know, I looked up and I was writing plays, it was no conscious decision. I mean, the form just became, at one point, more natural than others, you know. Do you think as you started writing, you know, as you moved from your prose to your poetry to the theater and all, was there also a movement in you that was moving you closer to a black nationalist point of view? Or do you think you began with the same tone of view? Well, I think, on one hand, the movement toward plays was always, I think, a movement toward concrete acts, rather than abstract literary, you know, involvement. I mean, because plays become a little real of, because they involve people. And I think that was one movement. In terms of the nationalism, you can read a lot of early poems in mind and you will see nationalism, but you see it obscured by a whole lot of abstract, white social philosophy and abstract white literary, you know, philosophy,
which I think is one of the problems of living in New York. I don't want to put a draft on nobody. But I think one of the problems of the, of a lot of black artists in New York is that New York is such a, like, a white literary achievement. You understand what I mean? And it's very difficult for a lot of people, you know, really, to step away from what they're creating and see whether it actually is being created in the healthiest way, whether it's created for the total service of their community and is actually as strong as it should be. And I think, well, that's one of the terrible things of living in a metropolis like this, you know, is that so much of this so-called urban influence is really kind of, what would you call it, slick, western degeneracy, you know? Do you think then by what you've just said that you could have written a black value system
if you had remained in New York? I would say me, no, certainly someone else probably could have. And I think, because I think this is one of the most significant books we have had, a black value system. Maybe you would have just briefly explained to us the seven principles of Kawa Eda. Well, those principles which were put together by Marlana Karinga and us organization in Los Angeles. I first met Marlana Karinga. I think it was 1966. Was that the first Congress? It was before the first black power. Before the second black power conference. And was influenced a great deal about what he was doing because up until that time there was a lot of talk about blackness and about black revolution. And of course, many of us were influenced a great deal by Malcolm X, but it was Marlana Karinga who sort
of, I think, took essentially seven principles that we could see, maximize the positive qualities that black people needed to evolve, as Secretary says, evolve into a state that demands liberation. Before you can actually talk about revolution, why not? You actually have to evolve to a point psychologically where you demand it. Otherwise, a whole lot of other things will suffice. And the seven principles, umojia, unity, could you totally self-determination? Right, take it slow because I want the audience. Find it to repeat it after them so we can all get it. Let's start with the first principle again. Emoji. Emoji. Unity. Unity. Could you chaglia? Who chaglia? Self-determination. Self-determination. Self-determination. Ujima. Ujima. Collective. Collective. Responsibility. Ujima. Ujima.
Ujima. Cooperative Economics. Ujima. Nea. Nea. Purpose. Purpose. Ujima. Ujima. Creativity. And Imani. Imani. Faith. Faith. Those are the seven basic. We say the core of the ideology of Kawedah, which Kawedah means that which is traditionally adhered to by African people. And we say we try to practice tradition and reason. That is, we understand that we are not pre-colonial Africa. We are African people living in the United States of America in the last part of the 20th century. That means then as an artist you are laying a new foundation. You're creating a new reality that is based on your true identity rather than one that is an identity given to you. Right, I think so because you see one of the things that Kawedah understood is that writing art, and this is one of the things that Karina and Imani Karina always that came together brought us together very quickly
because he came to me and said, well, you have certain things in your art that suggests some of the same ideas I have about that black people need a different set of values. In the book home in 1965, I kept talking about culture being the dominant shaper of people's lives. And actually I was working out of a kind of spontaneous thing that I was trying to get to myself, trying to figure out, well, culture is the strongest thing in a person's life, meaning the way people live. What they think is good, what they think is bad, what they think is beautiful, what they think is ugly. And I was writing that out and I was on a Karina saw that and he systematized it and put it in a way that people on the sidewalk could pick it up, the seven principles, the seven criteria for culture. He utilized that in a way to make it a kind of put a revolutionary access to it.
