"Understand What Black Is" by The Last Poets is an album that matters - not just musically, but as a record of the times we're living in. The Last Poets are weathervanes, warning of the future and past sins in poems that are indivisible from the rhythms they are voiced on.
If you are yet sprightly,
But with fear saddled upon your heart;
Bearing weightily on your self-will
And encumbering your every step,
Then stand before a mirror and look closely
You will find that thou art no youth.
If you cling onto a ship
Beaten helplessly by the gale
And you hear the captain within you give the order: ‘Abandon ship! Abandon ship!’
But still, you hold on,
Dreading the uncertain deep
Thou art no youth.
In all of the universes
And in Time’s lengthy verses
It’s told in more times than once
That help waits upon those ones,
Whose hearts are set upon noble causes;
Through such does Light direct its courses:
To cast life-giving rays to every end,
That hearts and minds may not fail to no end.
But as for those spirits lifted unto vanity,
Who have so lost the essence of their humanity,
To this lot is Salvation’s way lost