This morning I heard an interview by Sonali Kalhatkar (Uprising Radio) with Nikki Giovanni on radio station KPFA, Berkeley, a Pacifica station. Nikki and I have been friends and comrades since 1968 when the Black Arts Movement shakers and movers were in Harlem NY and throughout the United States. But Nikki was there along with the Last Poets, Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka, Ed Bullins, Woody King, Askia Toure, Larry Neal, Barbara Ann Teer, Haki Madhubuti, Sun Ra, Milford Graves, myself and a host of others.
Nikki took full advantage of the moment and went on to great success. After our BAM moment, sometimes I agreed with her and sometimes I didn't, but this morning I agreed with almost everything she said, especially when asked about the BAM poets and their relationship and contribution to the Rap poets. She appreciated Tupac, especially for holding up the revolutionary banner; she gave Jay Z, 50 cents, Sean Jean, even Kanye West, kudos for being artists and businessmen. She did say Kanye lives on another planet!
We appreciated her remarks about her elders, especially her grandfather, whom she described as a man of class, who dressed with class as did my father and uncles.
But when the interviewer asked her about President Obama, her answer sent chills over my body. She said President Obama has placated his enemies but not his friends. He is not her idea of a great man. "My idea of a great man is H. Rap Brown," she said. Nikki, I love you!
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