Jazz poetry takes center stage at the East Orange Public Library as Cultural Cafe, a special literary arts project of the East Orange Public Library, presents a “Poetic Tribute to Malcolm X” in observation of the 50th anniversary of his assassination, Thursday, Feb. 19, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The free event will take place at the East Orange Public Library, located at 21 South Arlington St., in East Orange, N.J. Guest poets include jazz poet Zayid Muhammad and Mia X. There will be an open mic from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Guests poets will perform from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Malcolm X was assassinated Feb. 21, 1965, in New York City. Muhammad is the founding press officer for the Malcolm X Commemoration Committee in New York City, the recently retired national minister of culture for the New Black Panther Party and author of “Lick This for Malcolm: Insurgent Offerings for a People Under Siege.”
In addition to his own jazz and blues-inflected works, Muhammad, a stage actor, also performs the late Louis Reyes Rivera’s classic piece “A Place I Never Been,” considered a defining piece capturing the assassination of Malcolm X as a monologue.
“We are excited to have back Zayid Muhammad, a serious jazz poet who was called ‘Little Malcolm’ in his youth and who has a long track record of upholding Malcolm’s legacy on the human rights front now for decades, to give our audience a full and powerful tribute to this legend,” said event coordinator Ted Wilson.
Cultural Cafe takes place every third Thursday at the East Orange Library. The program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey Council on the Arts. Visit the library online at www.eopl.org. For more information, please call 973-266-5600.