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Living Legend Leonard Cohen


 Leonard Norman Cohen: Spiritual troubadour of Love and timeless inspiration !


80 yrs young CC GOQ (born 21 September 1934) is a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, poet, and novelist. His work has explored religion, politics, isolation, sexuality, and personal relationships.[2] Cohen has been inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is also a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian honour. In 2011, Cohen received a Prince of Asturias Award for literature.

The critic Bruce Eder assessed Cohen's overall career in popular music by asserting that "[he is] one of the most fascinating and enigmatic … singer/songwriters of the late '60s … [and] has retained an audience across four decades of music-making … Second only to Bob Dylan (and perhaps Paul Simon) [in terms of influence], he commands the attention of critics and younger musicians more firmly than any other musical figure from the 1960s who is still working at the outset of the 21st century."[3]

The Academy of American Poets has commented more broadly on Cohen's overall career in the arts, including his work as a poet, novelist, and songwriter, stating that "[Cohen's] successful blending of poetry, fiction, and music is made most clear in Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs, published in 1993, which gathered more than 200 of Cohen's poems … several novel excerpts, and almost 60 song lyrics … While it may seem to some that Leonard Cohen departed from the literary in pursuit of the musical, his fans continue to embrace him as a Renaissance man who straddles the elusive artistic borderlines." [4] 


For four decades, Leonard Cohen has been one of the most important and influential songwriters of our time, a figure whose body of work achieves greater depths of mystery and meaning as time goes on. His songs have set a virtually unmatched standard in their seriousness and range. Sex, spirituality, religion, power – he has relentlessly examined the largest issues in human lives, always with a full appreciation of how elusive answers can be to the vexing questions he raises. But those questions, and the journey he has traveled in seeking to address them, are the ever-shifting substance of his work, as well as the reasons why his songs never lose their overwhelming emotional force.
2008 was a landmark year for Leonard Cohen and marked a return to the live stage. Cohen travelled across the world, delivering three-hour concerts to sold-out audiences who offered standing ovations to the poet with over 40 years worth of repertoire. His latest offering, the 2 CD and DVD Live In London, beautifully captures the passion and energy Cohen brought to London’s 02 Arena and the love affair he’s had with his fans for over four decades.

His first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967), announced him as an undeniable major talent. It includes such songs as “Suzanne,” “Sisters of Mercy,” “So Long, Marianne” and “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye,” all now longstanding classics. If Cohen had never recorded another album, his daunting reputation would have been assured by this one alone.

However, the two extraordinary albums that followed, Songs From a Room (1969), which includes his classic song, “Bird on the Wire,” and Songs of Love and Hate (1971), provided whatever proof anyone may have required that that the greatness of his debut was not a fluke. (All three albums are reissued in April, 2007.)
Part of the reason why Cohen’s early work revealed such a high degree of achievement is that he was an accomplished literary figure before he ever began to record. His collections of poetry, including Let Us Compare Mythologies (1956) and Flowers for Hitler (1964), and his novels, including The Favourite Game (1963) Beautiful Losers (1966), had already brought him considerable recognition. His dual careers in music and literature have continued feeding each other over the decades – his songs revealing a literary quality rare in the world of popular music, and his poetry and prose informed by a rich musicality.
Leonard Cohen Page 2
One of the most revered figures of the singer-songwriter movement of the late Sixties and early Seventies, Cohen soon developed a desire to move beyond the folk trappings of that genre. By temperament and approach, he had always been closer to the European art song – he once termed his work the “European blues.” Add to that a fondness for country music; an ear for R&B-styled female background vocals; a sly appreciation for cabaret jazz, and a regard for rhythm not often encountered in singer-songwriters, and the extent of Cohen’s musical palette becomes clear. Each of Cohen’s albums reflects not simply the issues that are on his mind as a writer, but the sonic landscape he wishes to explore as well. The through-lines in his work, his voice and lyrics, are as distinctive as any in the world of music.
Cohen’s 1974 album, New Skin for the Old Ceremony, found him making bolder use of orchestration, a contrast to the more stripped-down sound he hard earlier preferred. This was followed by Death of a Ladies’ Man, his 1977 collaboration with Phil Spector, and constitutes his most extreme experiment.
Recent Songs (1979) and Various Positions (1984) returned Cohen to more recognizable sonic terrain, though the latter album, in a perhaps misguided nod to the trend at the time of its release, prominently incorporated synthesizers. Though not initially released in the U.S., Various Positions includes “Hallelujah,” which has since become one of Cohen’s best-known, best-loved songs and has been covered by over 150 artists including Jeff Buckley, Willie Nelson and Bono.
As the Eighties and their garishness began to wane, Cohen’s star began to rise once again. The listeners that had grown up with him had reached an age at which they wanted to re-examine the music of their past, and a new generation of artists and fans discovered him, attracted by the dignity, ambition and sheer quality of his songs.
Cohen rose to the opportunity this audience represented by releasing two consecutive albums, I’m Your Man (1988) and The Future (1992), that not only rank among the finest of his career, but that perfectly capture the texture of particularly complicated times. Cohen had long documented the high rate of casualties in the love wars, so the profound anxieties generated by the AIDS crisis were no news to him. Songs like “Ain’t No Cure for Love,” the wryly titled “I’m Your Man” and, most explicitly, “Everybody Knows” (“Everybody knows that the Plague is coming/Everybody knows that it’s moving fast/Everybody knows that the naked man and woman – just a shining artifact of the past”) depict Cohen surveying the contemporary erotic battleground and reporting on it with characteristic perspective, insight and wisdom.
Similarly, in the title track of The Future, Cohen ironically describes himself as “the little Jew who wrote the Bible,” and his immersion in Jewish culture, obsession with Christian imagery, and deep commitment to Buddhist detachment rendered him an ideal commentator on the approaching millennium and the apocalyptic fears it generated. Along with the album’s title track, “Closing Time,” “Anthem” and “Democracy” limned a cultural landscape rippling with dread, but yearning for hope. “There is a crack in everything,” Cohen sings in “Anthem,” “That’s how the light gets in.” Our human imperfections, he seems to be saying, are finally what will bring us whatever transcendence we can attain.
Leonard Cohen Page 3

