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Sunday February 16th Show: Jayne Cortez and Amiri Baraka tribute


The next show will air on Sunday, February 16th, 2013 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. During this membership/fund drive installment, Suga’ in My Bowl honors former Suga’ guests Jayne Cortez and Amiri Baraka to continue to not forget our cultural warriors as part of Black History Month. Join us as we celebrate their life work and influence with help from participants of a recent tribute hosted by the Institute of African American Affairs at New York University.

Don’t forget the program is the premium, so please tune in and donate whatever you can to help us continue this listener-supported experiment.

On Friday, December 28, 2012, Jayne Cortez left this world. Jayne Cortez was born in Arizona, grew up in California, and currently lives in New York City and Dakar, Senegal. She is the author of ten books of poems and performer of her poetry with music on nine recordings. Her voice is celebrated for its political, surrealistic, dynamic innovations in lyricism, and visceral sound. Cortez has presented her work and ideas at universities, museums, and festivals in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, the Caribbean and the United States. Her poems have been translated into many languages and widely published in anthologies, journals, and magazines. She is the recipient of several awards including: Arts International, the National Endowment for the Arts, the International African Festival Award, The Langston Hughes Award, and the American Book Award. Her most recent books are The Beautiful Book (Bola Press, 2007), Jazz Fan Looks Back (Hanging Loose Press), and Somewhere In Advance of Nowhere (Serpent’s Tail Ltd). Her latest CD recordings with the Firespitter Band are Taking the Blues Back Home (Harmolodic and Verve Records); Borders of Disorderly Time and Find Your Own Voice (both by Bola Press). Cortez directed the film Yari Yari: Black Women Writers and the Future, and organized the “Slave Routes the Long Memory” and “Yari Yari Pamberi: Black Women Writer Dissecting Globalization” conferences. Both conferences were held at New York University. She was president of the Organization of Women Writers of Africa, Inc. and appeared on screen in the films: Women In Jazz and Poetry In Motion.

On Thursday, January 9, 2014, Amiri Baraka left this world. Baraka’s Blues People (1963), remains a landmark work on African-American music a half-century after its publication. With influences on his work ranging from musical orishas such as Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, and Sun Ra to the Cuban Revolution, Malcolm X and world revolutionary movements, Baraka is renowned as one of the founders of the Black Arts Movement in Harlem in the 1960s that became, though short-lived, the virtual blueprint for a new American theater aesthetics. His Obie award-winning play Dutchman (1963) and The Slave (1964), helped solidify the revolutionary aesthetics of Black Arts and laid claim to the movement’s position as the cultural wing of the Black Power Movement.

Baraka’s Somebody Blew Up America & Other Poems includes the title poem that headlined him in the media in ways rare to poets and authors. The recital of the poem “that mattered” engaged the poet warrior in a battle royal with the very governor of New Jersey and with a legion of detractors demanding his resignation as the state’s Poet Laureate because of Somebody Blew Up America’s provocatively poetic inquiry (in a few lines of the poem) about who knew beforehand about the New York City World Trade Center bombings in 2001.

Baraka lived in Newark with his wife and author Amina Baraka; they have five children and led the word-music ensemble, Blue Ark: The Word Ship. Baraka was Professor Emeritus at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and his awards and honors included an Obie, the American Academy of Arts & Letters award, the James Weldon Johnson Medal for contributions to the arts, Rockefeller Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts grants, and Poet Laureate of New Jersey.

Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

We’re not offering any special premium or thank-you gift this week. We’re just asking listeners who can to donate to WBAI in support of our show. You can give as little as $5 online and full station membership is $25. Anything you can pitch in will help a lot, especially in sending the message to station management that the type of show we do is still relevant.

Show produced, engineered, and hosted by Joyce Jones.

Both Baraka and Sanchez were profiled in previous full Suga’ in My Bowl shows, which can be found in our audio archives.



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