The Omm Bomm Ba Boom Tribute To Amiri Baraka
WHEN: Sunday April, 6, 2:00-5:00 PM
WHERE: The Collective Art Tank, 529 Bangs Avenue, Asbury Park ADMISSION: Free
This tribute honors the man who, as poet, playwright, activist, influenced American thought, theater, poetry, politics and social progress from the 1960s until his death on January 9, 2014.
As musicologist, Baraka perhaps knew more than anyone else about the history and heart of the American classical music known as Jazz. As a life-long resident of Newark since his birth, excluding his times in the Village and Harlem, Baraka embodied and gave voice to the genuine, concrete roots and deep soul of New Jersey's largest city. This fact gave birth to his son Ras who is now a leading candidate for Mayor of Newark.
Amiri Baraka's reputation and presence around the world have long been established, especially in Italy where, he once told me, he loved to read his poetry. In a real sense, Baraka remains part of the continuing renaissance of contemporary poetry and theater in Italy and in Europe.
Back home in America, Amiri Baraka not only influenced and encouraged the true expression in poetry and theater of people of all races, he touched people deeply with his fierce courage and refusal to go along with any official or unofficial lie. As he exhorts his beloved African American people in "Wise 1," "If you ever find/yourself, some where/ lost and surrounded/ by enemies/ who won't let you/ speak in your own language/ who destroy your statues/ & instruments, who ban/ your omm bomm ba boom/ then you are in trouble/ deep trouble/ humph!/ probably take you several hundred years/ to get/ out!" With Baraka's help, that time frame not only has been shortened but the individual freedom he helped so many to achieve is the reason for this humble tribute.