Since that time, Cohen has released the albums Ten New Songs (2001) which includes the songs “Boogie Nights” and “In My Secret Life”, and Dear Heather (2004), as well as Blue Alert (2006), a collaboration on which Cohen produced and co-wrote songs with his former background singer Anjani Thomas, who provides the vocals. All three albums have only solidified his place in the pantheon of contemporary songwriters.

Collectively, Cohen has published 12 books the most recent 2006's Book of Longing, a collection of poetry, prose and drawings. Book of Longing reached #1 on the Top 10 Hardcover Fiction Books in Canada, as compiled by Maclean’s Magazine, being the first book of poetry ever to reach the top of the bestsellers’ lists in Canada.“Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.” 
― Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen has been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 1991, Cohen was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and in 2003, a Companion to the Order of Canada - the latter of which is Canada's highest civilian honor recognizing a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. In June 2008, he was made a Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec.

Last year “Hallelujah” became a record-setting UK chart phenomenon when a version performed by Alexandra Burke, winner of the massively popular television talent competition “X Factor,” rocketed to the #1 slot on the UK singles chart, becoming the fastest-selling single by a female artist in UK chart history. So much interest in the song was generated that Jeff Buckley’s rendition bulleted to #2 while Cohen’s original version entered the singles chart at #34, bringing the artist his first-ever British Top 40 single. With versions of the song holding down three Top 40 UK Singles Chart positions simultaneously, “Hallelujah” became the fastest-selling digital single in European history. RIAA, CRIA, ARIA and IFPI statistics alone show that, prior to late 2008, more than five million copies of “Hallelujah” sold in CD format.

His songs have been covered throughout the world while influencing generations of songwriters. Cohen's music has earned the accolades of other artists in tribute albums in France, Norway, Canada, Spain, the Czech Republic, South Africa and the United States.
Documentaries, awards, tribute albums and the ongoing march of artists eager to record his songs all acknowledge the peerless contribution Cohen has made to what one of his titles aptly calls “The Tower of Song.”

In 2008 Cohen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and it was also the year that brought him back to the stage, performing in front of audiences in Canada for the first time in 15 years. His 84 date concert tour led him from Halifax to Bucharest, from Dublin to Auckland. The tour sold out around the world winning accolades, critical acclaim and over 80, 5 Star reviews and the energy and awe of this special performance has been captured with the release of the 2 CD and DVD Live In London.

On the eve of the release of Live In London, to the delight of his beloved fans, Cohen will head out on tour across North America, continuing his lyrical journey and enlightening audiences with his challenging and thought provoking poems delivered with charisma and grace. Tour starts April 2nd.


This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.
 "There's a blaze of light in every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah "Leonard Cohen
 Ah, you loved me as a loser, but now you're worried that I just might win...Leonard Cohen
"I did my best, it wasn't much I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you."Leonard Cohen
 I do not think that a saint dissolves the chaos even for himself, for there is something arrogant and warlike in the notion of a man setting the universe in order. It is a kind of balance that is his glory...Leonard Cohen
 "respect your struggles. And it may surprise you, but I respect both sides of this struggle."Leonard Cohen
"I would like to say to you, to the leaders of the left, and the leaders of the right, I sing... I sing for everyone. My song has no flag, my song has no party." Leonard Cohen




 The light came through the window, Straight from the sun above, And so inside my little room There plunged the rays of Love...




