The legendary collective of black poets and musicians talk about their story
The legendary collective of black poets and musicians talk about their story alongside writer Christine Otten, who turned it into the novel Last Poets: Time Has Come.
The Last Poets formed in New York in May 1968 against the backdrop of the black power movement and the recent assassinations of Martin Luther King, Robert F Kennedy and Malcolm X. Hailing from the ghettos of Detroit, the Bronx, Queens and Akron Ohio, they were inspired by the diverse music around them and began performing on street corners, mixing fierce poems with funky conga rhythms. They released their debut album in 1970 and are now acclaimed for their influence on the rap, hip hop and soul that followed and as a reference point for Public Enemy, Ice Cube, Ice-T, 2Pac, Common, Mos Def and Erykah Badu. Despite break ups and turbulent personal lives, the core reformed and are performing again.
In association with Apples and Snakes, with the support of the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library