Found this amazing piece of poetry by Mike the Poet. He's also the host on a tour of the neon signs in LA and while you see the glitz, he does his spoken word thing. He has three performances listed on his myspace page. This poem calls out for a rhythm.

No matter the conditions
South Central musicians
jammed on the Avenue
community family activism
they had to do it
music is the heartbeat ...
Music is the heartbeat
the rose that grew from concrete
surviving restrictive housing covenants,
the LAPD, gangs, the Second World War
nothing could stop the music..
Respect to African-American
Artists & authors of Los Angeles
Horace Tapscott to the Watts Writers Workshop
103rd Street to Leimert Park
Billy Higgins to John Outerbridge
the spirit of community
Pan Afrikan People's Arkestra
Ojenke Quincy Troupe Kamau Daaood
Watts Prophets A.K. Toney K Curtis Lyle
Eric Priestley Jayne Cortez Lula Washington
generations of poets, generations of musicians
Khoran Harrison, Michael Datcher, Peter J. Harris,
the language of saxophones plays @ the World Stage
the Union of God's musicians...
Underground musicians
hear the Universal order of black expression
Listen.. Listen... Listen..
Back in the day an archipelago
of afterhour jam sessions
stretched up & down Central Avenue
Pico to Slauson
the sound of Los Angeles
Central Avenue, Western, Watts, Crenshaw
they used to call it all South Central
community artists passing the magic
generation of poets, generations of musicians..
The media wants to paint a dark portrait
of South Central, it overlooks the people,
real people, not some exagerrated mythical evil,
the mythical South Central is used by record
& industry executives to sell a gangsta fantasy
when Most of South Central is about family,
the warped fantasy makes greedy people money
& disrespects the community,
the artists of South Central are healers
promoting unity..unity..
Chester Himes was ahead of his time
he kicked wicked insight about the black man's mind..
Italian immigrant Simon Rodia
worked after work for three decades
on the Watts Towers
bottle caps, glass mosaics, tile work
the towers are a ship,
a half a block west
is the Charles Mingus Music Center..
Respect out to Watts finest,
Don Cherry, Mingus, Eric Dolphy,
Big Jay McNeely, Lester Young,
South Central sound champions,
Roy Ayers, David Axelrod, Lou Rawls, Ornette Coleman
Merilene Murphy, Ruth Forman, Jenoyne Adams,
Imani Tolliver, Shonda Buchanan, Pam Ward,
Clora Bryant S. Pearl Sharp, Blackbird, Darkleaf,
Jackie Robinson, Nat King Cole, Wanda Coleman,
Mixmaster Wolf, Wattstax Isaac Hayes
Jesse Jackson & people chanting
I Am Somebody! I am Somebody
You are somebody! We are somebody! somebody!
South Central Los Angeles talk to me..
Living legends like Leon Mobley
Eso Won Books & Ramses
community is family,
craftsman cottages in West Adams
Jefferson Park Angeles Vista
Twilight on SLauson
West is West of Crenshaw
Chesterfield Square
CAnterbury Knolls
Morningside Circle
Athens on a Hill
South of South Central
South Los Angeles
City of Angels...
Music is the heartbeat
Pan Afrikans Peoples Ark playing South Park
now they call it
the Barry White Recreation Center
they make magic there
Horace Tapscott passed the magic
like Samuel Browne taught him
@ Jefferson High School
knowledge is shared
Watts Learning Center
Ralph Bunche, Bunchy Carter
Flo Jo, Biddy Mason, Walter Mosley
Donald Bakeer, Monster Kody
Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band
express yourself, the world listens.. listens...
Fathers of funk, Poetry pioneers
you gave a voice to the voiceless
Watts Writers Workshop to the World Stage,
5th Street Dicks, Babe & Rickeys Inn,
Project Blowed, Freestyle Fellowship
Park Bench People, Mikah 9
& Ben Caldwell..
Emissaries called upon to heal
Los Angeles children of chaos..
In the days of Pentecost
artists of Watts & Leimert Park
celebrate community, celebrate family
generations of sounds, generations of voices..
you gave a voice to the voiceless
generations of poets, generations of musicians..
branches of a dark tree
the chorus of community tells the story
in paintings, poetry & Black Music..
The giant is awakened
of South Central Los Angeles
you are Kings of expression!

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