Friday 25 September 2009

Sonny's Lettah (Anti-Sus Poem)

"Mama, dont fret, dont get depres an doun-hearted. Be af good courage til I hear fram you ..." I can still remember the first time I heard Linton Kwesi Johnson reading Sonny's Lettah. It was absolutely chilling, and the calm, measured tone in which he recited this 'anti-sus poem' made it far more effective than all the ranting and raving in the world. The (sus) stop-and-search policy of the late '70s/early-'80s created massive friction between the black community in London and elements of the police. It was cited as one of the factors that sparked the Brixton Riots of April 1981. Linton Kwesi Johnson called the riots Di Great Insohreckshan ...

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