[From the Art Archive\Linton Kwesi Johnson]
BSN: For four decades now, Johnson has produced poetic works that speak to the political and social concerns of Black people in England (where he emigrated to, from Jamaica, around the age of 12) and Black Africans in general.
The great Dub Poet Linton Kwesi Johnson (LKJ) in 2018.
Greeting Sisters and Brothers, and all readers and viewers of the Black Star News, to our third episode of Black Star News’ “From the Art Archive.”
From the Art Archive features music, poetry, and any artistic expression created by artists of African descent. Because of the strong Pan-African leanings of the Black Star News, we showcase artists who exhibit that sensibility–many of whom will not be household names in the Hollywood and MTV mold.
In this presentation, we look at the great “Dub Poet” Linton Kwesi Johnson.
Dub Poetry is a fusion of poetry and Dub Reggae music that has Jamaican origins and evolved through the works of Dub Poets of Caribbean backgrounds in the West Indies, England, and Canada. Dub Reggae is instrumentally-driven Reggae with a heavy emphasis on enhanced sound instrumentation and sound effects.
Other noteworthy Dub Poets include: Mutabaruka, Oku Onuora, Jean “Binta” Breeze, Mikey Smith, Benjamin Zephaniah, Lillian Allen, Yasus Afari, and Clifton Joseph to list a few.
Of all Reggae sub-genres, Dub Poetry is the most unapologetically political. It has always been a voice for the voiceless and oppressed masses.
Johnson, also known as LKJ, is one of the most forceful in this regard. For four decades now, Johnson has consistently produced poetic works that speak to the political and social concerns of Black people in England (where he emigrated to, from Jamaica, around the age of 12) and Black Africans in general.
Among his many achievements, Johnson is the winner of the: 2005 silver Musgrave Medal, from the Institute of Jamaica; the 2012 Golden PEN Award; a 2014 Jamaican national honor of the Order of Distinction; and in July 2020, Johnson was awarded the PEN Pinter Prize.
The following classic is from Johnson’s 2003 concert in Paris. Johnson is backed by the Dennis Bovell Dub Band.