El Jones Poet

Do You Know How Many Died For This Freedom  by El Jones

Published on Aug 23, 2014

See full post below where this speech was heard.


Poetry VLOG – featuring: El Jones – Poet Laureate, Halifax, Canada

Published on May 9, 2014

El Jones is a spoken word artist, a professor, an activist, feminist, human rights advocator and a friend. She is very candid and outspoken about any topics pertaining issues regarding Race, Gender, Prison abolition and the list goes on… But spoken word is one of her most powerful avenues to let her voice be heard.

That said, hope you enjoyed!

11 Mar 2014 SHOWCASE featuring El Jones

El Jones – Poet Laureate at the launch of the new ferry

Published on Jul 30, 2014

El Jones performs at the launch of the Christopher Stannix – the new Woodside ferry.

Mashed Poetics – Rage Against The Machine – El Jones

Published on May 16, 2014

Mashed Poetics at the 2014 Verses Festival of Words featured the debut self-title album by Rage Against the Machine played in its entirety by the Township Rebellion feature Rupert Common. This is El Jones’ poem inspired the song Know Your Enemy

El Jones at Halifax Regional Council – April 2014

Published on Apr 30, 2014

Halifax Poet Laureate El Jones was invited to Regional Council to celebrate National Poetry Month. Listen to her spoken word presentation…

steven ross

the three guys sitting behind el jones are all being so rude! and that there shows you just who is in our council!

you cant sit there for 4 minutes while someone is presenting with out talking….. and these are the people we have in council!makes me think……Steven Courchene

HRM Poet Laureate El Jones for the 2014 Volunteer Awards

Published on Apr 10, 2014

Poet Laureate El Jones was unable to attend the 2014 HRM = HalifaxRegionalMunicipality Volunteer Awards so she video taped her message. Here is El’s take on volunteers!

El Jones – Capital Slam

Published on Dec 16, 2013

El Jones’ Poem about Nelson Mandela

Published on Dec 6, 2013

El Jones reads a poem about Nelson Mandela during Solidarity Halifax’s A people’s History of Nova Scotia Conference on October 5, 2013, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Don’t let them take Mandela
No no don’t let them steal Mandela
Make no mistake they’re going to fake erase and lie about Mandela
They can’t wait for him to die so they can plasticize Mandela
Appropriate Mandela
Don’t you know they hate Mandela?
We can’t have the free Mandela
And they’ll never let us know that we all can be Mandela
They won’t let us feel Mandela
We can’t have the real Mandela
Just like Che Guevara shirts they’re going to buy and sell Mandela
Now that he cannot speak himself they’re going to corporatize Mandela
And we shouldn’t be surprised when we don’t recognize Mandela
And they will whiten up Mandela and they’ll hide the truth about Mandela
Because the last thing they want to do is end apartheid like Mandela
So they’ll divide and rule and govern through a colonized Mandela
And this capitalistic system will consume the true Mandela
And we won’t like the new Mandela cause he’s not for me and you
And they will take him from the ghetto and the township and favela
Oh yeah they’re gonna use Mandela
So we have to tell about Mandela
Don’t forget the freedom charter when we yell about Mandela
But they cast a big umbrella
Full of brainwashing and error
It’s got skeletons inside they already tried to get Fidel
And they will stick to their vendetta
Cause their clique goes on forever
They’ll shove Obama down our throats
While they hide speeches songs and letters
You can bet that they will twist him to whatever serves them better
They’re going to write their own novella
Because they can’t control Mandela
So we have to hold Mandela
Know the goals that drove Mandela
Spear of the Nation old Mandela
And truth and reconciliation sold Mandela so we have to get to know Mandela
Not the diamond mines Mandela
Or the compromised Mandela
Not the World Cup or Invictus or the canonized Mandela
The ride or die Mandela
Viva la revolution socialized Mandela
Cuito Carnavale and militarized Mandela
Castro and Mandela raising fists to the oppressor
Oh but they’ll give us safe Mandela
Nobel peace prize great Mandela
And let’s forget about the state and institutions that brutalized Mandela
And are still in place world wide together
They’ll say oh he forgave, remember?
So there’s no need for the poor to ever rise up like Mandela.
We’ll get quarter of Mandela
A watered down Mandela
A kindergarten cartoon for your sons and daughters
Just a shell of our Mandela
Just like with Gandhi and with King they’ll sound the death knell for Mandela
And before his body’s cold they’ll cast their spell upon Mandela
We’ll get have a dream Mandela and love your enemies Mandela
And power to the people will be buried with Mandela
So we can’t let them steal Mandela
Because they can’t feel Mandela
It’s the spirit of the revolution can’t conceal Mandela
It’s a 500 year connection sharing ideals with Mandela
From the slave ships to Haiti, Cuba and Soweto
Thats what reveals Mandela
And that’s why they can’t keep Mandela
But we can’t sleep on Mandela
Because the truth is there never was just one complete Mandela
It’s the people made Mandela
The movement create Mandela
The youth in streets while he was still behind prison gates propelled it
And it went on whatever measures they attempted to suppress it
And so the people can remember
Solidarity forever
Because as long as our hearts beat then they can never take Mandela.