  Leonard Cohen "Suzanne"

Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river 
You can hear the boats go by 
You can spend the night beside her 
And you know that she's half crazy 
But that's why you want to be there 
And she feeds you tea and oranges 
That come all the way from China 
And just when you mean to tell her 
That you have no love to give her 
Then she gets you on her wavelength 
And she lets the river answer 
That you've always been her lover 
And you want to travel with her 
And you want to travel blind 
And you know that she will trust you 
For you've touched her perfect body with your mind. 
And Jesus was a sailor 
When he walked upon the water 
And he spent a long time watching 
From his lonely wooden tower 
And when he knew for certain 
Only drowning men could see him 
He said "All men will be sailors then 
Until the sea shall free them" 
But he himself was broken 
Long before the sky would open 
Forsaken, almost human 
He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone 
And you want to travel with him 
And you want to travel blind 
And you think maybe you'll trust him 
For he's touched your perfect body with his mind. 

Now Suzanne takes your hand 
And she leads you to the river 
She is wearing rags and feathers 
From Salvation Army counters 
And the sun pours down like honey 
On our lady of the harbour 
And she shows you where to look 
Among the garbage and the flowers 
There are heroes in the seaweed 
There are children in the morning 
They are leaning out for love 
And they will lean that way forever 
While Suzanne holds the mirror 
And you want to travel with her 
And you want to travel blind 
And you know that you can trust her 
For she's touched your perfect body with her mind.

 "Almost Like The Blues"

I saw some people starving
There was murder, there was rape
Their villages were burning
They were trying to escape
I couldn't meet their glances
I was staring at my shoes
It was acid, it was tragic
It was almost like the blues

I have to die a little
Between each murderous thought
And when I'm finished thinking
I have to die a lot
There's torture and there's killing
And there's all my bad reviews
The war, the children missing
Lord, it's almost like the blues

So I let my heart get frozen
To keep away the rot
My father said I'm chosen
My mother said I'm not
I listened to their story
Of the Gypsies and the Jews
It was good, it wasn't boring
It was almost like the blues

There is no G-d in Heaven
And there is no Hell below
So says the great professor
Of all there is to know
But I've had the invitation
That a sinner can't refuse
And it's almost like salvation
It's almost like the blues
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FEATURED Living Legend Sir Sam Greenlee

 *UPDATE* Sir* Sam Greenlee born July 13, 1930 in Chicago passed away this morning May 19,  2014.

A beloved friend more akin to family and a mentor.  An inspiration to all . Uncle Sam will be greatly and dearly missed ! Rest in Love powerfully ,yet peacefully with respect as you did in life .


 Quote by Sir Greenlee “When you sleep on the floor, you can’t fall out of bed.”

Sir Greenlee attended Chicago public schools went on to  University of Wisconsin
achieving a Bachelor of Science in political Science 1952 .
After graduation he joined the United States Army,
serving for two years as a first lieutenant,then studied international relations at the University of Chicago between 1954 and 1957.
 Sir Greenlee has been politically active from an early age,
participating in his first sit-in at the age of 15.
But his early career with the United States Information Agency
put him at the heart of the government propaganda machine,
placing artists and writers on assignments to promote American culture overseas.
Sir Greenlee became one of the first African American foreign service officers,
holding assignments in Iraq, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Greece between 1957 and 1965.
Sir Greenlee finally left the service after becoming disillusioned about his role as a government propagandist.

He told Echo magazine:

"Essentially I was an overseas public relations representative for the United States.
Our job was to sell the best image of the United States overseas—basically I lied a lot."

The Gentleman:
Sir Greenlee is an intelligent, honest, witty ,wonderful sense of humor, personable ,gentleman who hold his tongue for no one yet , Sir Greenlee is always hospitable, polite and respectable.Who I am honored to address Sir Greenlee as  my funky Uncle respectfully.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Sir Greenlee September 19 ,2010 on the Artist Lounge radio show a memorable evening Sir Greenlee told this interviewer he was a roach Laughing.... But this humble woman dubbed him a chameleon as he adapts, preservers ,evolves and conquests regardless of the circumstances.

To listen to archives go to www.talkshoe.com/tc/21235 .
An exceptional writer, poet ,screenwriter, living legend,history maker , griot etc...Decorated war veteran.

Best known for his novel a cult and worldwide favorite went on to sell over one million copies
and was printed in six languages and a film adaptation of the novel

"The Spook Who Sat by the Door",



first published in London in March 1969,


Sir Greenlee wrote the Screenplay
which was made into the 1973 movie of the same name."The Spook that Sat Next to the Door"

A film adaptation of the novel—about a black CIA operative who decides to use
 his training to organize race riots—was withdrawn without explanation
after a promising opening at the box office in 1973.

