Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Wisdom of Sun Ra: Sun Ra's Polemical Broadsheets and Streetcorner Leaflets



From The University of Chicago Press:

From the Arkestra to his experiments with synthesizers, Sun Ra was one of the most inventive jazz musicians in history. Yet until now, there has not been a collection of his earliest writings that reveal the beginnings of his work as philosopher, mystic, and Afro-Futurist. This new volume unveils over forty newly discovered typewritten broadsheets on which Sun Ra expounded his wholly unique philosophical message.

While in Chicago during the mid-1950s, Sun Ra preached on street corners and occasionally created scripts to accompany his lectures—intricate texts that invoke science fiction, Biblical prophecy, etymology, and black nationalism. Until this point, the only broadsheet known to exist was one given to John Coltrane in 1956. These newly unearthed writings attest to the provocative brilliance that inspired Coltrane. Sun Ra annotated many of them by hand, and together the sheets reveal fascinating new aspects of his worldview.

The Wisdom of Sun Ra is an invaluable compendium of writings by one of the most intriguing and influential jazz figures of the century.

Sun Ra The Wisdom of Sun Ra: Sun Ra's Polemical Broadsheets and Streetcorner Leaflets. Edited by Anthony Elms and John Corbett. Distributed for WhiteWalls. 144 p., 56 color plates. 6-1/2 x 9-1/2 2006

Paper $20.00 ISBN: 978-0-945323-07-5 (ISBN-10: 0-945323-07-7) Spring 2006


TABLE OF CONTENTS

one of everything: blount hermeneutics and the wisdom of ra
John Corbett

broadsheet images

transcriptions

what america should consider
jesus said, "let the negro bury the negro."
language of gods
spo de o de........hoc way.....
a spook sho' is a dragg, man.....
he's a dragg
satan is the god of the spooks negroes are the children of the "devil"
the negro is a burden to the white man!
message to the spook
negroes are not men
jacob in the land of u.s.
there's a nigger in the woodpile
the way of the cross
there are two ethiopias
days of vengence
the light isG
the true way to life
wake up! wake up! wake up!
the bible was not written for negroes!!!!!!
the great whore
little i's i love you
i don't give a hoot
big brother left you holding the bag!
the stumbling block
moms & pops
the poor little rich one: the prince of this world
neptune is rex...
the ruler with the iron fork...
johnny one note
"a nigger is a mess"
why don't you turn again!
the god of israel
united states at the crossroads
solution to the negro problem
[illegible title] it is time to discuss
basic truths
humpty dumpty
keys to understanding the hidden meaning of the bible
the wisdom of ra
the reach for a better world
what negroes do to be saved
the truth
the truth about jesus
i have set beore you life and death--choose life
lucifer means light bearer
zoroastrianism
satan
the end

For another look inside Sun Ra and his musical path at the time these broadsheets were created, check out this excerpt from a film called The Cry of Jazz in which Sun Ra made the soundtrack for:

No comments: