Amiri Baraka “Obama Poem”



“Obama Poem” by Amiri Baraka with Rob Brown-saxophone, recorded live on February 21, 2009 at The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy NY.

The poet icon and political activist Amiri Baraka performs with Rob Brown, an eloquent and versatile saxophonist with a deep knowledge of jazz, in a reading from his book “Somebody Blew Up America & Other Poems.”

This production is part of “Free Jazz at the Sanctuary,” a 13-part series of performance videos featuring some of the world’s most talented improvisers. Each hour-long show is available on DVD directly from Downtown Music Gallery (www.downtownmusicgallery.com). For more information on this series, visit www.JazzSanctuary.org

The complete series consists of performances by:

The Thirteenth Assembly (Taylor Ho Bynum, Tomas Fujiwara, Mary Halvorson, Jessica Pavone)

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble (Kahil El’Zabar, Ernest Dawkins, Corey Wilkes)

From Between Trio (Michel Doneda, Tatsuya Nakatani, Jack Wright)

Michael Vlatkovich Quartet (Christopher Garcia, Jonathan Golove, David Mott, Michael Vlatkovich)

Sax Soup Poetry and Voice (Joe Giardullo, Pierre Joris, Nicole Peyrafitte)

Trio Tarana (Sam Bardfeld, Ravish Momin, Brian Prunka)

The Ras Ensemble (Clif Jackson, Dave Miller, Ras Moshe, Tor Yochai Snyder)

William Hooker

Empty Cage Quartet (Ivan Johnson, Paul Kikuchi, Jason Mears, Kris Tiner)

Weasel Walter Trio (Peter Evans, Mary Halvorson, Weasel Walter)

Splatto Festival Chorus (Dave Barrett, Michael Bisio, Ed Mann, Todd Reynolds)

Amiri Baraka and Rob Brown

Fay Victor Ensemble (Ken Filiano, Anders Nilsson, Michael TA Thompson, Fay Victor)

“Free Jazz from the Sanctuary” is a co-production of NY Media Alliance and the Arts Department at Rensselaer, made possible in part with support from the NYS Council on the Arts and the NYS Music Fund, established by the NYS Attorney General at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisers.

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35 thoughts on “Amiri Baraka “Obama Poem”

  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    Utter rubbish.   Pathetic, uncultured Americans.  They think this rat excrement is art.   This clown is light years behind Yeats, Shakespeare, T.S Eliot, and many greats.

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  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    Ah, my friend, fellow writer, music lover, and conversationalist…Amiri Baraka. Great discussions never to be forgotten. Continued rest, Amiri.

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  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    Soul without a Heaven
     
    Evermore, Amiri’s spirit is a disobeyer,
     Fighting all oppositional visions.
     On Newark’s numerous walls,
     He smears odes to Marxist contrarians.
     
    Evermore, Amiri’s spirit is a disobeyer,
     Whose rancor for imperialists
     Could torch their needs
     To ashen nothingness.
     
    Evermore, Amiri’s spirit is a disobeyer,
     Whose right hand manages a pen,
     Whose left banks on its shank,
     And both will shiv contention givers.
     
    Evermore, Amiri’s spirit is a disobeyer.
     Delighting anti-Semites and homophobes,
     His published pressure cooker bomb explodes.
     Such shaitan ire never erodes.
     
    Shaitan: an evil spirit in Islamic countries
     
    by Bob McNeil
    Copyright 2014

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  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    The name of the song Rob Brown is playing is called Lester Leaps in by Count Basie.  In case anyone wanted to know.

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  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    Dear Bernie (sandyssanders…NOT!?!):
    I would love to hear more. Some intellectuals awaken to reality and have a comfortable financial or friendship shell where they are born again into a truth teller. I am guessing this whole concept, however, if you make this kind of suggestion; do not leave the rest seeking connections for verifying your suggestion.
    Else,
    B Al Gore's Leer Jet:
    Don

    Reply
  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    Poor Amiri Baraka…he really didn't do his homework on Barack O…..the chocolate-dipped white guy born of CIA parents, raised in private schools, worked for Business International Corporation (the CIA) after leaving the university system. Some people just want to believe in Santa Claus.

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  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    i'm a little surprised at the obviousness of the rhymes, the structure and the ideas of the poem; it's a little high school. i expected more.

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  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    Unfortunately there is only one person laughing out loud. The rest of us are praying for peace love and understanding… ooohhh… what's so funny 'bout peace love and understanding…?

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  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    lost; misdirected; they ain't who they is;
    blind like in Spanish cannot see see see, as if race was a waste–it is;
    you think you could survive amongst this hostile tribe;
    What's happening Prez!

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  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    This comment section exemplifies the fundamental problem with youtube. This poem is about a colossal achievement by a talented African American–one poet accompanied by one musician–it is a positive reflection on the past (Lester Young) and the present (Prez Obama.) All this positivity is destined to be destroyed by some TROLL who turns it into a race war. If we bombard this video with positive comments the TROLL will disappear. Peace/Love/Knowledge!

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  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    Amiri Baraka is also the leading authority on American music.

    Blues People is the book that put him on the map.

    Ditchman is the play that put him on the map.

    Since then he has made many cultural contributions to this great nation that is plagued by racism, illiteracy, and hatred.

