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Last Words: Sekou Sundiata

As we reported earlier, poet, activist, and educator Sekou Sundiata died last Wednesday at age 58. In the last two years of his life, he spent a lot of time in Minneapolis. He was in residence at the Walker developing and performing the 51st dream state in Spring 2006, and this June he gave the […]

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As we reported earlier, poet, activist, and educator Sekou Sundiata died last Wednesday at age 58. In the last two years of his life, he spent a lot of time in Minneapolis. He was in residence at the Walker developing and performing the 51st dream state in Spring 2006, and this June he gave the keynote address at the Pedagogy and Theater of the Oppressed conference held in the Twin Cities. (Prior to that, he’d visited for performances three times: The Circle Unbroken is a Hard Bop and Udu, both copresented with Penumbra Theater, and 2004′s blessing the boats.)

Commemorating a writer in words can be a daunting task; luckily, Sekou left a rich body of work, in both text and — the best way to experience his work — audio and video formats. The Walker Channel now features the full video of the 51st dream state, as well as his audience Q&A. And KFAI’s Janis Lane-Ewart rebroadcast a May 31 interview with Sundiata, and includes a spoken-word/music piece by Sundiata that commemorates the birthday of Nelson Mandela. Listen here (starts at 36:10).

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  • The world is left a little better because of Sekou’s being—it is up to the rest of us to take the baton and keep it real.

  • Michele says:

    I am not a story teller

    Telling Stories, I have never thought of my self as a story teller

    but when I enter the Walker

    A transformation happens

    and my many matrixes of identities comes clearly into view

    The prism of my existence illuminates and images, colors prelude and radiate off of others streams of lights in the room

    Then suddenly the textured, layers and faces without names become a harvest of plenty

    Many tell stories of lack or visions that were not their own but THEN

    They too share their story, the undeniable moment when they WERE

    Became the artist inside that body that was made to dance, sing, paint, draw, create, write, scream and bleed

    This story telling is serious business, not for the fainted hearted but the strong willed

    Willing to become a teller of stories, and a listener of a community and a heart without judgment and it is in this space on this particular night that I understand that I am now a Citizen a Citizen of the Walker!

    Written By Autumn Reign (Nicole)