AUGUSTA, GA -- Corey Washington, educator and author of Jimi Hendrix: Black Legacy (A Dream Deferred), recently appeared on TAPintoTV, speaking with Executive Producer Brian Brodeur about his book, as well as the life and music of Jimi Hendrix, who passed away 50 years ago today.
Brodeur and Washington spoke via video conference from East Main Media’s studio in Little Falls, NJ, which has been reconfigured to accommodate remote interviews due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Washington said that his book is more than another Hendrix biography. “It covers his legacy in the Black community in reference to Black music, Black culture,” said Washington. “It talks about how he influenced multiple genres of music.” Most of us associate Hendrix with rock and blues, but he also left his mark on jazz, hip hop and innumerable artists across the musical spectrum. “What I try to do in my book is go beyond what you know about Jimi,” Washington added.
Washington described his own discovery of Hendrix’s music. He had known who Hendrix was, but it was exclusively within the context of the psychedelic rock genre. As Washington watched a wrestling match one day, Hulk Hogan walked out to the strains of Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child,” which caught Washington's attention. From there, he began researching Hendrix and developed an interest in his life and music, and later Hendrix became the subject of a paper Washington wrote in college.
“I wanted to tackle why Jimi Hendrix was not appreciated, as he should be, in the Black community,” Washington said, which he attributes to how Hendrix was marketed on a limited basis after his death. “From that paper, it spurred me on to my first book, Nobody Cages Me, where I was able to talk about how nobody could cage Jimi into any genre.”
Brodeur and Washington also spoke about the live performance Hendrix gave at Symphony Hall in Newark on April 5, 1968, the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis. Attendees spoke of a haunting tribute Hendrix played to King. “It’s a sad state of affairs that the concert was not recorded,” Washington said.
“His journey is certainly a remarkable, unique journey,” Washington said of Hendrix’s life. “Nobody can ever match that.”
To read more about Jimi Hendrix: Black Legacy (A Dream Deferred), visit www.jimibl.com.