 Movie :
Directed by     Ivan Dixon
Produced by     Ivan Dixon
Sam Greenlee
Written by     screenplay by
Melvin Clay
Sam Greenlee
based on the novel by
Sam Greenlee
Starring     Lawrence Cook
Paula Kelly
Janet League
J.A. Preston
David Lemieux[disambiguation needed]
Music by     Herbie Hancock
Cinematography     Michel Hugo
Distributed by     United Artists
Release date(s)     September 21, 1973
Running time     102 min.
Country     USA
Language     English

Truth Teller:

Sir Sam Greenlee is a truth teller controversial writer and political activist. His work has always faced opposition ,because of its confrontational style and troubling imagery, but it has also attracted a large audience of activists, rebels, and radicals.


 His 1976 novel" Baghdad Blues", set in Iraq in 1958, the year of the Ba'athist takeover
of the country, is based on his own experiences and has acquired a new audience since
 the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Black Issues Book Review listed Sir Greenlee's
two novels as among the bestselling books by a black author in that year.
Sir Greenlee is also an exceptional story teller , poet, a journalist,
a radio talk show host in his home town of Chicago etc....



Summary :

After leaving the U.S. Information Agency, Sir Greenlee lived for a while on the Greek island of Mykonos in the Aegean Sea and wrote The Spook Who Sat by the Door in four months during his stay there. The novel centers on a black CIA operative hired by the agency to demonstrate its multiracial outlook. Tiring of doing menial office tasks and showing white visitors around the facility, agent Dan Freeman quits his job and uses his training and experience as a spy to set up a black revolutionary protest movement in Chicago.Sir Greenlee himself lived on Chicago's South Side, the backdrop to some of the most destructive rioting of the 1960s. In 1968 his novel provided a frightening reminder of the events of that year. More threateningly, the novel actually depicted the revolutionaries as capable of winning. It was submitted to 40 publishers before finally being accepted by Allison and Busby in London.Epitomizes perseverance!

Spook soon became a cult favorite, selling well in black and radical bookshops around the United States. It is regarded as the first black-nationalist novel and is credited with inspiring the "blaxploitation" movie genre of the 1970s.

Most importantly it attacked the real-life rioters for making no attempt to channel their anger and energy into anything more significant than violence and destruction; in the character of Dan Freeman,Sir Greenlee created a true revolutionary leader, which made him far more dangerous to the white establishment than a mere rioter. The novel suggests that the outcome of the rioting might have been very different had the real-life rioters been led by someone as well organized and rational as Dan Freeman.

In presenting black protest groups with techniques that might be used for the violent overthrow of white-run organizations and government, Sir Greelee's novel was always going to be controversial. But the novel made Sir Greenlee's life harder in unexpected ways. His telephone was apparently tapped, his mail intercepted, and he began to suspect that the FBI was working to damage his career and silence him.  

There is no denying the political power of the novel and its potential to frighten powerful whites. That power is emphasized by a story Sir Greenlee told Echo. Befriending an ex-FBI agent Aubrey Lewis in a bar near the San Francisco airport, Sir Greenlee was flattered to hear that not only had Lewis read Spook, but it was "required reading in the FBI academy."

More trouble followed when Ivan Dixon attempted to get permission to film an adaptation of Spook in Chicago. The city authorities tried to stop the film being made, refusing to allow the filmmakers access to Chicago streets and making it difficult for them to hire personnel and acquire the large numbers of firearms demanded by Sir Greenlee's script.

In the end the film was shot in Gary, Indiana, aided by that city's black mayor, Richard Hatcher, though one or two clandestine shots of Chicago did make it into the final cut. After a long struggle to raise money to make the film, it was eventually released by United Artists in September 1973, only to be withdrawn after a few weeks despite a good start at the box office. It was re-released in 2004 and toured film festivals around the United States to great acclaim.

Despite their violent plotlines, both the novel and the film of Spook come down on the side of freedom rather than race hatred. A reviewer in The Christian Century noted that "the film makes it clear that the revolution arose not out of hatred toward whites, but out of love for the black people and their liberation.This is in keeping with Sir Greenlee's own literary stance, favoring diversity rather than domination or conflict. He told Echo of his dismay when he discovered that his creative writing tutor at the University of Wisconsin was "addicted to Hemingway and Faulkner," because for Sir Greenlee writing and literature should be inclusive and diverse.

