Oct. 29 Tribute To Gil Scott-Heron At Rutgers-Newark Is Prequel To Harlem Book Fair In April 2012

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One of the most lauded and well-attended literary events in the United States, the Harlem Book Fair,  is coming to Newark in spring 2012, with its inaugural event set for Saturday, Oct. 29, at Rutgers University in Newark.

“Requiem For A Revolution: A Tribute To Gil Scott-Heron,” a daylong remembrance of poet and recording artist Gil Scott-Heron, is the official launch event of the Harlem Book Fair/Newark, which is scheduled for April 27-28.  The Oct. 29 tribute begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m.  Scott-Heron, who died in May 2011 at 62, was a “voice of black protest culture,” according to the New York Times.

The three-part event, which includes a panel discussion, a film screening and a memorial concert, is open to the public. The discussion and the film screening are free; there is a $10 fee for the concert.  All of the events will take place in the Paul Robeson Campus Center, 350 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

 “The program will be a multi-dimensional academic and performance-based program and concert focused on the life and times of Gil Scott-Heron, and his intersection with the Black struggle in the U.S.,” explains Max Rodriguez, producer of the Harlem Book Fair.  “This event will engage scholars, writers, poets, and performers – all representatives of the dimensions of Gil Scott-Heron – who see the relationship between his life and work and the Black experience in America.” Rodriguez says the tribute will explore Scott-Heron’s writings and music “as a lens on social justice in the American experience, and the complexities of surviving the struggle for identity, consciousness, self-reliance and social progress.  How do we meet our challenges and survive – a question parallel to the challenges and struggles of Gil Scott-Heron.”

Here is the program for the tribute:

  • 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., “The Revolution Will Not be Televised,” a panel and public discussion of Scott-Heron’s 1970 spoken work, which established him as a “rising star of the black cultural left,” according to the Times.


  • 2 – 4 p.m., “Winter In America: Gil Scott-Heron & Amnesia Express: The

Paris   Concert,” moderated video screening and discussion

  • 7 – 9 p.m., “I’m New Here: The Gil Scott-Heron Memorial Concert,” featuring the Poetry Society of America 2001 Robert Frost Medalist, Sonia Sanchez, Sonia Sanchez with David Mills, Louis Reyes Rivera, Tantra, Elijah Wong and special invited guests. Hosted by Helena D. Lewis;  music by Atiba Wilson and Songhi Djeli.


The Harlem Book Fair/Newark is expected to attract 40,000 people and showcase up to 200 exhibitors.  Newark will join New York; Philadelphia; Washington, DC; Houston; Los Angeles; Hempstead, NY; and Atlanta in producing Harlem Book Fair events.  First established in 1998, the fair has three major components: the sale of books in print and electronic formats; public programs, workshops, seminars, and exhibitions focused on reading, education, and literacy; and a day-long series of nationally televised panel discussions by noted authors.

For information on the tribute or the Harlem Book Fair/Newark, please contact Max Rodriguez, 212/348-1681, or