I've known you for quite a number of years, and everything you've said today is very beautiful and very gentle, but makes you so controversial. I think that even being said gently, certain ideas are the antithesis of the ideas that keep this particular society devouring all forms of truly significant life. And I think even said gently, those ideas become, I think, provocative. I remember one time when we were talking about burning down buildings that was, of course, provocative. And then for yesterday we were talking about building buildings. We were building it. And then now that's provocative. So it's very hard for you to find a middle ground here in the United States. Being that you are, controversial, and marmal, I think also in danger in many instances, how are you going to pass this on?
And I ask you that question specifically because so many of the people who have moved black people to another position have transferred into another dimension, have been murdered, have died or something. And they have left either their widows or children to carry on a tradition, and quite often these people are unprepared or ill-equipped to, I mean, do you see structuring your family life or your organization's life in a different way so that your principles and your attitudes live? Well, as far as our organizations can be identified in New York and day by day, we try to influence the kinds of African people the same way. We are actually a family. We don't look at ourselves as just an organization. We are a community in a sense because we share values. And that is actually the strongest kind of mind to an organization, to a group.
But also, I think because we, like, practice a value system, teach a value system, it means the principles that we are trying to put forward, plus we say our revolutionary ideals of nationalism, pan-Africanism, and Ujima, they're taught to everybody. I mean, my house, that is my wife, is as articulate and involved with nationalism, pan-Africanism, and Ujima as any, as I am. You know, I don't think there's that separation. I think that maybe in other generations, you know, there was a thing where the husband did this and the wife was somewhere else, but that is incorrect. You know, it's incorrect. Because first of all, the children are the ones who are going to carry on the struggle if you get cut down. And the women are the ones who teach the children, contrary to what anybody might think. The women have the children with them first, and they always have them with them.
And if they somehow have a reactionary ideology based on them not being stride for stride with you, it means that you really can't make your next cycle the way you should, because there's a gap. You see, and that's why brothers always say that you can tell how revolutionary people will be by how revolutionary women are. I agree with that, but then that raises the other problem that in the society today, there are so many instances where the males are being ripped off by drugs. There's a great deal of homosexuality. There's an overpopulation of black women who do not have men to fulfill the necessary chores to support them. So how can you utilize and use them in your organization? Does it make it a polygamous sort of situation or is it a monogamous situation or how do you as a family operate? Well, I say we are very monogamous. First of all, that's going to surprise a lot of people. That will surprise well.
I mean, it may be it's surprise. I mean, you know, in being accurate by what we're doing. Because we believe that here in 1972, in order to like talk about revolution, you know, and the things you have to do about being revolutionary, in order to like first take on a revolutionary and black value system, it would take for a lot of these brothers who, for instance, talking about polygamy and polygamy situation being revolutionary. While I'm not, you know, demeaning that I'm saying that that is what they will be doing with their time, in terms of trying to make a revolution. In which their revolution will be coming in that house trying to deal with all the women. I think that actually what the things that we have to do, you know, are in so many other directions, you know, that basically it is revolutionary for a black man and a black woman, you know, to live together according to a black value system and raise revolutionary family.
In America, boy, that is, that's revolution right there. You know, especially if you raised up in a neighborhood where nobody's got a father, you know, you might be the stranger on the block because you got a father and mother who live in the same house. That was my situation. We were strange and our block because all our people were still there, you know. In a situation where, you know, that is too often the case, the fact of a strong family situation, strong ideology, you know, in the whole family working together, you know, to achieve change, that's revolution. And we feel for instance that many of these so-called revolutionary plays that the most revolutionary things that can be written here for us right now are going to be, well, maybe I've been not saying it's somebody who co-opted, but I think it won't have to do with like fantasy, I should say, of bloods, you know, like super flying at a shaft in it. It'll be about something that is quite normal, you know.
It'll be about black people achieving health, you know what I mean and normalcy in our time, you know what I mean. And what they have to do to do that. Now that will be revolutionary, you see. And that will probably be the few that will be probably the only subject matter that white folks cannot co-opt because I don't think they can deal with black health, you know. You know, that's my... But how they're going to deal with a few other things you're doing, like the kawaii eta towers. Is that going to be a change in housing, you know, for black people? Well, this is our first effort, you know, at building housing and you should explain that kawaii eta towers is right. It's a new apartment building that we're building. It is 16 stories, 210 apartments. And we've been criticized for a couple of reasons. One we're criticized by saying it's not in a black neighborhood.
