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  • Alison Bailey

Ode to Klyde Broox

Klyde Broox performing

February 11, 2024 - The stir of the crowd settled as Klyde’s daughter Toya, stepped onto the stage at The Gasworks in Hamilton.  In front of her, hundreds of people cast their eyes forward.  It was standing room only and what lay before her, as she looked out into the crowd, was a sea of black with pops of red, yellow and green.  Colors attributed to Klyde’s birthplace, Jamaica.


There was a type of rhythm to the event. Drumming, poetry and stories permeated throughout, filling the space, and the occupants with glimpses of the man they came to remember. There were tears, but there were also smiles and laughter.  Klyde Broox Dub Poet, aka Clyde Brooks, Son, Brother, Husband, Dad, Granddad, Durm-I and Teacha, passed away January 21, 2024 at the age of 66.


The two-hour OutroDUBution, stretched into four.  As the hours passed and the tributes increased in number, there were stories of his kindness.  Stories of his wit. Stories of his friendship and there were stories of how he was able to reach and connect with the meekest and the weakest.


Toya told the story of how her father took a three-month sabbatical from his life to live on the streets.  Klyde wanted to understand the plight of the homeless.


The books, the poems, the stories – they were only part of Klyde’s body of work.  Looking around the room; and listening to the tributes; it was evident that each person present was part of the poetry that was Klyde’s life.


He was a wordsmith and could stop you in your tracks by uttering a few words.  His use of language made you think and reflect.  His poems covered many topics but underlying each of them was always an inescapable truth.


Matthew Green, M.P. for Hamilton Centre, gave an impassioned speech at the House of Commons about this Canadian icon.


“Klyde Broox was a beacon of literary brilliance and activism,” he said.  Broox “challenged us to confront the complex racial dynamics with honesty and empathy and he did so by bridging divides and celebrating our shared humanity.”


Klyde Broox’s influence on the literary landscape cannot be overstated. His unique style and unwavering commitment to social justice has left an indelible mark on the world of poetry and on the people he encountered.




1 Comment


allyb62
Feb 23

Nice story

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