Without fine arts there are no fine minds.................
You have to breed what you need or another will plant its seed..
On the night of August 11, 1965, a routine drunk driving arrest on Avalon Boulevard and 116th Street escalated into an incident of police brutality, when cops beat down an African American family. Chanting "Burn, baby, burn!” an angry crowd of witnesses erupted, setting off riots that lasted for 5 days. The Watts Rebellion happened at the midpoint of the Sixties, and became the hinge on which the Civil Rights era became the Black Power era. The cultural aftershocks would reverberate for generations.
The Watts Prophets are a living bridge to this time. Contemporaries like the Harlem-based Last Poets have received their props, but the Prophets are just as important to the histories of hip-hop and African American cultural movements. In 2003, Quincy Jones called the Prophets and the Poets "the seminal figures in our culture, just as Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie were in the bebop revolution of the 1940s."
The story of the Watts Prophets begins shortly after the riots.
Watts had become a hub of political and cultural activity. Money from government, foundations, and Hollywood liberals poured into the area. The Black Panthers and US Organization set up on 103rd Street. The Frederick Douglass House Foundation, the Mafundi Institute, and the Watts Happening Café opened for business.
Watts was the new Black mecca, a space of creative vitality as rich as Harlem had been in the 20s. Thousands of young African Americans came west to Watts to be part of a new age of Black liberation. "Watts, post outrage, was in a heavy state of fermentation," wrote the writer Odie Hawkins, who had moved from Chicago. "Everybody was a poet, a philosopher, an artist or simply something exotic. Even people who weren't any of those things thought they were."
recorded with Quicy Jones (Mellow Madness) Beautiful Black Woman
released two books of poetry with the Watts Prophets, The Rising Sons and Poetic Reflections
A documentary produce by PBS station KCET and the Watts Prophets, Victory Will Be My Moan, was nominated for an Emmy
Anthony “Amde” Hamilton lives in McKinleyville, California. He
performs with the Watts Prophets, http://www.wattsprophets.com/, with
whom he also conducts residency programs for teens in schools and art
centers from coast to coast. “He’s old, but he’s cool,” is a
frequent comment heard among the thousands of young people who have
been influenced by Amde's powerful voice and experience. These
programs culminate with performances of rapping, singing, dancing,
scatting, and drumming that give young people a voice they never knew
his work has been sampled on hundreds of hip hop songs,
including artists such as Dr. Dre, DJ Quik, DJ Shadow, Digable
Planets, and Too Short. This work brings him recognition and
credibility to young audiences that other poets cannot match.
He has performed in the following places:
England Jazz Café, England; William Grant Still Art Center, LA;
Compton School Career Day, LA; California Library, LA; Ben Harper
Tour, worldwide; Reading Rainbow, PBS; Acts Against Violence, PBS; El
Camino College Torrance, CA; Chico State University, Chico CA; Watts
Summer Festival, Watts CA; CSU Riverside, Riverside CA; McCallum
Theater, Palm Desert CA; Quad City Arts Center, Rock Island Ill;
Tennessee State University,Tennessee; UCLA; Watts Towers Jazz
Festival; Lied Center Theater Lawrence KS; UCSB Multi Cultural Center
Santa Barbara CA; Wolf Trap Vienna VA; Bowdoin College, Brunswick ME;
Cincinnati Arts Association, Cincinnati OH; J. Paul Getty Center, Los
Angeles; Hopkins Center, Dartmouth College NH; University of South
Carolina, Columbia SC; Sunset Center, Carmel CA; Amsterdam Festival,
Holland; Texas Tech. Univ. Lubbock TX; East County Performing Arts
Center El Cajon; Memphis Arts Council, Memphis TN; East County
Performing Arts Center, El Cajon CA; Hip Hop Choir USC Arts
Initiative; Fred C. Nelles Correctional Institute; Cal State
Northridge; Wilshire Ebell Youth Talent Show
Amde's ministry in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church—he had taken the name "Father Amde" and baptized the great Nina Simone in the early 1980's
Fr. Amde also served in Bob Marly private and public funeral services in Jamaica. In the video title (Land of Look Behind) Fr. Amde recite the poem "Wisdom and Knowledge" to the Marly family.
Amde recorded with his old school day friend Don Cherry's on the Multi-Kulti album.
Me Today You Tomorrow
information to buy book and CD's direct from me the artist.
Concerned Artist Action Group
Local community artist united for grant opportunities. organized the First Annual Watts Black History Festival at the Watts Towers Art Center with Director Mark Greenfield.
Expression: Talk Up Not Down
Prince George County Maryland Dept. of Parks and Rec. with the community support presented the 4-H club with poetry writing workshops with the Watts Prophets and local poets.
Share recording and production credits with Amde Hamilton and Richard Dedeaux