Well, if you've been in New York, New Jersey, you know, that's not accurate. That is only about two or three hundred yards in North that are not the black neighborhood. This particular apartment building is about a block from the oldest black neighborhood in the North Ward, North North. Why don't they change wards with you? Now, I don't think they want to do that. People have said also about it being a high rise. The point of high rise is that the so-called ghetto projects they are not bad because they're high rise because many of the wealthiest white folks in New York certainly live in high rises. The only white folks in New York would any money live in high rises. The fact is they don't have the goods and services and say, I've scuttle homes, you know, stellar right homes. They don't have any services in there, you know, so the elevator falls apart, you know, people urinate on the stairs, you got muggles lurking. But once you provide the goods and services, you see, and provide the amenities, the high level amenities, which we will provide.
I mean, it's a low and moderate income, you know, apartment building, but it also has community rooms, daycare centers, you know, communications centers, library, art studios, and things like that. That, you know, raise the level of amenity and goods and services in there, you know. So this is in line with some of our thinking, actually, I'm going to call Cabral, who we're going to see tomorrow, speak at Lincoln, who's the leader of PAIGC. Liberating Guinea Basao, he says that the people are not fighting for abstract slogans or abstractisms. They're actually fighting for goods and services. And we believe that, you know, the would-be revolutionary, the people who are talking about nationalism and pan-Africanism in Ujima, that some of what we have to do has to be involved with providing alternative institutions, concrete manifestations of revolutionary philosophy.
You know, you cannot talk about education being incorrect, unless you either prepare to control those schools and make it correct, or provide alternative independent black institutions. You cannot talk about the housing being bad, unless you can control the building of that housing or begin to build housing. I mean, that's another kind of movement, we feel. You also, I don't know if the term is correct, but I think you'll kind of evolve from the time I know you to a new style of dress. It looks very good, I congratulate you on it. It's based on an African diamond, is it? Right, this suit, a national dress suit, it's called in Tanzania. We call it a national as a dress suit, was actually designed by Marlimo Julius Narare, who is the president of the Republic of Tanzania, one of the most progressive African countries that exist. And we sort of adopted it,
and even begun to mass-produce it. In the United States, as again, an alternative to the whole shirt tie, a syndrome, which I know that a whole lot of people are not interested in, but also as a kind of a garment designed by black people, in the 20th century, that meets a lot of the needs that people here in the West, black people in the West, we Africans here in the West in hemisphere, that it even meets our particular needs. So we've begun to mass-produce that as a means of providing self-reliance for our own organizational activities. You're a very prophetic man, you know, because I was just sitting here thinking, you're also involved in something that's called African Games. And that happened before the recent Olympics. Why don't you run down just a bit of what the African Games is going to be?
Well, in January, there's something called the All African Games. It's getting ready to go down in Lagos, Nigeria. And usually, all African Games involves Africans just from the continent, but Alusis Adoki, of myself, from Malcolm X, Liberation University of Carolina, and a brother named Alan Barron from Black Sports Magazine. We got together and said, first of all, if we are Africans, you know, I mean, we should be included in this, not only us, but Africans who live down in the West Indies, you see, that we should not be excluded from these kinds of things. Like, we are excluded from the OAU. How can it be the organization of African community? If all these Africans in the West in hemisphere, at least 100 million of us, are excluded from them. And so we are trying the great deal of energy right now to begin to see, can we put together, you know, a Western hemisphere African team. Right now, we're waiting for the Nigerians and the Supreme Sports Council of Africa
to give us permission to begin, you know, putting a team together. Will you use people like Vince Matthews? Yes. We hope so. Vince Matthews, definitely. He's certainly agreed. But I think we'll be able to use, you know, many of those black athletes who we felt were ripped off in that Olympics. You know, I thought the thing that happened in Matthews, for instance, he and Colette, that was just a payback for, you know, Africans unifying and kicking those Rhodesians out, the games. I think what they did to Brother Hart when he couldn't run and some other things like that. Brother Reggie Jones from Newark, was a boxer, you know, whipped up dead Russian. I think all those things were like direct paybacks, you know, against, you know, African people for being willing to throw Rhodesia out. How do you find the energy? I mean, how do you absolutely find the energy
to be involved in all of these things to have most of them work to your benefit and then to turn that a library such as you have? I don't know. Maybe I just have a lot of nervous energy. I don't know. It's just, I think what we always say is Kazi is the blackest of all. And to us, that's why he lived for work. And we always define our activities as work and study. Those are the two kinds of activities that can really make change, can really transform the community. Work or study. And, you know, I try to do a lot of both. You know, I know, for instance, that you can never know everything. You know, you can never learn everything. You know, I'm always being amazed by information that I should have known, that I should have had. And also in terms of work until we liberate it, until we actually liberated people, then there's not enough you can do.