Read more: Sam Greenlee Biography - Novel Became Cult Favorite, Enjoyed Brief Revival, Selected writings - Chicago, Spook, Black, Film, United, and Blues http://biography.jrank.org/pages/2413/Greenlee-Sam.html#ixzz1Vz9CXTss


Career: United States Information Agency, Washington, DC, served in Iraq, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Greece, 1957-65; Leadership Council for Metropolitan Communities, Chicago deputy director, 1965-69; WVON-AM radio, talk show host, 1988–; Columbia College, screenwriting tutor, 1990–.


Awards: United States Information Agency, meritorious service award for bravery during the 1958 Baghdad revolution; Sunday Times (London) Book of the Year award, for The Spook Who Sat by the Door, 1969; Ragdale Foundation fellowship, 1989; Illinois Arts Council fellowship, 1990; Illinois Poet Laureate award, 1990.

Read more: Sam Greenlee Biography - Novel Became Cult Favorite, Enjoyed Brief Revival, Selected writings - Chicago, Spook, Black, Film, United, and Blues http://biography.jrank.org/pages/2413/Greenlee-Sam.html#ixzz1Vz9SHQTF

Despite his brushes with the authorities, Sir Greenlee continued to write, producing two books of poetry, including "Blues for an African Princess "(1971), and in 1976 his second novel," Baghdad Blues"

 Based on his experiences in Iraq during the Ba'athist takeover in 1958, when Saddam Hussein's party came to power, the novel did not have the immediate impact of his first. But it nevertheless offered  insight and enlightenment into that period in Iraq's history.  Sir Greenlee's fortunes as a writer, the political climate of the early twenty-first century helped make his novels relevant for a new generation. Both Spook and" Baghdad Blues" speak of political struggle, oppression, and opposition.

Sir Greenlee has published stories, poems, and articles in small magazines and journals, as well as stage plays and screenplays; he has stuck to the routine of writing for four hours a day that he established early in his career and completed a third novel, Djakarta Blues, in 2002. SiirGreenlee spent much of the 1980s living in Spain and West Africa, but in 1988 he became a talk show host on Chicago's WVON-AM radio station; in 1990 he won the Illinois Poet Laureate Award. Since 1990 he has also taught screenwriting at Columbia College in Chicago, read his poetry at recitals, and since the re-release of the film The Spook Who Sat by the Door in 2004, has introduced the film at many festivals and one-off showings.



Published Works:

The Spook Who Sat by the Door, Baron, 1969.

Baghdad Blues, Bantam, 1976.

Blues for an African Princess, Third World Press, 1971.

Ammunition!: Poetry and Other Raps, Bogle L'Ouverture, 1975.
Sources Periodicals

The London Times 1969 pg. 20

The Christian Century, October 3, 1973.

Echo: A Student Magazine of Columbia College, Chicago, Winter 2002.

Black Issues Book Review, May-June, 2003.

Read more: Sam Greenlee Biography - Novel Became Cult Favorite, Enjoyed Brief Revival, Selected writings - Chicago, Spook, Black, Film, United, and Blues http://biography.jrank.org/pages/2413/Greenlee-Sam.html#ixzz1Vz9nKKvO



 Currently :Documentary Movie "Infiltrating Hollywood Rise and Fall of The Spook Who Sat By The Door"



Release Date
This is the official Facebook Page for the documentary film Infiltrating Hollywood: The Rise and Fall of the Spook: A Film by Christine Acham and Clifford Ward
Plot Outline
Infiltrating Hollywood: The Rise and Fall of the Spook Who Sat by the Door is a 57-minute documentary on the controversial and repressed 1973 film The Spook Who Sat By the Door. Through interviews, with author Sam Greenlee, Berlie Dixon, widow of director Ivan Dixon, Academy Award winning editor Michael Kahn, actors David Lemieux, Janet League-Katzin, J.A. Preston, Paul Butler, Melvin Van Peebles, academics, Ed Guerrero, Todd Boyd and Eric Pierson; archival footage and production documents, Infiltrating Hollywood tells the story of The Spook Who Sat by the Door from its inception as a novel to its release and repression.
Sam Greenlee, Berlie Dixon, Michael Kahn, David Lemieux, Janet League-Katzin, J.A. Preston, Paul Butler, Melvin Van Peebles, Ed Guerrero, Todd Boyd and Eric Pierson
Directed By
Christine Acham and Clifford Ward
Screenplay By
Christine Acham and Clifford Ward
Produced By
Christine Acham and Clifford Ward

 Join Us Sunday September 18,2011 on The Artist Lounge Radio Show www.talkshoe.com/tc/21235 Call in # & ID (724)444-7444 Call ID 21235 


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FEATURED Living Legend Bobby Seale Co-Founder of Black Panthers 

To learn more about Mr.Seale in his own words.. listen to interview April 7,2013 recorded live http://recordings.talkshoe.com/TC-21235/TS-734493.mp3 on The Artist Lounge Radio Show 


