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Linton Kwesi Johnson —
born on August 24, 1952,
HIDDEN ERROR: Usage of "alma mater" is not recognized.. (wikipedia)
Back in those early days when I began my apprenticeship as a poet, I also tried to voice our anger, spirit of defiance and resistance in a Jamaican poetic idiom.
At the end of the day, life's about realising one's human potential. I don't know if I've realised mine, but I've certainly gone a long way towards realising some goals and some dreams.
I wrote two poems about the '81 uprisings: 'Di Great Insohreckshan' and 'Mekin Histri.' I wrote those two poems from the perspective of those who had taken part in the Brixton riots. The tone of the poem is celebratory because I wanted to capture the mood of exhilaration felt by black people at the time.
The modern stuff, I can take it or leave it. I like its danceability, but the DJs talk a lot of nonsense.
I am often asked why I started to write poetry. The answer is that my motivation sprang from a visceral need to creatively articulate the experiences of the black youth of my generation, coming of age in a racist society.