You see, one thing I was talking to some people last night is why I'm horse. I was talking to some people down in New York Brunswick and asked them, I know you work eight hours for White folks, for instance. But how many hours do you work to liberate yourself? I mean, do you work one hour a day, you know, to liberate yourself? One hour. And a lot of people couldn't even raise their hands about that. Not even one hour. But when you get down to it, what do you see? Is your role as an artist, as a construction engineer, as a developmental engineer, as a politician? What do you basically see your role and your destiny at this time? Well, I'm, you know, we believe that in terms of being African people that we have to do what is necessary, you know? And actually, I was telling somebody that I think the worst criticism of us is the stuff that remains to be done.
And I just feel that, you know, what we should be doing is what is necessary to be doing. That's why I have very little use for people who claim that they are artists and that is their whole thing. Because actually, except for the kind of Western aggrandizement of art as a kind of special freakishness, the artist is like any other, you know, person in the community. And if he has some kind of talent, you know, it has to be utilized to improve that community and transform that community. Otherwise, he's like any other person that's jamming, you know? And that's, I think, the way the work should be judged at the end. That which develops, that which supports, that which transforms, you know, being positive and that which is negative, that which slows us down, that which diverts us from what we're doing. That should be viewed as, you know,
part of somebody else's plus. Well, your work speaks for you as an artist. What is your evaluation of the contribution that you're made to new art? Are you seeing any changes there? Or do you feel that at some point you are being dealt with as a legitimate spokesman for a lot of grievances in the black community? Well, there's been, you know, some change. There's been some change. We certainly are not satisfied with it. And in the next couple of years, we intend to work very hard to see that conditions are created so that even more change, even more radical change, even more black control will be, you know, manifest. You know, people now are screaming about, well, black people are trying to take over new, you know, but that's absurd. You know, we might be trying to take it over. That's not absurd.
But to say that, you know, black people are controlling everything. That's absurd. You know, I mean, you know, big business, you know, they control, let's say you like to control everything else. You know, the well-dressed killers, you know, that never see blood, you know, who like deal with people's lives over cocktails, you know, they still control it, you know. And what we're doing is trying to struggle to make change where we can make change, you see. And I think that's the thing that people have to realize that community organizing has to do with organizing the community to maximize your political and economic power. That's what nationalism is. To maximize it, you see. And what maximizing it means, changes as the situation changes. My son might be able to maximize it past anything I can conceive of. But that's, like, you know, progressive perfection, as we say. You know, the Pharaoh is an extension of the coal train. That's right. And it keeps building. That's building. Would you like to see your son?
Is there any particular involvement you like to see him in? I just used that as sort of a metaphor, especially now I have three to be hard to, I'm sure that they, you know, like all of our sons and daughters here, I'm sure that they will, you know, by the time they have to make the decisions, they'll be able to make them. Have you found, and this is just deviating a little bit from Barack of the artist, but have you found any drug problem in the community fight, a unified North committee for you? No, we don't have that problem. We only, a lot of times we had drug with the way things are going, but in terms, in terms of drugs, then we don't have that problem. I think that the drug thing, again, is a result of being crushed by somebody else's values. You know, throwing yourself uselessly against the kind of the monstrosity of American society when we're in it.
