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Monday
Jan162012

Gil Scott Heron

I've read enough articles this morning detailing important speeches and quotes and the like for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and I'm pleased to see so many media outlets giving him the credit he deserves and deserved for a long time. However, I want to do something different and it seems that with the United States being in such a state of turmoil this last year it sort of begs it. Like I do each Sunday, I get up and watch CBS Sunday Morning and when I watched the end of the year special back in December I was a little horrified that the segment where they mentioned all the famous and important people who died that they left off Gil Scott Heron. (He was in their online photo gallery, though. But he didn't get his due ON TELEVISION. WHERE THINGS ARE TO BE TELEVISED.)

You are on notice, Sunday Morning. This is unforgivable.

When I watched yesterday they did ANOTHER (this is the 3rd one I've seen) segment on the movie "War Horse" and have yet to mention "Red Tails". I have theories about that that don't even warrant me putting into words.

So, instead of posting the obvious, I think it might benefit a more inclusive learning environment to post Heron's "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" because, after all, he is duly credited with having gotten Dr. King a national holiday along with Stevie Wonder. You can read about that at this link here from The Guardian.

All the issues of poverty and middle class shifting and Occupy Wall Street makes this far more powerful than I would have imagined in this day. I first heard it in college when I was minoring in Afro-American Studies and it stuck with me even if I couldn't express why. This and Imamu Amiri Baraka's "Dutchman" are two things I recall learning about and wondering why those of us with that particular minor were the only ones learning about it.

Ahhh, diversity, you elusive minx.

In any case, Heron's "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" is worth listening to today. This is how I'm celebrating this day off for Dr. King.


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Reader Comments (4)

thank you for always always informing me, teaching me, leading me, and probably in some really great shoes.

January 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlindajones

Just this last year I had the pleasure to revisit Gil Scott-Heron. It's a HUGE oversight on my part, loving music as much as I do. It was the Greg Proops podcast that did it. He started talking about Heron and I realized that I loved one of Heron's songs, from when I was like 6-7 years old - it was the rendition he did of Johannesburg on Saturday Night Live. That chorus I had in my head from when I was a kid, but I never made the leap to trying to listen to more of his music. Heron I now know was an incredible figure, incredibly troubled by drugs later, and made some astonishing music. I think for some reason I had lumped him, stupidly, with like Gilberto Gil (another Gil) missing out entirely on music that I now know hits me right in the space where my brain and heart live - activist, troublemaking, sly, funny, political art.

Anyway, I've been thinking about him a lot, and now to learn he also was involved with MLK day, pretty darn cool.

January 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Crawford

This is one of my favorite Gil Scott-Heron songs. He died all too soon.

January 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKathy G

Hey sugar, long time no see! I'm writing again and I miss you--please stop by., :)

Glad to see at least one old friend is still writing...

January 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBen

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