The Revolution Will Not Be Televised Critical Analysis

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The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" is a poem and song by Gil Scott-Heron. Scott-Heron first recorded it for his 1970 album Small Talk at 125th and Lenox, on which he recited the lyrics, accompanied by congas and bongo drums. The message of the song is the elusive nature of political culture in Nixons America and the inability of the mainstream to capture the real heart of the people. Heron uses cultural refrences from the 1970s to express his angerin the 1970s. What he is trying relay in his poem that In a country where everything was becoming increasingly sanitized and pre-packaged, ”The Revolution will not be televised” is partly a call to arms and partly an acknowledgement that there was an alternative, but that it wouldn’t happen if people just stayed at home staring at their TVs. In the poem where Heron takes jabs at political leaders, his central issues are drugs, President Nixon and the vietnam War, and the brain washing of television. Knowing and understanding these issues that happened in our past can help us deal with the same issues we our facing now.

One of the issues mentioned in the poem is the drug problem that the U.S. faced in the 1970s. Not only was it a issue that many Americans faced, but it was a bigger issue faced by African-Americans. In the poem he says “plug in, turn on, and cop out. “ It is actually a refrence to a reference to Timothy Leary's pro-LSD phrase "Turn on, tune in, drop out. Heron also says in the poem “skag”, which is slang for heroin. Drugs are also a recurring theme on the album as Scott-Heron has battled addiction for decades. Drugs were a big issue in the 70’s as he was a drug addict and saw many other African-Americans who were addicted to drugs such as LSD and heroin. So what we can take from this refrence in this poem During the 70’s the president of the U.S. was Nixon. Nixon’s Americas was a very strange place to be, with the horror of the Kent State Massacre fresh in everyones’ minds and the...
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