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[Celebrating Black History Month\Amiri Baraka\Poetry]
Amiri Baraka: "Hey, Bob, Wail on rock on Jah come into us as real vision and action. Hey, Larry, Wail on, with Lester and the Porkpie, wailing us energy for truth. We Wailers is all, and on past that to say, wailing for all we worth."
Photo: Facebook

The honorable poet activist Amiri Baraka--LeRoi Jones--(October 7, 1934 – January 9, 2014).

In honor of Black History Month, the Black Star News will be featuring speeches, interviews, poetry, etc. all month from important figures who fought for Black liberation and who represent the Black experience with honor.

The following Amiri Baraka poem "Wailers" is a homage to Bob Marley and poet Larry Neal who wailed for the freedom of Black people.


Wailers are we

We are Wailers. Don't get scared.

Nothing happening but out and way out.

Nothing happening but the positive. (Unless you the negative.)

Wailers. We Wailers. Yeh, Wailers.

We wail, we wail.

We could dig Melville on his ship

confronting the huge white mad beast

speeding death cross the sea to we.

But we whalers. We can kill whales.

We could get on top of a whale and wail.

Wailers. Undersea defense hot folk

Blues babies humming when we arrive.

Boogie ladies strumming our black violet souls.

Rag daddies come from the land of never say die.

Reggae workers bringing the funk to the people of I.

We wailers all right.


Hail to you Bob, man! We will ask your question all our lives.

Could You Be Loved? I and I understand. We see the world

Eyes and eyes say Yes to transformation. Wailers. Aye, Wailers.

Subterranean night color Magis, working inside the soul of the world.

Wailers. Eyes seeing the world's being


Hey, Bob, Wail on rock on Jah come into us as real vision and action

Hey, Larry, Wail on, with Lester and the Porkpie, wailing us energy for truth.

We Wailers is all, and on past that to say, wailing for all we worth.

Rhythm folks obsessed with stroking what is with our sound purchase.

Call he Thelonius, in my crowded Wail Vessel, I hold the keys to the funk kingdom.

Lie on me if you want to, tell folks its yours

But for real wailing not tale telling, the sensitive know who the Wailers Be We.

Be We. We Wailers. Blue Blowers. The Real Rhythm Kings.

We sing philosophy. Hambone precise findings. Image Masters of the syncopated.

Wailers & Drummers.

Wailers & Trumpet stars.

Wailers & Box cookers.

Wailers & Sax flyers.

Wailers & Bass thumpers.

Wailers and Hey, wail, wail. We Wailers!

Trombone benders. Magic singers.


The only Tranes faster than rocket ships. Shit.

Cut a rocket in our pocket and put a chord on the wall of the wind.

Wailers. Can you dig Wailing?

Call Me Bud Powell. You wanna imitate this?

Listen. Spree dee deet sprree deee whee spredeee whee deee

My calling card. The dialectic of silence.

The Sound approach.

Life one day will be filled even furthers with we numbers we song

But primitive place now, we wailing be kept underground.

But keep it in mind. Call me something Dukish. Something sassy.

Call me by my real name. When the world change

We wailing be in it, help make it, for real time.

Call Me. I Call you. We call We.

Say, Hey Wailers. Hey, Wailers.

Hey hey hey, Wailers. Wail On!

Here is Baraka performing "Wailers" on YouTube:

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