Reflections on a Lesson that Would Soon Be Made More Clear to Me by Gil Scott-Heron

Photograph by Jose Padua
In 1971 I’m
thirteen years old
watching a big
Vietnam war protest
on television when
the bearded guy
speaking to the
crowd starts chanting
Fuck Richard Nixon!
Fuck Richard Nixon!

and the instant
the TV station
cuts the sound
is when I
realize that if
I want to
witness the revolution
I will eventually
have to turn
the TV off.

-Jose Padua

Photograph by Jose Padua

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2 responses to “Reflections on a Lesson that Would Soon Be Made More Clear to Me by Gil Scott-Heron

  1. Taking it to the streets.

    I remember talking to kids your age then about what we were doing and why we were against the war. I had dropped out of law school to play Afro-Cuban percussion and was substitute teaching at a junior high school in DC, but was still very active in the anti-war and civil rights movements.

    I caught a little flack from some of the older teachers but one older sister gave me ‘permission’ as it were by pointing out that youth were important in Birmingham less than ten years prior. Many fires were kindled back then. Good to see yours hasn’t faded…

    • shenandoahbreakdown

      yes, it’s not too young! It’s an age where kids are just starting to be aware of what’s going on, and it’s good to give them a head start!

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