Sekou Sundiata was one of New York's most intelligent and gifted poets of the African-American consciousness. A native of Harlem who taught English literature at the New School for Social Research, Sundiata became quite a performer in his own right as well, usually leading a band on frequent club dates reminiscent of June Jordan, Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones), and Quincy Troupe. Sundiata began writing for the musical theater, and premiered The Mystery of Love in 1994, with songwriting help from Doug Booth. The duo also teamed up on Sundiata's debut album, The Blue Oneness of Dreams, with Booth contributing both songs and his soulful vocals to the project. The album was released on Polygram in 1997; A Long Story Short followed in early 2000. The following year he joined Ani DiFranco on her "Rhythm and News" tour, all the while continuing his professorship in the writing program at the New School. Sadly, in July 2007 Sundiata passed away due to heart failure.
by John Bush