capitalistic she says on her latest I phone
sick in the head bitch

Shame on you with your hate.

Yeah sometimes
But it frustration more than hate frustration comes first.
Mandela was a terrorist first he’s not and never will be a saint as far as I’m concerned

Nelson Mandela: What the Media Isn’t Telling You
may he rot in hell

Meet HRM’s new Poet Laureate – El Jones

HRM = Halifax Regional Municipality

Published on Jun 28, 2013

El Jones is a spoken word activist and teacher who has performed all over Canada, including at the 10th anniversary all-star edition of When Sisters Speak in Toronto. In 2012, she was sponsored by Citizenship and Heritage Canada on a reading tour of Nova Scotia with George Elliott Clarke.

Her poetry is particularly committed to political causes and social justice and El has worked extensively with organizations around Halifax performing and presenting on issues of social change.

El Jones will serve as HRM’s Poet Laureate for two years 2013-2015.

Andrew David Terris

It’s at least 15 years since I first suggested to Mayor Peter Kelly that Halifax should have a poet laureate. To my surprise, he actually acted on my recommendation, and I’m delighted to see that this honorary position is still going strong. And I’m especially excited that El Jones is the new bearer of that mantle. Her ode to Halifax, a city with which I have an intense love/hate relationship, is simply brilliant. CONGRATULATIONS!


Full –Pastor Appreciation Service with El Jones- Spoken Word

Published on Oct 28, 2013

DATE – Oct.27,2013″ Pastor Appreciation”
Visit us at http://www.EastPrestonUBC.ca to order a full copy of this service.

Visit http://www.e-sermons.eastprestonubc.ca to further the dialoge. Please feel free to comment, ask questions, push the envelope farther and generate a dialogue that can keep this Word alive in our hearts and minds each day. We look forward to conversing with you about what’s really important in all of our lives!

1812 Poem – Get Free

Published on Apr 8, 2013

This Spoken Word piece was developed by El Jones ( Spoken Word Artist/Local Activist) along youth from Mulgrave Park area and Pink dog Productions with the help of Lawyer/Local Historian Rocky Jones but sead some light on the influence the war of 1812 had on African Nova Scotian history.

El Jones Women and War

Published on Feb 2, 2013

Spoken Word artist El Jones at the Remembrance Event “Remember Me, a Tribute to Our Unsung Heroes”.

El Jones spoken word performance

Uploaded on Dec 7, 2011

Spoken word artist El Jones performs a piece on AIDS within the African-Canadian communities. Recorded Dec. 1, 2011 in Halifax, N.S.

El Jones Spoken Word on Racism in Nova Scotia

Uploaded on Feb 18, 2011

Halifax – El Jones

Uploaded on Jan 13, 2011

Canadian Festival of Spoken Word 2008 National Poetry SLAM. This year it was at the Calgary Public Library and was put on by Sheri-D Wilson and the Calgary Spoken Word Festival.

Africville Speaker El Jones

Uploaded on Aug 11, 2008

El Jones speaks during the Africville 2008 Reunion. This was produced for a documentary film.

