Farewell, Odetta

A dedication to the voice that combined song and politics.

Posted:
 
essentialodetta

During my "real education" years, you know, post-undergrad and confused, there were five major players in the shaping of my consciousness: Malcolm X, James Baldwin, Henry Dumas, Toni Morrison and Odetta.

I would sit in my living room in San Francisco, uncombed, Thrift Store gear and read excerpts of Angela Davis, Etheridge Knight with Odetta evoking plenty of folk-blues mood in the background. Me and my crew were about 15 years too late for original appreciation of such greats, but it's what we did in the Bay Area in the early '90s—communed with iconic poets, musicians and thinkers who symbolized grand thought and compassion and offered blueprints for what a growing mind needed: to know there is no other way but to step into yourself and be heard.

 

 

I will always remember her for that.

Keith Josef Adkins blogs for The Root at On The Dig .

Comments
The Root encourages respectful debate and dialogue in our commenting community. To improve the commenting experience for all our readers we will be experimenting with some new formats over the next few weeks. During this transition period the comments section will be unavailable to users.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your continued support of The Root.

While we are experimenting, please feel free to leave feedback below about your past experiences commenting at The Root.