Here is a link to Bobby's Indegogo Funding page with info on how you can support and be part of getting Bobby Seale's independent feature film produced:  BobbySeale.com, LLC {Independent Film Production Division} C/o Bobby Seale, is raising development funds to produce ”SEIZE THE TIME: The Eighth Defendant “a feature length motion picture dramatization that chronicles Bobby's legendary life experiences as the founding Chairman and national organizer of the Black Panther Party. Bobby Seale is asking his friends and the many millions who know his profound sixties protest movement history to support this independent film production. Support by purchasing books and memorabilia which will finance the pre-production expenditures so critical in ascertaining financing for the overall production budget of this once in a life time feature motion picture.




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 Robert George "Bobby" Seale[1] (born October 22, 1936), is an activist. He is known for co-founding the Black Panther Party with Huey Newton.

 Seale was one of the three children born to his mother, a homemaker, and his father, a carpenter, in DallasTexas.[2] After moving around in Texas, his family relocated toOaklandCalifornia during World War II. Seale attended Berkeley High School, and joined the U.S. Air Force in 1955.[3] He spent three years in the Air Force before he received a bad conduct discharge for fighting with a commanding officer.[2] Upon his arrival back in Oakland, Seale began working at different aerospace plants as a sheet metal mechanic, and attending night school to earn his high school diploma.

In 1961, at the age of 25, Seale began attending Merritt College, a community college located on what was then Grove Street, now Martin Luther King Jr Way, near the Berkeley city-limits. There he would join the Afro-American Association, (AAA) and met Huey Newton, with whom he later co-founded the Black Panther Party. Seale and co-founder Newton became increasingly skeptical about the direction of the AAA, particularly the AAA's tendency to analyze rather than act on the problems facing black Americans.

 Seale and Newton, heavily inspired by Malcolm X, a civil rights leader assassinated in 1965, and his teachings, joined together in October 1966 to create the Black Panther Party for Self Defense and adopt the slain activist's slogan “Freedom by any means necessary” as their own. Seale became the chairman of the Black Panther Party and underwent FBI surveillance as part of its COINTELPRO program.[4]

Bobby Seale was one of the original "Chicago Eight" defendants charged with conspiracy and inciting to riot, in the wake of the 1968 Democratic National Convention, in Chicago. The evidence against Seale was slim as Seale was a last-minute replacement for Eldridge Cleaverand had been in Chicago for only two days of the convention.[5] Judge Julius Hoffmansentenced him to four years of imprisonment for contempt because of his outbursts, and eventually ordered Seale severed from the case, hence the "Chicago Seven". During the trial, one of Seale's many outbursts led the judge to have him bound and gagged,[6] as commemorated in the song "Chicago" written by Graham Nash[7] and mentioned in the poem and song "H2Ogate Blues" by Gil Scott-Heron.[8] read more go here :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Seale "All Power to All the People " AddThis Social Bookmark Button


FEATURED Living Legend Sir Kalamu ya Salaam 




Kalamu ya Salaam, respectfully and affectionately known as Baba is a griot as he refers to himself Neo Griot  

A writer, a filmmaker and an educator. All his life, Kalamu has been motivated by a burning passion for empowering young people with both thinking and writing skills. More than a teacher, he is a mentor who's been inspiring generations of students into finding meaningful paths for their lives through creative expression


Baba on The Artist Lounge Radio Show July 29,2012 http://recordings.talkshoe.com/TC-21235/TS-638755.mp3

born 24 March 1947, is a poetauthor, and teacher from the 9th Ward of New Orleans. A well known activist and social critic, Salaam has spoken out on a number of racial and human rights issues. For years he did radio shows on WWOZ. Salaam is the co-founder of the NOMMO Literary Society, a weekly workshop for Black writers.


   Kalamu ya Salaam is a music producer who has produced festivals and served as a consulting producer for festivals in Trinidad, Barbados and many events in the United States.  He served as associate producer and scriptwriter for the nationally distributed JAZZTOWN radio series, a 13 part, one hour each documentary of jazz in New Orleans.







September 1997 – Present (15 years 2 months) New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

I teach English, film making, and radio production, as well as coordinate programs and the production of publications.


1983 – 1987 (4 years)

Managed the financial portfolio, supervised employees, developed programs, managed acquisition of property and programs.


1970 – 1983 (13 years)

I served first as managing editor and then as editor-in-chief. I also did typesetting and supervised design and layout.

 Kalamu ya Salaam is the founder of NOMMO Literary Society.  NOMMO is  a New Orleans-based creative writing workshop whose members are published in national anthologies such as Dark Eros, Kente Cloth, Catch the Fire, and 360' A Revolution of Black Poets.  He is also a founder of Runagate Press, which focuses on New Orleans and African-heritage cultures worldwide.