    TheLagunaSunrise needs to learn how to read but his mind is too contaminated with hatred to take that first step. Go to the library–get the book–open it up–and read every page from cover to cover. Good luck!

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  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    I just think it is awesome that a black man is in the White House!

    Democrats have Amiri Baraka.

    Republicans have Sarah Palin.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

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  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    For all of the literate non-haters The Autobiography of Leroi Jones/Amiri Baraka explains in great detail where Amiri Baraka came up with his abstract style. He incorporates jazz improvisation, poetry, surrealism, and a combination of the philosophy of Malcolm X combined with the African philosophy known as Kawaida–a creation of Ron Karenga.

    Amiri Baraka is one brilliant mother fucker!

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  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    Amiri Baraka is the king of abstract expressionism!

    Thanks to this man there are ethnic studies programs in Universities across America. Knowledge=king!

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  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    TheLagunaSunrise simply cannot grasp this form of abstract expressionism. Amiri Baraka has grown a considerable amount since his anti-white days… in fact he is using a white musician in this video. The only form of logic I can see with TheLagunaSunrise is unbridled indiscriminate racism and hatred. There is no need to respond to such a clueless fool who has never even read a single Amiri Baraka book. Your grade=F minus.

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  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    @itsturbotimeyall Wow… you're quite fond of FAILING, aren't you? LOL! The white man isn't forcing you, or anyone else to use cars, planes, busses etc etc. You CHOOSE to. YOU choose to contribute to the polution of the globe. Don't tell me you HAVE to use a car or a bus. Ever heard of a bicycle (also invented by the white cracker DEVIL LOL)?

    And there is no "destruction of planet earth" going on, you fucking retard. One day, earth won't exist. One day, this solar system won't exist. IDIOT. LOL

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  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    @itsturbotimeyall LMFAO… TYPICAL! I KNEW you were going to bring up Samson. Gamma radiation has NOTHING to do with cellular communication. This MYTH has been destroyed, but you're still trying to push it. LOL! MARTIN COOPER. GOOGLE IT. RETARD.

    I never said the internet wasn't created "over time" you numbskull. It was ALL MASTERMINDED by PEOPLE of European descent. Funny how you don't list any of these blacks who were fundamental in the creation of the internet, isn't it? LOL!

    You FAIL. LOL

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  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    @ktwheels44 How am I shitting on their graves by stating the FACT that a white cracker DEVIL created the saxophone? What kind of logic are you using? lol

    Again, I have to ask the question – why would an anti-white racist choose to use inventions created by the white cracker DEVIL. It doesn't make ANY sense. It would be like a KKK member listening to some blues LOL…

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  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    @TheLagunaSunrise You are fucking kidding me right? You have no idea who Lester Young is… So let me get this right–you are going to shit on the graves of Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Cannonball Adderly, and John Coltrane because the sax was created by a white man? Which one are you? an anti-white racist? or a white cracker devil? That's not food for thought–that is shit for brains.

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  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    @itsturbotimeyall I never said the internet was created by one person, "man". It was created by white cracker DEVILS (plural).

    And the cell-phone was invented by Martin Cooper, an american white cracker DEVIL of Ukrainian descent. You fail again. LOL

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  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    @ktwheels44 I don't care what you claim him to be. I do, however, know he is an anti-white RACIST. One has to ask the question; why would an anti-white racist choose to use inventions created by the white cracker DEVIL? Food for thought. 😉

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  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    @AshaBee73 I'm not "reaching", 'dude'. The inventions I listed were ALL invented by white cracker DEVILS; the PC, internet, world wide web & the saxophone. That's fact. No wonder you don't want to debate, because you can't stand the truth.

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  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    @sumsucsidxermus00 Fuck white English romantic bullshit poetry punk… Keats is no Amiri Baraka. If you read the rest of my comments you will realize you are one of the idiots who forgot to do their homework. Thumbs up to knowledge not your ignorance.

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  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    Knowledge is King and this man is like an Egyptian God who has come to protect his people from the ignorance, greed, and illiteracy of modern civilization. The truth is dangerous in a world full of stupidity. Amiri=love.

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  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    This man is a genius and any person who would dare to insult his intelligence is not worth responding to. For all of you haters you need to read Blues People, The Fiction of LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka, The Leroi Jones/Amiri Baraka Reader, The Autobiography of Leroi Jones/Amiri Baraka, and The Autobiography of Malcolm X as Told to Alex Haley just to be qualified to diss. While you are at it you must read every Frederick Douglass autobiography and Richard Wright's Native Son and Black Boy. WORD.

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  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    @TheLagunaSunrise This racist goon as you call him is the most controversial revolutionary African American on the planet dude…nobody cares about who invented the sax…get a life.

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  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    @TheLagunaSunrise you're reaching, dude. People of different races have invented all of the things we can barely function without today. To call this man a racist goon shows you have no respect and I do not mix with the ignorant so my comment ends here.

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  • August 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    Does this racist goon even know why the saxophone is called the SAXophone? Because it was invented by a Belgian white cracker devil, called Adolphe SAX.

    lol @ the anti-white racists who are surrounded by white cracker devil inventions & discoveries. This very second, whilst they view this very comment, they are using the internet, world wide web & PC – all invented by the white cracker devil. Oh, and the electricity that powers it all was harnessed by the white cracker devil.

    L – O – L

    Reply

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