It's just absolute despair, you know, and in a, in a way, the what drugs are, I mean, just like the whole superfly business and the whole thing. I mean, they're made sort of quasi legitimate for black folks. You know what I mean? If we really thought about drugs, the way they really are in the community. You know, if we really were to be as hard about drugs as we need to, we would be shooting pushes in the street. I mean, if we really focused on it for a minute, what drugs are. You know what I'm saying? They are actually like enemy, chemical warfare, you know? That's the only thing I can see at this point would be like an elimination campaign. You know, the cleaner, the cleaner the pusher, the quicker he needs to be off, you know? The cleaner they are, the further away they are from actually being greasy junkies, you know, the quicker they need to be off.
You know, all the fashionable ones need to be killed off first. That's the one in big cause. Do you welcome outside participation and involvement in the committee? Right. We have what we call the Committee of Unified Newark Advisory Committee for one thing, which is a very large and ever-growing group of citizens in the community who work on, you know, independent projects, they work on projects in support of the committee, and they work on projects that they can see by themselves. And in the fall, in the winter, we will be beginning to develop adult education programs. We hope that we can attract some of the talented, you know, people in the community to begin to come over and help us out, you know? In such things as communication. We have a communications program now. We're outside communication specialists come in and teach. And we hope to be, you know, ever widening that approach to people.
One thing that we try to do with this cowboy to towers is invite a lot of the best-known black artists to help us design the interior, you know, the murals and whatnot on the walls. And really begin to, you know, deal with creating kind of neo-African lifestyle, our architect, for instance, Majinzi Kumba, his architect here from New York, who works with us very closely on creating, you know, a new kind of architecture, you know, for buildings that we're going to be putting up in the future. He's not a member of the organization, but we work very closely, I think. He's an architect, his assistant, draftsman, and some of the people we're working with in the housing thing are people in the community, not directly in the organization. But we always try to work, we say unity without uniformity, operational unity, some of the things that we were trying to deal with in Gary, you know,
trying to create a community where our values can exist certainly, but also to see that entity be able to work with many other entities, because we believe that black people in America have as many tribes as, you know, our brothers and sisters on the continent. And so we have to learn how to de-tribalize ourselves, or even while being tried, begin to work with each other towards larger goals, for creating a national consciousness. Another question is, do you think that your organization, and as it's presently structured and all that you are accomplishing, could maintain and continue itself, say if the bottom fell out of it economically? I don't think any, you know, organization could, can survive without economic development. But what we are doing is not based on an artificial, you know, standard of living, you know.
I think that's the deadliest thing you can get into, to begin basing what you're doing on, you know, white boys, standard of living, you know, are his values again, you know. It must always be something that can exist even without that, you know. Have you thought of any way of rescuing a lot of our artists who have to deal with, with host of forces, they by starting a publishing firm other than jihad, or hooking up the publishing firm? Well, there's a meeting today as a matter of fact in Washington, with the combined black publishers consisting of jihad, publications, third world press, that's Don Lee's group in Chicago, broadside in Detroit, Drum and Spear in Washington. And that's what we're talking about now, trying to build a larger kind of thing. But I think that black artists are going to have to understand first that they themselves have to help create these alternative forms.
You see, they're going to have to do that. I think studio, not studio museum, but the, what is it? We used to see Sana in Harlem, right, in Harlem. That's a good example of a beginning of an alternative institution. You say at the beginning of an alternative institution, yet we find so many black writers are only imitating in Mama and Mary Baraka. What's your feelings on that? Well, I think that in terms of the development of writers, I don't think it's good to imitate past its usefulness as expression. I think everybody, when they begin, imitate somebody. I used to imitate Richard Wright for a long time, and then I tried to imitate John Coltrane for a long time. But I think that you usually pattern yourself after somebody until you begin to find that thing in them and you that lead you somewhere else.
