The genius and the legend of Brother Gil Scott Heron’s prophetic analyst of black life, politics, and the world resonates as profoundly today as the day he first delivered his messages. Not long ago, we lived through the “Bush Administration” which was not that much different than his father’s or the Regan and Nixon Administrations. I won’t go so far as to call them racist but the policies they but forth sure as hell were. All were commanders of the war on black people.
Having lived through each, I’ve seen how their policies negated African Americans, subjecting nearly an entire race to irrelevant status, as invisible creatures unnecessary and not wanted. During their time of power and even now, the system of survival is as difficult as it ever was – poverty, unemployment, education, no justice, and all of which simply means “Separate but Unequal”.
Often, through this blog, try to resurrect the spirits of those who sacrificed and laid the foundation for this generation that in many ways have forgotten or never understood that we stand on the shoulders of giants and the knowledge of our rich history. If you are someone that missed the message, understand that each of us, ultimately, have a responsibility to continue the species. In spite of a system that has continually denied African Americans the most basic of human rights or at least those rights prescribed in the Constitution. It is time to come together and address the systematic problems we face.
Throughout the 1970s, Gil Scott-Heron and his musical collaborator Brain Jackson had a profound impact on my life. It was his message that caused me to think critically about the world around me that was not for me. They did it through the music that reflected the turbulence, uncertainty and increasing pessimism of the times, merging soul and jazz traditions that reached my conscienceless.
Gil’s message to me said the whole world is a stage, and black people will not be nominated for anything. This brother is the most unsung hero of our time, and therefore I want pay homage to his long lasting spirit. He explained, correctly, that the revolution is not necessarily a physical confrontation; rather it is a battle of the mind. He said, “the revolution will not be televised” which at the time seemed to make sense.
However, fast forward to 2014 we see a war inflicted upon use far more devastating than what took place in his day. Nonetheless, in today’s time the revolution is televised. Therefore, I say, “free your mind and your ass will follow.”And that’s my thought provoking perspective…
Watch the video and open your mind and see that the war is all around you!