DUB POETRY

Dub poetry has emerged as one of the most important militant voices of Black people. It continues the African oral tradition with a combination of the spoken word and the sound of drums to help drive the rhythms of the poems. It largely ignores the official languages of the region, preferring instead to use a combination of Creole and Rasta forms to give voice to their concerns.

Dub poetry or reggae poetry sprang to life in the last decade, pushed by such artists as Linton 'kwesi' Johnson, Mutabaruka, Oku Onuora and Jean Breeze – all from the Caribbean.

The foundation of dub poetry is word, sound and power and its themes are similar to those sung by Bob Marley: white domination, western oppression, life in the ghetto, police brutality, racism, equality, justice and current economic issues. For example, in her dub poem Aid, Jean Breeze writes:

Four hundred years from the plantation whip
To the IMF grip
Aid travels with a bomb
watch out
Aid travels with a bomb
They rob and exploit you of your own
then send it back as a foreign loan
Interest is on it, regulations too
They will also
decide your policy
for you.



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