 In New Orleans, Kalamu Ya Salaam is a writer, a filmmaker and an educator. All his life, Kalamu has been motivated by a burning passion for empowering young people with both thinking and writing skills. More than a teacher, he is a mentor who's been inspiring generations of students into finding meaningful paths for their lives through creative expression.  {Community Book Center, Bayou Road, New Orleans, LA

  Magic of Juju: An Appreciation of the Black Arts Movement

A contextual historical examination of the civil rights movement and the artists who inspired it, this recollection depicts this storied era and how these artists signified the affecting change they helped create. The exploration details the development of theBlack Arts Movement'from precursor activities such as the Umbra Workshop to transitional activities such as Ntozake Shange's choreopoem "for colored girls who considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf"'and gives in-depth information about the role of prominent poets, such as Amiri Baraka, and the influence of black music.

 n What Is Life: Reclaiming the Black Blues Self, Kalamu ya Salaam -- poet, activist, cultural worker and contributor to the best-selling Black Erotica -- takes us on an introspective journey in search of the answers that African Americans struggle to obtain. His reflections capture our movement and complacency, involvement and noninvolvement from the mid-sixties to the present. Salaam insists, "The central issue of What Is Life? is to focus on the difficult and contradictory, to grapple with the hard issues."...

At poetry slams, in coffee houses and cafes, on spoken word CDs, and even featured in Hollywood movies, a new and exciting renaissance of Black poetry is emerging out of the oral tradition of African-American culture. 360': A Revolution of Black Poets presents the cutting edge of this poetic firestorm sweeping across America.  More About 360' A Revolution of Black Poets




 Kalamu ya Salaam is available for lectures, poetry readings, video screenings, workshops and residencieshttp://www.kalamu.com/


To get up dates as they are posted, follow me on Twitter @neogriot





Infamous Algiers 7 police brutality case of 1980 has parallels to today

Thirty years ago this week, a single gunshot changed New Orleans' relationship with its police force. A young, white cop, Gregory Neupert, took a fatal bullet to the neck. In short order, four black citizens were killed in a hail of police gunfire. The chief of police was eventually forced out amid a racially tinged uproar. The mayor felt the wrath of an outraged citizenry.

The violent police response to Neupert's killing led to the federal indictment of seven officers in one of the earliest, wide-ranging civil rights probes of the New Orleans Police Department. Three of the so-called "Algiers Seven" were eventually convicted in an exhaustive trial that relied on the testimony of a fellow cop who broke ranks. Though four citizens were dead, the conviction centered on the beating and abuse of other citizens, but not on the killings.

This week, another dark chapter in the history of the NOPD begins, one with haunting parallels to the Neupert case. Starting Monday, a new group of officers will be tried in federal court for numerous alleged civil rights violations in Algiers. Prosecutors say that in the days after Hurricane Katrina, one officer shot Henry Glover, other officers burnt his body to bits of bones and beat his companions, and others helped cover the whole matter up.—NOLA

photo above right—The six demonstrators who occupied Mayor Ernest Morial's office for three days in June, 1981, march with fists raised as they leave New Orleans City Hall. From left are: Kalamu ya Salaam , Macio Duncan, Cynthia Riley, Daniel Johnikin and Martin Lefstein. The sixth protester is out of view inside the doorway. The signs around their necks bear the names of the people killed in the Algiers 7 shootings


 Djali Dialogue with Amiri Baraka

First in a Series of Conversations with Established and Emerging African-American Writers
by Kalamu ya Salaam

 Kalamu ya Salaam is a New Orleans-based writer and former editor (1970-1983) of The THE BLACK COLLEGIAN Magazine. Salaam moderates CyberDrum, a listserv of over 500 Black writers and diverse supporters of literature. Salaam can be reached at [email protected]








 Poet, editor, music producer and arts administrator, Kalamu ya Salaam was born Val Ferdinand III in New Orleans on March 24, 1947. Inspired by the poetry of Langston Hughes and the civil rights movement in New Orleans, Salaam became interested in writing and organizing for social change. Graduating from high school in 1964, he joined the U.S. Army and served in Korea. After service, Salaam attended Carleton College but returned to New Orleans in 1968 to earn an associate's degree from Delgado College.

During the Black Arts Movement, Salaam was a member of John O'Neil's Free Southern Theatre for five years and was a founder of BLACKARTSOUTH. Changing his name along the way to Kalamu Ya Salaam, which is Kiswahili for "pen of peace," he was a founder of Ahidiana Work Study Center. He also assumed the editorship of the Black Collegian magazine, a post he held from 1970 to 1983. Salaam published cultural and political essays in Black World, Black Scholar and Black Books Bulletin. In 1977, he was part of the first African American activist delegation to the People's Republic of China.

