i was introduced to his work by a friend in the communist party in the early 1980s,when he had already been around for some time.working in a variety of idioms and formats he produced the hard hitting"the revolution will not be televised",which whilst spelling out what it would not reproduce from capitalism also celebrated what the revolution might be.he also wrote about alcoholism,poverty in the most powerful country in the world,the experience of being black,of being poor,oppressed and exploited but who channelled the feelings through pain to rage.he is an exponent of the "scream"in the full sense intended by john holloway in his book "how to change the world."he wrote songs about contemporary america in a way meaningful for anyone in the world.his anthem "whats the word in johannesburg"said it all.
he produced the music that has been the soundtrack of many of our lives.
he dissappeared for some years captive to but at least partial conqueror of his own demons,including addiction and jail.
i never saw him perform.i am white,he was black.but please excuse me whilst i claim him as a brother.his vibrant art(words and music)and powerful presence should never be forgotten.
rest in peace,Gil Scott-Heron.
the best thing we can do is not to mourn but to continue to go forward and organise the revolution that will not be televised but can be celebrated with his words and music