6. Blues People: Negro Music in White America

Blues-peopleAmiri Baraka (Leroi Jones), 1963

Number 6 on my book list to read in 2014. (may or may not be read as numbered)

Today I’m back in Saint Louis, in another tour with Veterans For Peace, but I just left Newark after living there for about eight years. I was a very active member of the premier grassroots organization in Newark and really all of New Jersey, the People’s Organization for Progress. As a result, I had the opportunity on several occasion to hear Amiri Baraka speak and to briefly talk to him. And while I have been aware of Mr. Baraka since I was a child because my mother had a book of poetry from Black authors, I never read any of his work.  Unfortunately Mr. Baraka died recently and as a tribute to him and to better educate myself, I am reading one of his works this year.  I picked Blues People because I have a huge interests in music, especially its develop in the U.S. via Black people and like Zora’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Blues People is considered by many to be his best work.

1. Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 1968

2. Ali’s Greatest Fight – Finished last week of February
Bingham, Howard L., Wallace, Max and Ali, Muhammad, 2012

3. The Sixth Extinction
Elizabeth Kolbert, 2014

4. My Ishmael: A Sequel
Daniel Quinn, 1998

5. Their Eyes Were Watching God
Zora Neale Hurston, 1937

6. Blues People: Negro Music in White America
Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones), 1963

7. 12 Years a Slave
Solomon Northup

8. The Art of Waging Peace: A Strategic Approach to Improving Our Lives and the World
Paul K. Chappell, 2014

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About Michael T. McPhearson

Currently Michael is executive director of Veterans For Peace and co-chair of the Don't Shoot Coalition, A Saint Louis based coalition that formed in the aftermath of Michael Brown's police killing death in Ferguson, MO. From August 2010 to September 2013, Michael worked as the National Coordinator with United For Peace and Justice. He is a former board member of Veterans For Peace and as well as Executive Director from 2005 to 2010. He works closely with the Newark based People’s Organization for Progress and the Saint Louis centered Organization for Black Struggle. Michel also publishes the Mcphearsonreport.org expressing his views on war and peace, politics, human rights, race and other things. Michael also launched Reclaimthedream.org website as an effort to change the discourse and ignite a new conversation about Dr. Martin Luther King’s message and what it means to live in just and peaceful communities.