October 05, 2020

Kelly Marshall

This is a quote from The Last Poets song “Black Is..” from 1971. The Last Poets were a group of New York poets and musicians arising in the late 1960’s and are regarded as the godfathers of hip hop. My work which is deeply influenced by history, race, and human belief systems often reappropriates sayings, text, or anecdotes to re-contextualize social narratives. The Last Poets’ music was a fortifying backdrop to the Black Liberation Movement and as we find ourselves at a similar moment in time to shift consciousness, I find solace in their words again. As a Black New Yorker this is my shout out- to remind us of our history, beauty and resilience, but also an ode to all New Yorkers who came to this city of dreams, reinvention and freedom- now is the time to step up, take our city back and start creating a new equitable world for all. The second portion of the text is upside down as a sign of distress.

Kelly Marshall

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