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Dennis Brutus reads his poem "Sharpeville"
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[Dennis Brutus reads from his work]
Original Airdate: 3/26/1982

Length: 00:16:30
Item Type: newstape - original footage

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Full Description

Visual: Christopher Lydon interviews Dennis Brutus (South African poet, scholar and activist). The two are sitting among shelves of books. Brutus reads from his work, a poem about repression in South Africa called The Sounds Begin Again. Lydon asks Brutus about how he sees himself, considering his many roles as poet, leader, and activist. Brutus says that he has no trouble reconciling his roles; that he is concerned with human rights and justice all over the world; that he feels a sense of exile from his country. Brutus reads from his work, a poem called Sequence for South Africa.

V: Lydon asks how Brutus describes South African to those who are unfamiliar with the country. Brutus says that he tries to describe certain places and events: Soweto, the massacre of students in 1976, and the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960. Brutus says that the Sharpeville Massacre demonstrated the willingness of the white minority to commit murder in order to remain in power. Brutus reads from his work, a poem called Sharpeville.

V: Lydon asks Brutus about the current situation in South Africa. Brutus says that the situation is getting worse; that there is more repression; that more people are jailed and executed. Brutus notes that the resistance has grown stronger. Brutus talks about Solomon Mahlangu (South African activist), who was hanged by the government in 1979. Brutus reads from his work, a poem for Mahlangu.

V: Brutus and Lydon discuss how to edit his readings. The crew takes cutaway shots of Lydon and Brutus.

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