Poetry is not for the faint of heart. Those who are compelled to dive into this art form have the responsibility of honesty. Like other art forms, it should reflect time to be true. Of course it can be a form of escapism. The culture of art’s reflection is the world and beyond. It is the formation of unknown galaxies and lands untouched by human grip. It is both gruesome and beautiful. Gil Scott-Heron, a soul jazz poet did just that when he recited and released “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.”
“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” sounds off in a three minute and seven second moment. Stamping every relevant act that occurred in 1974. Visible to all households who had the fortunate luxury of owning a television. This made it uniquely relevant to everyone in all social classes and across the racial divide. The detailed revolution that Gil meticulously picked apart set to the tune of funk and jazz cumulates speakers. This allowing for a rhythmic flow and captures attention. His words go beyond the spectrum of dates. This poem not only expresses the tone of what was happening in 1974. It could easily be the current narration of today. Made relevant due to the current social climate that compels us to march in streets shouting, “Black Lives Matter,” “I’m Black and I’m Proud,” against police brutality, for women’s rights and LGBTQ+.
“The Revolution…” is the new freedom song. It is the “we shall overcome” of its day. It is a mantra. Those who comprehend, chant it under breaths with each step and each turn. It is projected in actions. It is the understanding of what we need to do to move on and forge a prosperous future individually and collectively. It is not something that cannot be seen or witnessed with the naked eye. It is a spirit.
The revolution begins in the mind. It then shifts to your heart and shown in changed behavior. The revolution is self-awareness. The revolution is correction. Once one is open to the truth they are then charged to teach. That is when the revolution takes shape. That is when the benefits of thought become tangible. The revolution enables evolution of self and community. However, only when the work is done. When you do the research and see the path to how society has gotten to where it is for yourself. We must hold ourselves accountable for our own actions. The revolution starts with you. Reflect.