Elevate with The Unknown Poet . . .
Author Roscoe Hameed Abdullah
The Unknown Poet is born from the universal mind of the one great soul. He was raised in the city by the sea in Atlantic City N.J., before the advent of the casino industry. When asked about growing up he said, “I grew up down by the sea shore, with the Atlantic Ocean at my front door and the Back Bay at my rear.” It was a pleasant childhood; my environment was rich in scenic beauty. I grew up in the era of chicken bone beach, club Harlem, the wonder garden, and the steel pier. I spent long summer days, in the summer heat, on the beach, and at the lakes. A pleasant escape from cold winters and the inner city blues. I was born and raised between A.C. and N.Y.C. I spent some time down in northern Florida and I have traveled up and down the north/east corridor. Now, I lay my head down in T-Town and I’m vibing tough in P-town. I be hanging around with progressive poets and banging jazz bands. I believe that the black arts movement is on the move again. I was born in that city by the sea, in a little gangster town called A.C. These were the days before I could see when I was chasing the dreams of another reality. I grew up with men who took on names like, Cocain Smitty, Gangster Ben, Mama Jack, Oscar K, Fat Back, Cat Eye and I tell you no lie. Most of these men met with violent ends and never got a chance to make amends.
I have seen more live shows by the time I was nineteen, then most people see in a lifetime scene. Musical artist like B.T. Express, Brass Construction, Kool and The Gang, Tower of Power all came down to A.C. and stole the hour. James Brown, Ray Charles, and B.B. King they came down to the shore and did their artistic thing. I have seen The Supremes, The Temptations, and The Ohio Players; they laid down that R&B Flavor. I remember seeing Stevie Wonder when he was little Stevie Wonder, then he turned to big Stevie Wonder and turned back again. That young man came down and did a musically superb thing. Yes, I have seen him at the old skating ring. I remember play boxing with Muhammad Ali at K.Y and the curb in Atlantic City. Yes, from The Club Harlem to The Wonder Garden, to Big C’s High Hat graces Little Belmont and all in between. I’ve seen the most fly, prettiest, proudest most talented black folks and entertainers on the 60’s and 70’s scene. These were all black-owned clubs owned by us and there was always jazz in the background. Then there was always the struggle of our people, as I was introduced to new black heroes and sheroes.
As I Joined in the chorus of the young cadre being inspired and motivated by the righteous revolutionary spirit of Malcolm X, Stokely Charmichel, Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, H. Rap Brown, George Jackson, Fred Hampton, Zaid and Assata Shakur and many others known and unknown. Yes, me one of the young cadres with the little red book in one hand and the Black Panther Paper in the other, attending political education class (planting seeds of the future fruit. Going to our free breakfast for children program (before breakfast was served in public schools) early in the morning to cook and serve food to the needy little ones. We all had smiles on our faces and that revolutionary zeal in our hearts. Yes, me in the chorus of the young cadre out in front of 100 center street in black beret and leather jacket. Fist pumped standing face to face with the police, as one voice loud and proud, saying ‘Free the Panther 21, Power to the people, Free Huey now!’ Huey P. Newton my Aquarian big brother has now made the transition to the other side and Malcolm, and Martin, and Medgar and many others known and unknown, and let’s never forget the prisoners of war (our political prisoners), all victims of government oppression and lies. I still remember how I was Influenced as a young cadre by the strong and very real poetry of Alprentice Bunchy Carter leader of the L.A. chapter of the Black Panther Party, especially his piece (In Nigger Town) where one line will always stick in my mind. He said, “Do something Nigger, if you only spit”. Well, here I am still spitting, representing, never forgetting on who’s shoulders I stand, the life and death struggle that is still at hand. * Peace and Power *