And what I think we need to do is begin to look for that revolutionary value system, talking about writers who are not there. And I think once you get the correct values, then the writing will be secondary. It will come out right. But I think it's the values that are important. The style of writing, the techniques of writing will be secondary. You understand? It will be secondary. But the values are what has to be. You begin to write those things or actually live those things that are positive for the growth and development of your people, which you are only an extension of. One aspect of, you see. One person is the race in miniature. And if you begin to live according to that positive value system, then what you do as say art will be positive by virtue of that. And that comes from Secretary, a political leader,
who's an expert on art. In my room, you're a very beautiful man, and I thank you for participating with us in this episode of Soul. And right after this word, we would really appreciate your concluding this program with a reading from your newest work, Spirit Reach. Thank you very much. Thank you. Hi, brothers and sisters. My name is Loretta Green, and I'm a member of the Soul staff. I'm here tonight to remind you of our address,
in case you're interested in writing for tickets. That's 304, West 58th Street, New York City, New York, zip code 119. Now remember, that address is for tickets, or if you have any information about your community, or about yourself, you'd like us to know, if you'd like to know something about us. So that address again is 304, West 58th Street, what New York City zip code 119. We want to hear from you now. The spirit of creation is blackness. Whatever happens, we know we've lived. Continue stream of fire. Zag, dare burn. Show up, baby. You, me, a star. Get together with the purest magnetism. We are sons drawing new life. Go together as part of the same. Inside, outside.
Burn the same dawn. Sun set. Climb a rope. Rolled animal. Disappear the same. Scramble up the pyramid. Hallelujah among the pyramids. Preach and scream and dance atop the pyramid. Salute your father, the Sphinx, his lion's legs and bull's body. His African patients to cool it so long out in the sand to teach a bunch of oveo bloods wandering around the world. But whatever's going to happen is happening. Lookhand, fist, a torch shoved above our head, and we can see the way we move drawn on by ourselves. Hot looks, the heads of projector. Please turn it to fast motion, smiling, so silent in the dark amidst the images. When they come out, they melt the snow. They show us where to go, and we on the road already. We are our roads, you know. Your brain could catch your head on fire, and it would keep fire like on a weird calendar around your television night. It'd be screaming, look, dig this, something outside about the spring, and you better come and warm yourself by our scream and night. You never see nobody can walk around with their head on fire and still sing the blues. But these are the reds, the screens, the holy blacks of
the necessary harmony. And they'd come all those who survived the snows, could he or see or feel the unchob baby sis through them. They would turn from the bull, but they was doing in stumble. They'd move on over to where we was camping out in motion like the emotional erectus set of flesh and spirit. Institutions of blackness, anti-slavery brigade blowing hot changes for the advertised season coming, coming. And they'd come, be a bunch, a nation of them, coming, coming, coming, and they'd come, be a bunch, a nation of them. Your head all head, be burning so bad, be burning so good with light up where we was, the world could see, and flying niggas be visionary black men right away and walk across their watery chains, reconstruct their whiteed out brains, and do the rhythm pop slow and fast motion, glistening like the jewelry they digs. Shine out like the hippopotamus top alligator wheel, folk mobiles they invented for the movement, sake for the sounds, sake for the screech and the tiptoes, sake for the colors, sake for the a-ha-ha-ha, sake in the, yeah man, sake in the diggets, sake in the, you got it, sake in the, you think so, huh, sake in the sake
of the shadow to drags along, envying the body of the blood. He longs to climb into unity with us and our father, the sun, who are in the safe and peaceful place. We lean across the space of meetings. Say, yeah, go ahead, do what you got to do. It's all right. The sun will come up most likely and everything will be all right. Your head will be all our heads, and it's rising like it was the sun drawing you up with it. And we are drawing around in tune like motion, playing you, playing me, all playing. We are crowd of us, swagily black. Will you see joy? And there are words with this melody and words and melody, tune, rhythm, the harmony are all the same. We merge with it. All things are it. We rhythm and sound. We rhythm and sound. We rhythm and sound and sun color. We rise and set and sing and move. O Lord, O Lord, O Lord, O Lord. APPLAUSE Somebody's slow is another body's fast.
