In the Fall of 1980, Gil Scott-Heron was invited by Stevie Wonder to join
a forty-one city tour across America that would end in Washington
on January 15, 1981. The purpose was to raise support for the creation of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a national holiday to honor the great civil rights leader. This holiday became official in 1986. Scott-Heron uses this history-making tour as the backbone of his fascinating memoir.
Raised by his grandmother in Jackson, Tennessee, Scott-Heron's journey from these beginnings to becoming one of the most influential musicians and songwriters of his generation is a remarkable one. Cited as the godfather of rap, Scott-Heron's poetic output spanned from the politically savvy to the savagely satirical, from the socially conscious to the tenderhearted. His unexpected death in May 2011 robbed America of one its most vocal and articulate artists. Chuck D of Public Enemy said of Scott-Heron, "we do what we do and how we do because of you." From Sarah S