Activist, educator, filmmaker, writer, and poet Kalamu ya Salaam (born Vallery Ferdinand, III on 24 March 1947 in New Orleans) presents a collection of selected writings that celebrates "essential human beauty and goodness." Through essays, poetry, and speeches, ya Salaam distills his years of wisdom, reflecting on a career built on art and activism, which strove to create community while resisting the powerful who worked to tear it apart. Intensely personal and refreshingly honest, Be About Beauty covers topics close to the artist's heart: public education, jazz, Black art, Mardi Gras Indians, WWOZ radio, community, and the past and future of New Orleans and its culture.
Kalamu ya Salaam is an American poet, author, filmmaker, and teacher from the 9th Ward of New Orleans. A well-known activist and social critic, Salaam has spoken out on a number of racial and human rights issues.