|Dancers from East St. Louis/SIUE Centering for Performing Arts|
There was dance, jazz, African drum playing, gospel music, and oh yes, poetry. The mixed genre, festive nature of the production were familiar features of an event organized by Eugene B. Redmond.
For years now, Redmond has made sure to incorporate music, song, and dance performances into poetry events. Of course, for Redmond, poetry readings are almost always occasions for something more. As an active participant in the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s, Redmond had absorbed the philosophies and practices that sought to break down barriers between various artistic forms.
|Eugene B. Redmond & Treasure Redmond giving reading|
Baraka's multi-directional approach to presenting individual poems corresponds in many ways to Redmond's approach to organizing a poetry event. There's attention to history, music, movement, culture, and politics that is hard to miss in either.