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Join Lehman College scholar Hank Williams in conversation with The Last Poets: Abiodun Oyewole, Umar bin Hassan, and Felipe Luciano, along with Woodie King Jr, former head of the New Federal Theater and producer of albums featuring two different iterations of The Last Poets in the early 70s.

The Last Poets are several groups of poets and musicians who arose from the late 1960s African-American civil rights movement's black nationalism. The name is taken from a poem by the South African revolutionary poet Keorapetse Kgositsile, who believed he was in the last era of poetry before guns would take over.


Hank Williams currently teaches in the Departments of English and Africana Studies at Lehman College. His regular courses are Contemporary Urban Writers, Intro to Africana Studies, Fieldwork in the African American Community, and African American History. His research focuses on the Black Arts and Black Power Movements of the 1960s-70s and the intersection of art, politics, and sound.

Lift Every Voice: Why African American Poetry Matters / Celebrating African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song

This event is presented and co-sponsored by Lehman College, CUNY and Leonard Lief Library at Lehman College, and One Book One Bronx and Literary Freedom Project, in collaboration with The Center for the Humanities and Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative at The Graduate Center, CUNY who are hosting a series of eclectic programs and reading groups as part of a nation-wide initiative, Lift Every Voice: Why African American Poetry Matters. Lift Every Voice is a yearlong national public humanities initiative sponsored by the Library of America and The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture that seeks to engage participants in a multifaceted exploration of African American poetry, the perspectives it offers on American history and the on-going struggle for racial justice, and the universality of its imaginative response to the personal experiences of Black Americans over three centuries. These events are also in celebration of the recent publication of African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song, a literary landmark: the biggest, most ambitious anthology of Black poetry ever published, gathering 250 poets from the colonial period to the present. Edited by Kevin Young.