The Last Poets in Conversation

The Last Poets

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The legendary collective of black poets and musicians talk about their story

Abiodun Oyewole, Umar Bin Hassan and Baba Donn Babatunde from The Last Poets talk to journalist and broadcaster Jacqueline Springer on their 50th anniversary. They are joined by Dutch writer and Christine Otten, who turned this remarkable history into the novel The Last Poets (World Editions 2017), nominated for the Libris Literature Prize

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. They have just released their first album in over 20 years, ‘Understand What Black Is’, ten tracks that speak of a revolutionary struggle defined by both race and identity and that has never sounded more relevant.

The Last Poets will perform live with special guests on Friday 18 May, click here to find out more.

In association with Apples and Snakes, with the support of the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library


Name: The Last Poets in Conversation
Where: British Library St Pancras
When: -
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546