Haki R. Madhubuti (Don L. Lee)

Haki R. Madhubuti (Don L. Lee)
by Big Mouff

Haki R. Madhubuti (nee Don Luther Lee) was born Feb. 23, 1942, in Little Rock, Arkansas. Lee served in the U.S. Army (1960-63). He attended several colleges in Chicago and graduate school at the University of Iowa (M.F.A., 1984). He taught at various colleges and universities, in 1984 becoming a faculty member at Chicago State University. His poetry, which began to appear in the 1960s, was written in black dialect and slang and via Lee’s influence on the late 60s/early 70s recording group, The Last Poets is a strong predecessor of the 90s music style called Rap. His work is characterized both by anger at social and economic injustice and by rejoicing in African-American culture. His first six volumes of poetry were published in the 1960s. The verse collection Don’t Cry, Scream (1969) includes an introduction by poet Gwendolyn Brooks. Lee’s poetry readings were extremely popular during this time.

An advocate of independent Black institutions, Lee founded the Third World Press in 1967, and he established the Institute of Positive Education in Chicago, a school for black children, in 1969. He is the author of 19 books. Among his poetry collections published under the Swahili name Haki R. Madhubuti are Book of Life (1973), Killing Memory, Seeking Ancestors (1987), and GroundWork: New and Selected Poems from 1966-1996 (1996). He also wrote From Plan to Planet–Life Studies: The Need for Afrikan Minds and Institutions (1973) and an essay collection, Enemies: The Clash of Races (1978). Black Men: Obsolete, Single, Dangerous has sold in excess of 750,000 copies.

Source: http:// www .acsu.buffalo.edu/~sww/Big_Mouff.html

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