Peter Blackman was a major figure in radical Caribbean politics and culture in post-war London. His friends included Paul Robeson (with whom he visited the Soviet Union in 1949), Nazim Hikmet, W.E.B. Du Bois and George Lamming. In the 1950s the composer Alan Bush used part of Blackman’s ‘My Song is for All Men’ in his cantata Voices of the Prophets. In 1980 the ex-Soft Machine drummer Robert Wyatt recorded Blackman’s poem ‘Stalingrad’ on the B-side of Stalin wasn’t Stallin’, released as a single by Rough Trade in 1981; the song also appears on Wyatt’s 1982 album Nothing Can Stop Us.
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