Sam Cornish said his major influences were Gwendolyn Brooks, Dudley Randall and Broadside Press, and especially Amiri Baraka. Quotes from Cornish:
"I think it's important to be dangerous, to be critical."
"The international language (art) is yours if you work for it."
Quotes from Sister Sonia:
I spoke with Prof. Sanchez not long after the panel and she told me that she felt that it was one of those instances where she could sit back and observe more than speak. And that's pretty much what she did. I think, after all the work she's done, she's entitled to just observing at times.
Quote from Talib Kweli:
(Upon being asked if artists have the responsibility of being political in their art) "The job of the artist is to be honest with themselves. My job as a man is to be responsible to my community."
(As a disclaimer about the language in his song "Hostile Gospel") "Hip-hop is an aggressive art."
No real quote from Callie Crossley, but she did a fantastic job of handling all of the egos up on stage. The panel was hastily constructed, ran much too long and had many kinks, but Ms. Crossley was the saving grace of BU that night. They should thank her, book her again and put some extra cash in her pocket for keeping things running smoothly (especially when she had to keep Chuck D and Sam Cornish from trying to outdo each other verbally...)
"I don't like history punkdefying Dr. King's legacy."
"Dr. King taught me that we have to protect those that want to do right."
"If you take the music away from the people , you take the history away by default."
"Be a nerd about what you about."
Quote from Derek Walcott:
(Upon explaining why he uses the word "black") "African-American is one of those hyphenated things that doesn't face the truth."
Quotes form Nikki Giovanni:
"The hero is misunderstood, though right in the end."
"If you're not dead, be alive."
(On being a fan of Hip-hop) "If you're not offending anybody, you're not doing something right."
All in all, I was glad I took the hour-drive (in the cold and rain) to witness the panel. Even so, here are some other notes I took for myself while I was there:
- One thing I've learned: Artists really like to talk about themselves.
- Chuck D talks loud and long but never really answers the questions. Callie cuts him off.
- Question from a student that saddened me a bit: "I was raised by an older generation and I know they are supposed to teach us, but I've given up on that. So, tell me, what can we (the younger generation) do to educate ourselves."