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 Haki Madhubuti

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Brief Bio

Haki R. Madhubuti was born as Donald Luther Lee in Little Rock, Arkansas, and grew up in Detroit, Michigan. He attended Wilson Junior College, Roosevelt University, the University of Illinois, and received an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa in 1984. He served in the military from 1960 to 1963. Along with other early employment, he worked as an apprentice curator at the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, Illinois (1963-1967). He was a writer-in-residence at Cornell University (1968-1969), poet-in-residence at Northwestern Illinois State College (1969-1970), and a writer-in-residence at Howard University (1970-1978). From 1967 onward he has served as editor and publisher of the Third World Press. He became a professor of English at Chicago State University in 1984.

Through his work as a poet, an essayist, and a publisher, Madhubuti has become a major influence on African-American writers and a leading political voice for black awareness and pride. His unconventional style includes the invention of words and a staccato, explosive rhythm. In his poems and political writings, Madhubuti has stressed the creation of an independent black identity, a separatist philosophy that has angered some mainstream critics. His emphasis on self-reliance and social protest have gained him prominence as a lecturer and speaker for more than 30 years, and his influence as a publisher of new writing talent from the African-American literary community cannot be underestimated.

The author published under the name Donald L. Lee until 1972. His first book of poems, Think Black was published by Broadside in 1967. Collections that followed include Don't Cry, Scream (Broadside, 1969), We Walk the Way of the New World (Broadside, 1970), and Directionscore: Selected and New Poems (Broadside, 1971). Under the Swahili name of Haki R. Madhubuti his poetry volumes have included Book of Life (Broadside, 1973), Earthquakes and Sunrise Missions: Poetry and Essays of Black Renewal, 1973-1983 (Third World, 1978), Killing Memory, Seeking Ancestors (Lotus, 1987), GroundWork: Selected Poems of Haki R. Madhubuti (Third World, 1996), and Heartlove (Third World, 1998). He has authored and edited a number of books on the African-American experience, including most recently Million Man March/Day of Absence: A Commemorative Anthology. Speeches, Commentary, Photography, Poetry, Illustrations, Documents (Third World, 1996). He has contributed to numerous anthologies and published poetry and political essays in a wide range of journals and magazines. His awards and honors include National Endowment for the Arts fellowships (1969, 1982), the Kuumba Workshop Black Liberation Award (1973), and the Broadside Press Outstanding Poet's Award (1975). Under his direction the Third World Press has received numerous honors and awards.

Poems - 5 in all


Haki Madhubuti

destiny
change-up
my brothers
blackwoman
IS TRUTH LIBERATING?


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