I awoke this morning to learn that Gil Scott-Heron, one of my heroes died yesterday afternoon. I am stunned and feel this incredible sense of loss. His poetry and voice spoke to me on such deep, profound levels.
Chuck D said it best in his tribute Tweet, “RIP GSH..and we do what we do and how we do because of you. And to those that don’t know tip your hat with a hand over your heart & recognize.”
No one told it like it was like Gil Scott-Heron. He expressed much of what we knew to be true. I was 18 in 1970 when Small Talk at 125th and Lennox was playing on WBAI-FM. I was growing up in a city housing project. Gil Scott-Heron spoke to my soul with accuracy and depth. Gil Scott-Heron epitomized my existence with stark honesty through powerful poems as “Whitey on the Moon”, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”, “The Bottle” and “We Beg Your Pardon”.
My favorite line by Gil Scott-Heron is, “We Beg Your Pardon America, Because the Pardon You Gave This Time Was Not Yours to Give.”
God rest your poetic soul Gil Scott-Heron, your legacy lives on in all of us, until we meet you in the light.