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Hendrix, Jimi/RE: Black Power Movement


Did Jimi Hendrix support the Black Panther Party?

Was there criticism that he was ignoring his roots and ignoring black music and musicians?

Hi Max,
It's true that Jimi was approached by black activists (perhaps BP party members amongst them) who incited him to more for the black cause. Though Jimi kept an open ear to their urgings, he did feel bugged by it. His short lived all black Band Of Gypsys is obviously seen as a manifestation of his wishing to appease these pressures but it rather looks like Jimi was comfortable at time hanging out with his old friends.
However, with the original Experience line-up at the Newport Pop Festival in the summer of 1969 he addressed some hecklers by saying "This is a black militant song and don't you ever forget it!" before launching into "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)". Later in the year at the Fillmore East during the famous Band Of Gypsys concerts, Jimi introduced the song as the Black Panthers National Anthem !
So it's evident that racial issues were on Jimi's agenda and this was also reflected in his songwriting in the 1969/1970 period - that is after all the trippy, pyschedelic years of the original JH Experience, post- "Electric Ladyland" (though it has been suggested that "House Burning Down" fom that album featured lyrics inspired by the events surrounding the Watts riots).
Jimi lyrics in the later period of his short career did have a stronger social consciousness to them in songs such as "Freedom", "Straight Ahead", "Machine Gun", "Earth Blues",...



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James Hawthorn


I can answer just about any question concerning Jimi Hendrix. I cannot give the value of records, CDs or tapes relating to the work of Jimi hendrix.


I am the author of The Jimi Hendrix Record Guide:

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