Today marks the born day of an American born icon, literary genius, and Spoken Word great, Gil Scott Heron.
Gil Scott Heron is my foremost artistic father and inspiration. Having the opportunity to perform as an opening act for him was and will remain one of the greatest and most humbling experiences of my life.
As a teen, listening to his work did for me what my teachers, government, and community failed to fully do; be honest about our plight and give indictment to the authors of my poverty. Gil as one man represented a million men and women. That lost but (barely) in tact tribe of ghetto intellectuals who could hold their own at any Ivy League institution but may have also been addicts, fiends, and or incarcerated.
My father has battled with addiction my entire life- something that was kept from me until my late teens. His absence and abusive behavior never made sense to me until his drug addiction was revealed to me. I reflect on Brother Gil’s work and realize that my father is “Pieces of a Man”, “Home is Where the Hatred Is”, and the like.
This epitomizes what Gil offered us. Through his self – sacrificing and offering such raw vulnerability through his personal stories he helped us understand ourselves. Through his shame, smart assness, resistance speech, and triumph we found an ally and a reason to keep on keepin’ on.
Gil Scott Heron is to be loved, regarded, and honored in the same vain as Malcolm X, Tupac Shakur, Howard Zinn, Martin Luther King, and Paulo Coelho.
One Perfect Love,
ise m. lyfe