Upon the Ashes of Babylon: Muslim Spoken Word Artist, Amir Sulaiman

www.amirsulaiman.com/
A native of Rochester, New York, writer, activist, and
educator Amir Sulaiman is a member of Goodestuff Entertainment, an Atlanta based collective providing culturally relevant programming. With a political consciousness that is profound without being preachy and stately without being stand-offish, Sulaiman has garnered the respect of such notables as Kevin Powell who invited the riveting performer to open for his State of Black Men in America Tour Kickoff held at Rev. Dr. Barbara King’s Hillside Chapel and Truth Center. Even media mogul Russell Simmons sat in awe as Sulaiman dropped science to a fervent audience during a recent taping of HBO’s Def Poetry. In addition to writing and recording, Sulaiman gives presentations and workshops. His presentation, The 40 Year Itch: The Harlem Renaissance, The Black Arts Movement and Modern Spoken Word, grounds the burgeoning spoken word movement in cultural, historic, and literary roots. He also molds the minds of youth teaching the elements of poetry, the power of voice, and style development. In his Communication Workshop, he explores the intricacy of human language and the process by which ideas travel from one mind to another. Sulaiman was an active participant in Goodestuff Entertainment’s First Annual Southern Poetry Conference held at the historic Auburn Research Library as well as the Atlanta Congressional Debate.

Amir Sulaiman began writing poetry at the age of twelve. In 1996, he began performing at colleges, universities, bookstores, and coffee shops as a student at North Carolina A&T. In his sophomore year, he released his debut poetry collection Words of Love, Life, and Death. This early work distends across the broad canvas of truth, struggle, relationships, and poetry. During his tenure at NC A&T, Sulaiman’s work was published in literary journals and collections including The Hazmat Review, All That Jazz, and Sauti Mypa. After obtaining a B.A. in English from North Carolina A&T he moved to Atlanta, G.A and released his breakthrough CD “Cornerstore Folklore”. Bolstered by the success of Cornerstore Folklore Tour– which reached such cities as D.C., NY, Oakland, San Francisco, Norfolk, Richmond, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Raleigh, Greensboro—Sulaiman began whispering in the same breath of elders like Amiri Barka and solidified himself as a voice of light in the midst of a dark day.


Here is an entire talk entitled Upon the Ashes of Babylon from a powerful Muslim spoken word artist, Amir Sulaiman. The event was part of Islam Awareness Week 2006 at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, AB, Canada. Amir’s words manifest a quiet confidence which I find compelling. He has a way of framing issues which is really cathartic and healthy… it reminds me of how I felt when I read Malcolm’s speeches for the first time.


Amir Sulaiman – UofA MSA 2006 – Upon the Ashes of Babylon 1

Amir Sulaiman – UofA MSA 2006 – Upon the Ashes of Babylon 2

Amir Sulaiman – UofA MSA 2006 – Upon the Ashes of Babylon 3

Resources:

Enter Amir’s Myspace | enter Uprising Records

RBG Street Scholars Hip Hop/ Conscious Wikizine
Masters of Modern Day Spoken Word, Rap and Poetry Videos


Muslim Hip Hop


Upon the Ashes of Babylon You Tube Viewings

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

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