Folger, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Collab on Poetic Mix Tape

Four Poets Explore the Rage, Hope & Empowerment Embedded in Historic Musical Legacies of Black Artists

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Twilight at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo: Lesley Ann Miller/WireImage; Courtesy Folger

On Tuesday, Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. the Folger Shakespeare Library will get together with the legendary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to present a poetic mix-tape.

The collaboration, part of the Folger’s O.B. Hardison Poetry Series, is a response to the Rock Hall’s exhibition It’s Been Said All Along: Voices of Rage, Hope, and Empowerment.

In every generation, Black rock and roll artists have elevated the conversation about race, equality, justice, and peace. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s 2020 exhibition It’s Been Said All Along: Voices of Rage, Hope & Empowerment showed how musical artists have channeled the power of rock & roll to respond to racism from the roots of rock to today.

Poets Patricia Spears Jones, Nate Marshall, Reuben Jackson, and Ashley M. Jones (no relation) read their own poetry and use it to explore the rage, hope and empowerment embedded in the historic musical legacy of such artists as Public Enemy, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, and others. The reading combines poetry and music from the exhibition.

“Musicians have responded in song and action to promote social justice and equality. What the world is seeing today, as injustices are called out and protesters are finding their voices, is not new,” the Rock N Roll Museum said in a release about the exhibit; “and neither are the musical responses – words and music and passion converging to create something much bigger that cuts deep into the rage, gives hope and radiates empowerment.”

The reading will begin with a pop-up exhibition of rare items from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and will be followed by a moderated conversation with questions from those in attendance.

This event is co-sponsored by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

Tickets for this virtual event are $5 to $30, with a suggested price of $15 and can be purchased at the Folger Box Office at 202-544-7077 or by visiting www.folger.edu/poetry.