Celebrated hip-hop performance artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph joins us as part of our “First Person” series, profiling the leaders, innovators and other compelling characters who make the Bay Area unique. A national poetry slam champion, Joseph is artistic director of San Francisco-based Youth Speaks.

His current production “red, black & GREEN: a blues,” blends poetry, dance, music and film in an exploration of race and environmentalism. It runs at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts through October 22.

red, black & GREEN: a blues BELIEF from MAPP International on Vimeo.

Marc Bamuthi Joseph, poet, dancer and artistic director for Youth Speaks

  • angela

    I saw MBJ’s new production last week. It took my breath away and hearing his words on the radio bring tears to my eyes, again. As a west oakland resident, artist, mixed race mother of a white appearing child, I am concerned with how the linguistic metaphors of race terminology. Can you address the language, how one identifies the self as color, as black, white, brown etc…

  • katherine

    thanks for the great interview and introduction to Mr Joseph. This is a gret conversation.

  • Laura

    Just watched your video above and was struck by the line when you talk about the color brown invoking a connection to the fertile earth and then “see how dark the day becomes when you bury the light” when we talk about the word black, beautiful, so illuminating. 

  • adrienne

    I want to comment on how wonderful of an instructor Bamuthi is. I had the good fortune of taking a performance poetry class at Mills with him. Marc does a good job of sharing the legacy of storytelling and giving us storytellers new ways to think about this craft. Can you speak about what fuels your teaching methods and inspires your vision for the next generation of storytellers? Thank you for sharing your talent with students! 🙂 

  • Cathy bui

    I am a student and involved in many movements on my campus including social justice and environmentalism. I’m exposed to many art forms on my campus including spoken word, rap, and instrumental pieces. I see many of my friends work toward their causes through community organizing and academic studies but I feel like art is under valued as a method of activism and seen more as recreational. I want to ask how we, as young students, can once again connect art and solving many issues we face today.

  • Bamuthi is powerful and amazing!

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