Sensitive Skin’s Sir Andre Bemler writes about the release of a rare recording of a Sun Ra lecture during his stint as a Berkeley professor in 1971—Herman “Sonny” Blount was artist-in-residence at the University of California campus that spring, and apparently taught a course listed as “Sun Ra 171” but also called “The Black Man in the Universe,” or “The Black Man In the Cosmos.” The site also leads us to the professor's required reading list, which includes album recommendations, alongside Black Fire, an anthology edited by Leroi Jones and Larry Neal, two books by Henry Dumas, and an obscure 19th-century astrology journal called Radix, among others.

Writes Bemler: “Apparently there was always some confusion regarding the course, and students had difficulty in picking up books from the required reading list, although one listing, The Source Book of Man’s Life and Death (i.e, The Bible, ‘King James’), whose author was listed as ‘God,’ was available from ‘numerous’ publishers.”

Apparently this is the sole existing recording! Listen to Sun Ra's lecture here.

Originally Published: May 9th, 2011