How fast we going to travel to get up out of here. How fast can we move to move on away from this job? How quick can we slick how quick can we uncheck our slick self, Dazzle by devils, shining weights on our knees. Tricks is good. Say a trick, Nick. He's a hip kid. He sells his mama's children dope for a green vine. He's cool in hell. He's cool, cool, cool. Somebody's fast. There's no food at all. Spalled on the low way, with all our toll go ripped off by unconscious pieces of our self. Our heart, our love, our shrivel mind, our eyes, our touch, our feeling, all hurtle and float. They out on the block. They on different sides of the street. On different sides of the question. Allah who opt bar over here. Right on over there. Body giny all up in around where I am. And we still, all of us, somebody's slow stew for muddy feet. The bloody foot claws of a beast squash our naked brain. Blood and mud mixed with brown gray brain meat. The sparks droop.
The fire wilts. Mud images and blood images. Yusuf says we are Frankenstein dancing to the music of a mad, soulless beast. But it's our music. It's our rhythm. It's our sound and fury. We hip and fast. We travel without touching the ground. Dig me, dig me, dig me, dig me. We say, but that's all we say. Dig me, dig me, dig me, dig me. It's a putt sound to Dracula pig teeth. Dracula pig teeth is ripping black skies blood on the way to cool moon. Dracula pig teeth on the way to cool moon. Dracula pig teeth on the way to cool moon. We got to get faster, faster. We'll do it. We got to be slicker. Slicker's going to get it. He has a slick trick to us in a green Cadillac. A green hat. A green suit. A green fingernail file. And green dirt underneath green fingernails. He's green. And he's mean. He's clean. Nobody humping his mama for 300 years. He can sell it to you. Sell it to your buyer, nigga. Buy it. Can't sell a giver. I'll make you believe anything. I'm got to pee on the wall. Dumbass, nigga. I'm super smart. I haven't created even you from a higher form of life. The African, what you now hate.
Can you understand a higher form of life? We are fast, all right. We better fast. Lay off them hard knuckle stuff with cocaine and white magic. Lay off savagings, flute farts for loud silence. The cool, the fool's slave. Cool, the fool's slave. Give him a job. Here. Give him a white lady. Here. Give him an ideology. Here. Give him magic hatred of everything strong in himself. Here. Cool, the fool's slave. Here, monkey. Jump up and down. Okay. Throw your fists in air. Say pout to the people. Here. Y'all fool, my man. Okay. All those who don't want to get shot straight out. Just crawl up in the visionary bedrooms with negative aspects of the shadow. And call our name every five seconds till you change. Here. Every five seconds. God. Jesus. Darwin. Mark's. Mark's. Here. Yes. Yes. Right. On. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. We are very slow.
See. Very slow. Get up. We are not moving. I want warmth. Heat us. Get up. See. Move. No faster. We are in our hip terrible. There's no so cool yet slow. We are in our hip terrible. And there's so cool yet slow. A rocket bursts past our face, killing our whole history. The Sphinx, our father, squats in the desert, waiting to be caught up with. We are very slow, he says, unmoving to make us dig ourselves. Pharaoh. Listen to Junior Walker. Junior Walker. Listen to the silence of the desert. James Brown. Weed. Read. And while Emanaieri. Staple singers. How do you system? We are very slow. Listen. A breath. Mermer, ancient one. Pick up rhythm, rock, a ceiling of sun. All cells, rising, birth. Are we alive? Yes. But we are barely moving. Too slow. Go ahead, brother. Move. Go ahead, me, you, be us. Head, speak the hand. Leg, respond. I love. Feel. Oh, feel. Here we are.
