“The men (and women) who create power make an indispensable contribution to the nation’s greatness," said President Kennedy in a 1963 tribute to poet Robert Frost. "But, the men who question power make a contribution just as indispensable.  For they determine whether we use power or power uses us.  When power leads men towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.”

As the COVID19 crisis continues, the only thing we know for sure is this:  If we're honest with ourselves, we know this country—this world—is never "getting back to normal."  What-Was is just that.  More than 308,000 deaths worldwide, as this show airs—88,250 (and counting) in the United States alone—ought to tell us that.   

Whatever the challenges and opportunities ahead, dare we dream a world better, more equitable, responsible and respectful than the old one?  What indispensable questions must we contribute?  What "poetry" will cleanse this space?

This week on the show:  ​#WordsMatter featuring these human rights activists, artists, and political leaders in order of being heard:

President John F. Kennedy, Amherst College, October 26, 1963 

Fannie Lou Hamer, Democratic Convention, August 22, 1964

Deborah Hughes on Susan B. Anthony (Janus Adams Show, "No Going Back")

Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm announces presidential candidacy, January 25, 1972

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "Beyond Vietnam," Riverside Church, April 4, 1967

Ilyasah Shabazz and Janus Adams, Distinguished Speaker Series, SUNY New Paltz, October 28, 2019

Malcolm X, Oxford Union Debate, Oxford University, December 3, 1964

James Baldwin, Speech, UC Berkeley, January 15, 1979

Chris Rock, 88th Academy Awards, Los Angeles, February 28, 2016

Angela Bassett, Black Girls Rock Awards, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, September 8, 2019

Toni Morrison, Nobel Prize Lecture, Stockholm, Sweden, December 7, 1993

President Barack Obama, National Museum of African American History and Culture, Opening Ceremonies, September 25, 2016


The Janus Adams Show airs and streams live Saturdays at 4:00 pm ET on WJFF Radio Catskill.  Subscribe to our podcast (uploaded every Monday) and listen to past shows on SoundCloud.


TAGS:
President John F. Kennedy, President, Barack H. Obama, Rep. Shirley Chisholm, Fannie Lou Hamer, Susan B. Anthony, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ilyasah Shabazz, Malcolm X, Oxford University, SUNY New Paltz, James Baldwin, Chris Rock, Angela Bassett, Black Girls Rock, BET TV, Toni Morrison, African American, Race, Courage, Speaker, NPR, Public Radio, WJFF, Janus Adams 

Music heard on this week's show: 

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