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Askia Toure'

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Information about Askia Toure'

Profile image of Askia Toure'

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
EducationMakers
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Poet
Civil Rights Activist
African American Studies Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Warm Colors
Favorite Food:
Sweet Potato Pie
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Children, This Is Not A Sprint. It's A Marathon.

Birthplace

Born:
10/13/1938
Birth Location:
Raleigh, North Carolina

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
EducationMakers
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Poet
Civil Rights Activist
African American Studies Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Warm Colors
Favorite Food:
Sweet Potato Pie
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Children, This Is Not A Sprint. It's A Marathon.

Birthplace

Born:
10/13/1938
Birth Location:
Raleigh
See how Askia Toure' is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Professor and poet Askia M. Touré was born on October 13, 1938, in Raleigh, North Carolina, to Clifford Roland Snellings, Jr. and Nannie Lynette Bullock. Growing up, Touré attended Willard and Wogaman elementary schools. In 1952, Touré won a Motion Poetry Association Award while attending Roosevelt High School. Two years later, he participated in a successful sit-in at Roosevelt. Touré graduated from high school in 1956, and joined the United States Air Force. While serving alongside Robert Green of the Flamingos and Little Willie John, Touré wrote a letter to Congressman Adam Clayton Powell that resulted in a government investigation of racism at Wordsmith Air Force Base in Michigan.

After being discharged in 1959, Touré took art classes at the Dayton Art Institute. He then moved to New York City and joined the Art Student League and the Umbra Poets. He and his associates Tom Feelings, Tom Dent, David Henderson, and Calvin Herndon were mentored by Langston Hughes. Touré participated in the Fulton (Street) Art Fair in Brooklyn in 1961 and 1962, and the Black Arts Academy. Influenced by artists and writers such as Ernest Crichlow, Jacob Lawrence, Leo Carty, Elombe Brathe, Ronnie Braithwaite, Bob and Jean Gumbs, and Rose Nelmes of the Grandessa Models, Touré became a poet who championed a black aesthetic.

In 1961, Touré joined Max Roach, Abby Lincoln, Alex Prempe, May Mallory, and Maya Angelou at the United Nations to protest the assassination of Congo’s Patrice Lumumba in 1961. In 1962, Touré became an illustrator for Umbra magazine, a staff member with The Liberator magazine, and a contributor to Freedomways. Touré was a part of the Atlanta staff of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and joined the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM) in Mississippi in the Spring of 1964. In 1965, Touré founded Afro World and organized the Harlem Uptown Youth Conference. Touré also participated in the rise of the Black Panther Party and co-wrote SNCC’s 1966 “Black Power Position Paper.”

In 1967, Touré joined the staff of Nathan Hare at San Francisco State University and taught African history in the first Africana Studies Program. Touré organized the 1984 Nile Valley Conference in Atlanta and co-founded the Atlanta chapter of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations (ASCAC) in 1986. Touré authored multiple books and received the 1989 American Book Award for Literature (From the Pyramids to the Projects) and the 2000 Stephen E. Henderson Poetry Award (Dawnsong); other works include films and plays. In 1996, Touré was honored with the Gwendolyn Brooks Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gwendolyn Brooks Institute in Chicago, Illinois.