Touch me. Put it all in here. Here. I we. Be we. Are we us need us. Our cells, us could be big as sea. Big as we. We big. We love. Feel. Head. No eye. Eye. See. Here. Here. Hand. What are you doing? Doing. Are you doing? That's in jama hand. Car foot mouth. Tell him to pick up. Car heart to pump food to fish. Yabor moved. That's hip in jama. In jama. Hofany Queen. We whisper along the veins of black existence. Hofany Queen or along all beautiful in chords of black life. My fear, my love, my fear is for you us. Like the significance of zama. Hofany Queen or a cow. Like the wonderful ripples of eternal water. Carrying the touching of mungu rho. Holy spirit can the outside reach the inside holy consciousness. Can the sidewalk talk to the black ghost of love, vibrations soft thunder, jagged edge of always terrible perfection touch, touch, touch speak pomodja unis in one word, one sound one final never always its not is the one. Oh, awe the circle what CC you can see we are the b the b to be the The B to B, the all the all all spirit spirit spirit spirit spirit spirit spirit and what is left is moving constant crumble life alive can we raise ourselves increase the vibration the cycle of life to constant frequency all is none is constant it is all vibration the swing of endless pendulum. I want we we as the two extremes one atone a z one strike forever moving claim claim in us.
A z one atone we are a man meditating we are bodies moving together in love we are communities looking into the sky for a moment on the clear way to liberation we are cities readying brothers to lead us we are nation great body collect the fragments of the Milky Way a swirl atop our heads we're through the cosmic voice like perfect jagged steel stabs in stabs in the B the B the B and we will be Santa all of all are all of who all how old old all all
My! Good running. Here we come, here we come. good AD. Good work for us. Awesome. Good work for us. Good work. Good work. Welcome to our manual, professional qualification Cook schedule, where are you going to work? Happy Holidays! Get the left arm down.
Get it left arm down! Get it right arm down! Get it right arm down! Got it, got it, got it! poon! Why do I have the items that I've read, that I just have. Then I get a guy from Congress who just made a lot of your creative plays at aougish lamp. While it's all for 9th century, I've not even listened to it of a calm number 16. This is for tonight's vision of my environment. He's almost out of way, I know him. So, our production of WNET-13.
He's out of way, he's out of way. oof You
- Episode Number
- Baraka, The Artist
- Producing Organization
- WNET (Television station : New York, N.Y.)
- Contributing Organization
- Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
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- Episode Description
- Originally broadcast as episode 306 and rebroadcast as episode 326. Poet, playwright and political activist Imamu Amiri Baraka talks about Black people and their relationship to the philosophic doctrine, "Kawaida," when he joins host/producer Ellis Haizlip for Soul!'s "Baraka, the Artist." In addition to being a well-known literary figure (his work includes the plays, "Dutchman" and "The Slave," and a collection of poetry, "In Our Terribleness"), Baraka is found and spiritual leader of the Committee for United New Arts, co-convener of the Historic National Black Political Convention and newly elected Chairman of the Congress of African People. Talking about Black artists living and working in New York, Baraka state, "It's very difficult for a lot of people to step away from what they're creating and see whether it actually is being created in the healthiest way - whether it's created for the total service of their community and is actually as strong as it should be" Baraka then goes on to imply that "Kawaida," the philosophic doctrine which embodies a Black value system, can constructively guide all Black people, artists and non-artists alike. Based on reason and tradition, the principles have been incorporated into the daily lives of Baraka and his followers. They are: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, co-operative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. Simply stated, the principles are recorded in such a way that "people on the sidewalk could pick it (them) up," notes Baraka. On the show, Baraka reads four works from his latest collection of poetry, "Spirit Reach": "Kutoa Umoja," "Snapshots of Everything," "The Spirit of Creation is Blackness," and "Somebody's Slow is Another Body's Fast." (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
- Broadcast Date
- Broadcast Date
- Created Date
- Asset type
- Media type
- Moving Image
Producing Organization: WNET (Television station : New York, N.Y.)
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
Library of Congress
Identifier: 152952-1 (MAVIS Component Number)
Library of Congress
Identifier: 152952-2 (MAVIS Component Number)
Format: 2 inch videotape
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- Chicago: “Soul!; 306; Baraka, The Artist,” 1973-04-05, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 8, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-512-dr2p55ff6c.
- MLA: “Soul!; 306; Baraka, The Artist.” 1973-04-05. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 8, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-512-dr2p55ff6c>.
- APA: Soul!; 306; Baraka, The Artist. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-512-dr2p55ff6c