Linton Kwesi Johnson – Five Nights of Bleedin – lyrics about the Brixton riots of the 1980s.

The Brixton riots laid bare.

Opher's World

Linton-Kwesi-Johnson-copy1Linton Kwesi

Linton was more than a poet, he was a commentator on the social situation in the black community in London.

Linton used his words like weapons. He described the passions and provided insight into the emotions. His words were a searchlight that illuminated what was going on.

The patois he used with that resonant voice connected straight to the heart. He was telling the story from the inside and you could feel it.

I saw Linton perform in Hull. He was brilliant. He recited his poems in that unmistakeable voice that sent shivers through you. I was expected a reggae band. I was expecting a wild rebel. I got Linton in a three-piece tweed suit, round glasses and hat looking for all the world like an Oxford professor. His words were far from scholarly, though imbued with skill, and ripped the air like bullets.

I was not disappointed.

Five Nights…

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