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Today we honor Gil Scott-Heron, poet, writer, musician, scholar who made his transition Friday, May 27, 2011. He was 62 years old. We are joined by Umar Bin Hassan, Last Poets, CEO Bebop or Be Dead. In the early '70s, Hassan was a member of the street-poet godfathers of rap, The Last Poets. He joined the group in 1969 after seeing them perform in his native Ohio. With Hassan, The Poets released The Last Poets, This Is Madness, Holy Terror, and Last Poets at Last. In mid-1993, he released his first solo album, Be Bop or Be Dead. Charles Curtis Blackwell, jazz poet and a playwright, performance and visual artist. His published plays and poetry include Is, the Color of Mississippi Mud and The Fiery Response to Love’s Callings among other works. He has also produced three spoken-word CDs in collaboration with jazz drummer Billy Toliver, and Raymond Nat Turner, poet, teacher, founder of UpSurge: Jazz Poetry Ensemble. Gerald Lenoir, Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), joins us to close the show and talk about the BAJI's 5th Anniversary and Awards Ceremony, Saturday, June 4, 2011, 5:30 PM at the Islamic Center of Northern California on Madison at 14th Street in Oakland. For information visit www.blackalliance.org We rebroadcast the interview with Michelle Alexander, attorney, professor, and author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness. The soundtrack for this show is: Me & the Devil (I'm New Here); Message to the Masses dedicated to his father; We Beg Your Pardon America; I Think I'll Call It Morning; Ain't No Such Thing as a Superman.
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It's good to talk.