FORT WAYNE—The Three Rivers Institute of African Art & Culture is scheduled to host a special community welcoming ceremony for renowned poet, publisher and activist Dr. Haki R. Madhubuti, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., April 14 at the institute, 501 E. Breckenridge St.
TRIAAC members, community members and a number of local artists are scheduled to be on hand to welcome Dr. Madhubuti—who also will be in Fort Wayne as part of IPFW’s Visiting Writers Series—to the community.
As poet, publisher, editor and educator, Haki R. Madhabuti has been a pivotal figure in the development of a strong Black literary tradition, emerging from the Civil Rights and Black Arts era of the 60s and continuing to the present. Over the years, he has published more than 28 books (some under his former name, Don L. Lee) and is one of the world’s best-selling authors of poetry and non-fiction, with books in print in excess of three million.
His Black Men: Obsolete, Single, Dangerous?: The African American Family in Transition (1990) has sold more than one million copies. Selected titles include Don’t Cry, Scream! (1969), GroundWork: New and Selected Poems 1966-1996 (1996), HeartLove: Wedding and Love Poems (1998), Tough Notes: A Healing Call For Creating Exceptional Black Men (2002), and Run Toward Fear (2004). His poetry and essays were published in more than 65 anthologies from 1997 to 2007. His latest release is YellowBlack: The First Twenty One Years of a Poet’s Life (2006), a memoir of the people and places that were a part of his early life.
Professor Madhubuti is a proponent of independent Black institutions. He founded Third World Press in 1967 with a $400 honorarium he received from a poetry reading, a used mimeograph machine, and other individuals committed to the local and national Black Arts and empowerment movements. He is also a founder of the Institute of Positive Education/New Concept School (1969), co-founder of Betty Shabazz International Charter School (1998), Barbara A. Sizemore Middle School (2005), and DuSable Leadership Academy (2005), all of which are in Chicago.
Madhabuti is An award-winning poet and recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships, American Book Award the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award and others. Professor Madhubuti is also a founder and chairman of the board of the International Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent. In 2006, he was awarded the Literary Legacy Award from the National Black Writers Conference for creating and supporting black literature and for building black literary institutions. He received his third honorary Doctor of Letters from Spelman College in May of 2006.
Dr. Madhubuti will be introduced by TRIAAC Artistic Director Ketu Oladuwa, also an acclaimed poet, writer and musician, who will be introduced by renowned surrealist poet George Kalamaras, who also serves as professor of English at IPFW.
Among those scheduled to make presentations in Dr. Madhubuti’s honor are TRIAAC Coordinating Council members Karen Davis and Foundation One; TRIAAC Elder Anita Dorch; Dr. Akare Aden, director of the African/African American Historical Museum, Ramadan Abdul-Azeez, president of Blue Marble Information Management Group, and artists Curtis Crisler, Karla Doty, Helen Frost, George Kalamaras, Michael F. Patterson and Sataria White.
For more information, call TRIAAC at (260) 969-9442.
This article originally appeared in our April 10, 2013 issue.