See how Askia Toure' is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Askia Toure's interview, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Askia Toure explains how he chose the name Askia Toure
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Askia Toure talks about how the Black Arts Movement helped him get in touch with African roots, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Askia Toure talks about how the Black Arts Movement helped him get in touch with African roots, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Slating of Askia Toure's interview, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Askia Toure lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Askia Toure describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Askia Toure talks about his maternal grandparents and his father
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Askia Toure describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Askia Toure talks about his paternal great-grandfather
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Askia Toure recounts his father's drafting and engineering career in Dayton, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Askia Toure describes his siblings, his parents, and who he takes after
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Askia Toure recalls moving from North Carolina to Dayton, Ohio as a child during World War II
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Askia Toure recalls growing up in Dayton, Ohio's Desoto Bass Courts Housing Project
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Askia Toure talks about his grade school years in Dayton, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Askia Toure recalls the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in Dayton, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Askia Toure talks about singing in choirs as a youth and participating in singing competitions
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Askia Toure recalls influential teachers at Willard Elementary School in Dayton, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Askia Toure describes the impact of nature on his art as a youth
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Askia Toure recalls his years at Wogaman Elementary School in Dayton, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Askia Toure describes his experience at Roosevelt High School in Dayton, Ohio and race relations there
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Askia Toure talks about race relations in Dayton, Ohio, and civil rights activist W.S. McIntosh, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Askia Toure talks about race relations in Dayton, Ohio, and civil rights activist W.S. McIntosh, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Askia Toure talks about civil rights activist W.S. McIntosh
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Askia Toure remembers the 1955 murder of Emmett Till and segregation in the U.S. Air Force
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Askia Toure talks about entering the U.S. Air Force and being exposed to black intellectuals and artists there
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Askia Toure describes talks about challenging racial discrimination in the U.S. Air Force
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Askia Toure describes moving to New York City to pursue an art career, and meeting black artists like Tom Feelings
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Askia Toure describes the black poetry scene in New York City during the 1950s and 1960s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Askia Toure recounts his early years in New York City
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Askia Toure talks about Jacob Lawrence and the Fulton Art Fair in Brooklyn, New York
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Askia Toure talks about the impact of the Grandassa Models on the perception of natural hair and the black beauty industry, pt.1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Askia Toure talks about the impact of the Grandassa Models on the perception of natural hair and the black beauty industry, pt.2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Askia Toure talks about Rose Nelmes, Joel Augustus Rogers, and other figures in the 1960s pan-Africanist movement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Askia Toure describes historian Joel Augustus Rogers, bookseller Lewis H. Michaux, and other figures in the Harlem's pan-Africanist movement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Askia Toure recalls discussing his namesake, Guinean freedom fighter Samory Toure, with historian Joel Augustus Rogers
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Askia Toure talks about protests after the 1961 assassination of Congolese premier Patrice Lumumba
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Askia Toure talks about self-defense in the African American community, and the philosophies of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Askia Toure talks about moving to Atlanta, Georgia in 1956 and writing for Liberator magazine
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Askia Toure talks about Larry Neal and the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM)
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Askia Toure analyzes the 1965 assassination of Malcolm X and the Black Panther movement
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Askia Toure talks about the relationship between the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM), SNCC, and the Black Panther Party, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Askia Toure talks about the relationship between the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM), SNCC, and the Black Panther Party, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Askia Toure talks about civil rights activist Mary King's account of white activists in SNCC
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Askia Toure recounts SNCC's philosophical turn from nonviolence to Black Power
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Askia Toure talks about civil rights activist and mathematician Robert Moses
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Askia Toure describes civil rights activist Stokely Carmichael's early approach to nonviolence
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Askia Toure talks about teaching Black Studies at San Francisco State University in California with HistoryMaker Sonia Sanchez
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Askia Toure recalls the aftermath of Malcolm X's 1965 assassination
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Askia Toure describes the relationship between the Nation of Islam and other Black Nationalist organizations during the 1960s
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Askia Toure talks about the Independent Black Schools Movement and the 1970 Congress of African People in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Askia Toure talks about the Council for Independent Black Institutions, the Black Arts Movement, and African American intellectuals
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Askia Toure explains the role of the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements in developing the academic discipline of Black Studies
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Askia Toure describes transitioning from visual arts to poetry
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Askia Toure talks about his interest in African American theater
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Askia Toure talks about his poetry, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Askia Toure talks about his poetry, pt. 2
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Askia Toure reflects upon his life and what he would do differently
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Askia Toure explains how he would define victory for the Black Power Movement
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Askia Toure talks about HistoryMaker Harry Belafonte
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Askia Toure describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Askia Toure reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Askia Toure recites his poem 'A Few Words in Passing'
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Askia Toure talks about his family and his hopes for the planet