In November 1989 Kalamu ya Salaam produced A NATION OF POETS for the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, GA. The program was a concert reading of poetry by Amiri Baraka, Pearl Cleage, Wanda Coleman, Mari Evans, Haki Madhubuti, Kalamu ya Salaam, Sonia Sanchez and Askia Muhammad Toure. The program was recorded under Mr. Salaam's direction and videotaped for broadcast on the Atlanta PBS affiliate. Mr. Salaam is the producer of A NATION OF POETS cassette and CD.

In May 1992 Kalamu ya Salaam produced NEW WORLD POETS for the Houston International Festival in Houston, TX. The program consisted of three concert readings of poetry by African American poets Jayne Cortez, Haki Madhubuti, Thomas Meloncon; Puerto Rican poet Tato Laviera, Native American poet Jack Forbes, Asian American poet Genny Lim, and Chicana poet Evangelina Vigil-Pinon. The program was recorded by Mr. Salaam.

Mr. Salaam's published plays include: The Destruction of The American Stage in Black World Magazine, Blk Love Song #1 in Black Theatre USA edited by Hatch & Shine, The Quest in New Blacks For The Black Theatre edited by Woodie King, Jr., plus numerous one-acts published in small literary journals. A 1987-88 production of Blk Love Song #1 as part of a double bill produced by Temba Theatre Company of London, England, won the Manchester Evening News 1988 Award for "Best Of Fringe."

Kalamu ya Salaam is the author of seven books of poetry: The Blues Merchant (1969), Hofu Ni Kwenu/My Fear Is For You (1973), Pamoja Tutashinda/Together We Will Win (1974), Ibura (1976), Revolutionary Love (1978), Iron Flowers (1979), A Nation Of Poets (1989).

Mr. Salaam has done numerous pamphlets on political issues, particularly the issue of apartheid. Kalamu ya Salaam has written two children's books, Herufi, An Alphabet Reader and Who Will Speak For Us (written in collaboration with Tayari kwa Salaam).

He has also written two books of essays: Our Women Keep Our Skies From Falling: Six Essays In Support Of The Struggle To Smash Sexist And Develop Women (1980) and Our Music Is No Accident (1987), an essay accompanied by 20 duotone photographs.

Kalamu ya Salaam has traveled extensively as a journalist, activist and arts producer: Ghana, Tanzania and Zanzibar, Barbados, Brazil, Cuba, Guadaloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Nicaragua, St. Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Korea, Japan, The People's Republic Of China, England, France and Germany.

Today, he is senior partner of Bright Moments, a public relations firm. He is also the founder of WordBand, a poetry performance group; the NOMMO Literary Society; and Runagate Press. Salaam has written seven books of poetry. His play, The Breath of Life, was honored by Louisiana State University, and BLK Love Song #1 won a Best of Fringe Award from The Manchester Evening News in England. A respected music writer and critic, he is the arts and entertainment editor for The New Orleans Tribune and is a regular contributor to Wavelength, The Louisiana Weekly and The New Orleans Music Magazine. He was executive director of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival for many years.

Mr. Salaam currently lives in his hometown of New Orleans, LA.



ven death will not stop me from struggling

i will continue 
as ashes & dust

my bronze flesh will join the soil 
of free lands everywhere 
& grow trees 
be the mud within which rabbits burrow 
be carpet of rain forest mountain walls 
welcoming gorillas home

my bronze flesh 
sacred ground 
will become ancestor soil

and i will also be dry dust 
refusing to cover despots 
i'll clog the air filters 
of tanks & invade the nostrils 
of invaders

you hear that wind 
that's my dying breath 
laughing at those who thought 
they'd seen the last of me

you see that baby eating soil 
dirt smeared around her cheeks 
that worker dusting himself off 
that couple of love embracing on 
picnic ground 
that hopi sand painting 
that amazonian stripped with the chalk 
of white clay 
you see me

i am sorry to disappoint you 
but i do not die 
i just move to another plane of existence 
and become the fertilizer of the future

even when i'm gone 
i will still be here 
though death do us part 

Written by Kalamu Ya Salaam












Jazz at the Rat featuring Kalamu ya Salaam

Date: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Time: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Building: Lavin-Bernick Center (LBC)Der Rathskeller (ground level)
Location: uptown campus

 For more information, contact 504-865-5728 or [email protected], or visithttp://tulane.edu/college/programs/jazz.cfm.

 Admission: Free

Attendance: Open to the public
Open to: Alumni, Faculty, Graduate students, Parents, Prospective undergrads, Staff, Undergraduates, Visitors


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