Coal White
Real Talk. Novia Scotia is going thru some serious oppression right now, German government stationed some troops over there (germans are ca 10% of population) and started some serious police state ish. Still a colony, but nobody knows because its a small island silenced by the powers that be. much respect to this young sister for speaking up. Peace to my Halifax fam going thru all the racial profiling bs, to the Afrikan Canadian youths who get the short end of teh stick.


This Afrikan queens words moved me to tears// while addressing my fears//and my peers//and a what we hold dear//her message is clear//touched my heart, soul and ears//I felt the pain of countless lives and countless stolen years//while standing here//on stolen land//extending hands far and near//to help every child woman and man//stand and cheer//as the hatred fades and the love appears//when negativity flees we’ll blaze new frontiers//as we fight for whats right with a sound so sincere//

El Jones – The Zoo

Uploaded on Dec 17, 2008

Halifax Poet El Jones performs at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word Calgary Canada November 2008.

El Jones – If I Had a Penis…

Uploaded on Dec 17, 2008

Halifax Poet El Jones performs at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word Calgary Canada November 2008.

Below are articles and posts from The Coast paper in Halifax.

El Jones-CoastCover_2477

El Jones, poetry and power | Literary | Halifax, Nova Scotia |
El Jones stands in front of a banner that reads Black Lives Matter. Her left hand is raised in a fist. Her right holds a mic into which she chants:

Malcolm, Huey, Angela, Assata
Dead, prison, exile, murdered
Revolution, protest, programs, marches
Can you live up to what they started?
What do you feel in every beat of your heart?
Black power
Now say it with me

“Black power,” the multiracial crowd calls, their fists in the air.

Now say it louder
Black power
One more time
Black power
Hour by hour
Black power
The struggle continues so educate yourself .

El Jones Book Launch | The Company House | Literary | Halifax

El Jones Dub, Dance, Revolution | Alderney Landing Theatre
When: Fri., Feb. 21, 7 p.m. 2014
An act of Afrikan resistance and empowerment through mashing up art. Featuring the spoken word collective Word Iz Bond, the youth of Centerline Studios, and filmmakers, poets, dancers and artists including founding dub poets from across Canada, this show captures the spirit of liberation through spontaneous and collaborative art making.  Alderney Landing Theatre

The power of voice | Voice of the City | Halifax, Nova Scotia |
Feb 20, 2014 … Halifax’s Poet Laureate knows one city needs many voices.
By El Jones
The voice is I and I. I and I meaning the voice is in us all to equalize. To harmonize. To totalize. The voice is alive. Word is Bond says the voice so speak with righteousness.

The voice is dub, soul, reggae, hip-hop, drum and synthesizer. The voice is Word Sound Power swag and style. The voice is too wide to occupy a single poet; the poet is just disciple.

The voice is the little girl at the workshop who starts off hostile. In her first poem she makes fun of me trying to get a rise. When I say I like her rhyme, her second poem she writes my mom just sits around on welfare and I’m scared of having her life. In her third poem she writes, today I realized I have a talent for poetry inside.

The voice is reading Malcolm X over the prison phone at Burnside. It is the poetry circle before lockdown and the collect call at 5:30 to the radio show with poems providing a lifeline. I was held in solitary they say and poetry was my only sign. Can poetry liberate us? they challenge. Can it free the mind?

The voice is in the dedication of the garden at the Refugee Clinic to Habtom who committed suicide when his claim was denied. Can poetry memorialize? they ask me. Can poetry shine a light?

The voice is the former foster child who shows me her files and asks how poetry can help her find some way to make the past materialize. Can poetry heal? she asks me. Is poetry a guide?

The voice is the teens who shyly stand by in classrooms just to say hi. Do you write? I ask them. Yes they say, I would like to speak but I’m scared people will laugh if I try. Can poetry give us courage? they wonder. Will it make me signify?

The voice is the organizer trying to save the school from being gentrified.

The survivor calling out against sexual violence, the sex workers rallying for rights. They urge me, will poetry help us outcry?

The voice is Arabic, Farsi, Kreyole, Hausa and Twi. Poetry is how we identify.

