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Rev. Sekou

By Stephanie Smittle

THURSDAY 9/26. 8 p.m. South on Main. $28-$36.

$28 – $36

The formal introduction that opens Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou’s Tiny Desk Concert for NPR goes as follows: “My name is Rev. Sekou and these are the Seal Breakers. Now they from Brooklyn, but I was raised in a little old place called Zent, Arkansas, that’s got about 11 houses and 35 people, and they’ll work from can’t-see morning to can’t-see night and then they’d make their way to the juke joint. And then early Sunday morning they’d make their way to the church house.” The 20-minute set covers all that and then some, with the diminutive reverend at the center — shouting, wailing, pleading and preaching over a muted trumpet, his background singers repeating “Say my name” as he sings responsively “Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, India Clarke … .” Rev. Sekou is the next in Oxford American’s “Archetypes & Troubadours” series (see for tickets and details), and he comes to the stage with some formidable experiences. He’s put out a debut solo album produced by the North Mississippi Allstars’ Luther Dickinson and a Lebanon-set documentary film called “Exiles in the Promised Land.” He’s been engaged in (and arrested for) acts of nonviolent civil disobedience in Ferguson, Mo., and Charlottesville, N.C. He’s served as a delegate to the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Bolivia in 2010. Asked about his leadership by Yes Magazine, though, he demurred, saying: “I am not a leader in this movement; I am a follower. I take my orders from 23-year-old queer women. … The leadership that is emerging are the folks who have been in the street, who have been tear-gassed. … It’s a revolutionary aesthetic. It’s black women, queer women, single mothers, poor black boys with records, kids with tattoos on their faces who sag their pants.” Hallelujah and amen to that.


September 27, 2019
1:00 am
$28 – $36
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South on Main
1304 Main St.
Little Rock, AR 72202
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501) 244-9660