Sekou Sundiata revisited

Ron Scott | 6/20/2013, 12:35 p.m.
Sekou Sundiata revisited

Following the evolution from Africa to slavery and colored, Negro, then Black and now African-American, the continuum has to do with changing one's name and claiming identity. This lineage is a celebration of poets like Paul Lawrence Dunbar and Frederick Douglass--who wasn't a poet, but the greatest Black orator of the 1800s, and his words on the atrocities of slavery could make your heart scream with sadness and anger--as well as Langston Hughes, Henry Dumas, Gil Scott Heron and Quincy Troupe.

His last work, "The 51st (Dream) State" featured music, dance, video and poetry on the responses to Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He later took the performance to the Melbourne Festival, and in November 2006, it was performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Sundiata's work was featured on HBO's "Def Poetry" series and PBS's "The Language of Life." Sundiata taught writing at the New School in New York City .

Tickets for "Tongues of Fire Choir" are $25, $35 and $45. Tickets are available at the Apollo Theater box office or by calling 212-531-5305.

"Blink Your Eyes: Sekou Sundiata Revisited" continues on April 30 at Poet's House (10 River Terrace, Battery Park) with "Sekou Sundiata: Citizen Poet," a book signing and dialogue.

On May 14, "Jayne Cortez & Sekou Sundiata: The Legacy Conversation Revisited" at the Cave Canem in Brooklyn, a dialogue and book signing. For more information and complete listings, visit sekousundiata.org.

Dynamic words and jazz are inseparable. April is Jazz Appreciation Month. Enjoy.