The voice is at Centerline Studios, in the young people who believe that they can find a way out of stereotype. It is in beats and rap and spoken word and music. They say poetry helps us survive.

The voice is Mi’kmaq warriors protecting the waters and the sacred fire. Poetry will uprise they tell us. It will justify.

The voice is the young immigrant who raps in flawless English at the Y. The voice is the vigil for those who died homeless. Can poetry dignify? they question.

The voice is the women in the transition house who hide poetry under their beds and inside dressers and when I coax it out of them they arrive with armloads of papers scrawled with poems on both sides. Can poetry help us rise? they show me. Does it get us through trials?

The voice is the community talent show fundraiser, the high school concert, Africa Night. Can poetry bring us together? they ask me. Will poetry unify?

The voice is the angry stories, the sad stories, the stories of resilience, the confessions and the cries. The voice is gathered at the library, in community centres, in the pews and aisles. The voice is book awards and historical preservation societies. I and I have been present when the voice inspires, in private or at the mic.

The voice is vital. It cannot be stifled. It most urgently possesses those without title, those with no venue for recital. This poem is just a sample, just a trifle of the tidal wave of voices I have heard testify. How can I describe how many voices I have witnessed prophesying their truths?

The poet is not the voice of the city, just the disciple. The voice is I and I.
Poetry off the page
HRM’s new poet laureate, El Jones, wants to inspire young poets and engage people to speak for themselves.
By Michael Lake
HRM’s new poet laureate, El Jones, wants to inspire young poets and engage people to speak for themselves. by Michael Lake

“We don’t live in a culture right now that values poetry,” says El Jones. “But poetry has changed.”

A press conference at City Hall on June 27 announced Jones as HRM’s new poet laureate. She is the fifth in a line of some of Halifax’s most beloved female writers to be appointed to the position.

In 2009, HRM changed the position’s requirements to include spoken word artists; rather than just a history of print publications, poets with a background in performance were also able to apply. “Edmonton got Cadence Weapon”–as its poet laureate– “and then they made the change here too. I think it’s also been shaped by everyone who has been in the position,” says Jones. “And I think social justice is more important than it has been in previous years.”

Since her move to Halifax in 2002, Jones has been active in the spoken word community, performing on award-winning slam teams and working as artistic director for the Word Iz Bond spoken word artist collective, which hosts a poetry slam at The Company House on the third Thursday of each month. Jones has also worked with Centre Line Studio for youth in Uniacke Square and has toured the province with George Elliott Clarke, performing poetry in schools, community centres and libraries.

In addition to her work in the community, Jones teaches Women’s Studies at Acadia and is an instructor in the African Canadian Transition Program at Nova Scotia Community College, which is “the only black-focused adult learning program in Canada,” she says. “If you’re over 19 and have been out of school for at least a year, you can come and get your diploma. The staff is all black and there are all black teachers and black focus in the materials.” The program also has no tuition costs.

As a newly-minted laureate, Jones has a lot of plans, most of which centre on the goal of opening doors for others. At June’s City Hall event, she invited a group of young artists from Centre Line Studio to share the stage with her.

“They were rapping in City Hall. I’m not sure how often that happens,” says Jones. “Particularly for artists of colour where we don’t have the same access, we have to make access for each other. We are always seen as marginal and the art we make is less likely to be seen. When you reach a certain point, I think you’re doing a disservice if you’re not dragging somebody along with you. You want to build those relationships.”

Jones plans to keep working on projects that engage the HRM’s marginalized communities.

“There are so many people unemployed or living without homes, so let’s hear from them. And people in prison are some of the last letter-writers on the planet. There are so many conditions that we have put prisoners under and people don’t really have an idea of what gets people incarcerated,” she says. “Writing and poetry is a way that people can speak for themselves and I’d love for more people to have access to that writing and to understand what’s going on and why we keep putting more and more people behind bars.”

As somebody who already does a lot of grassroots work, Jones says her new title will require her to focus on the more public aspects of the role. “I keep thinking in terms of who I can invite with me to do something,” she says. “If you can help people, bring them along, especially young poets, that is what’s important to me.”

El Jones hosts By the Roadside
Thursday, July 11, 8pm
The Company House, 2202 Gottingen Street


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