Gilbert Scott-Heron (1949–2011) was an American jazz poet, singer, musician, and author, who spent his formative years in Jackson, Tennessee. His albums of the 1970s influenced hip hop and neo soul. In 2021, Scott-Heron was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. For this session, Giovanni Russonello, Scott-Heron’s biographer, will discuss Scott-Heron’s life, artistry, and legacy with Carl Cornwell, a former bandmate and college classmate, and Brenda Monroe-Moses, a childhood friend.

Giovanni Russonello is a writer, educator and organizer. He is currently at work on a biography of Gil Scott-Heron, to be published by Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt in 2025. Saxophonist and keyboard artist Carl Cornwall performs with his small ensemble in the mid-Atlantic. Civil rights activist Brenda Monroe-Moses integrated Jackson public schools and was the first woman elected to Jackson’s city council.


Tennessee 101 is funded in part by a grant from Humanities Tennessee, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


April 10, 2024


5:30 pm CT

6:30 pm ET