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Haki Madhubuti

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Information about Haki Madhubuti

Profile image of Haki Madhubuti

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Author

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Earth Tones
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Home
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
2/23/1942
Birth Location:
Little Rock, Arkansas

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Author

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Earth Tones
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Home
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
2/23/1942
Birth Location:
Little Rock
See how Haki Madhubuti is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Poet, essayist, and entrepreneur Haki Madhubuti embodies the true spirit of a renaissance man as he moves seamlessly through the worlds of literature, business and education. Born in Detroit, Michigan and moving to Chicago after his mother’s death, Madhubuti would sow the seeds that later led to his success. After graduation from high school, Madhubuti (known then as Don Lee) was drafted into military service, where he used books as his escape. After his tour of duty, he returned to Chicago and immersed himself in the black arts world.

Madhubuti became apprentice and curator at the DuSable Museum of African History in 1963 and worked closely with Margaret Burroughs, a scholar of pan-African history. During the four years he spent at the museum with Burroughs, Madhubuti met some of the most prominent forces in the African American arts community, including Gwendolyn Brooks, who encouraged him to publish a collection of his poetry. The result, Think Black, appeared in 1966 and was entirely self-published and distributed. After selling several hundred copies of Think Black within a week, Madhubuti realized that the dream of independent publishing -- free from established corporate interests -- could be attained. The following year, Madhubuti and two partners launched the Third World Press in the basement of his Chicago apartment with $400 and a mimeograph machine. In this humble setting, an institution was born.

Among the distinguished authors who Third World Press has published are celebrated playwright and essayist Amiri Baraka, scholar Chancellor Williams and renowned poet Gwendolyn Brooks, who has published the second volume of her autobiography and several books of poetry with the independent press. Among Madhubuti’s own writings to emerge from Third World are Black Men: Obsolete, Single, Dangerous?: The African American Family In Transition (1990); Claiming Earth (1994); GroundWorks (1996); and HeartLove: Wedding and Love Poems (1998). One of the many extraordinary aspects of Madhubuti’s career is that he has published more than twenty-two books of essays and poetry and has become one of the most prominent African American authors of his time without having ever relied on a larger, more-established publishing company.

Madhubuti serves as the director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center at Chicago State University, which hosts the annual National Black Writers Conference. He and his wife, Safisha, are the founders of the Institute of Positive Education/New Concept School, a Chicago-based grade school that promotes an Afrocentric curriculum. Madhubuti is the recipient of fellowships from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1984 he was presented with the Distinguished Writers Award from the Middle Atlantic Writers Association. He is also the 1993 recipient of the Paul Robeson Award from the African-American Arts Alliance.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Haki Madhubuti interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Haki Madhubuti's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Haki Madhubuti talks about his mother and father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Haki Madhubuti recalls his mother's jobs and eventual descent into prostitution
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Haki Madhubuti recalls being assaulted while trying to defend his sister
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Haki Madhubuti explains how Richard Wright's 'Black Boy' began his fascination with African American literature
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Haki Madhubuti describes losing his mother and his faith
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Haki Madhubuti describes his job as a traveling magazine salesman
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Haki Madhubuti describes his run-in with a drill sergeant on his first day in the Army
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Haki Madhubuti describes how his personal philosophy developed as a young man in the military
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Haki Madhubuti explains his motivation to become an activist in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Haki Madhubuti describes how Malcolm X personally impacted him
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Haki Madhubuti describes his relationship with Dr. Margaret Burroughs and Charlie Burroughs
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Haki Madhubuti talks about his mentors during his early years of publishing poetry
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Haki Madhubuti describes the beginning of his friendship with Gwendolyn Brooks
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Haki Madhubuti explains the overall influence and effect of his mentors
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Haki Madhubuti explains how his early interest in reading led him to become a writer
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Haki Madhubuti explains how literature and the military helped him cope with his difficult childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Haki Madhubuti explains his complex relationship with his largely absent father
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Haki Madhubuti explains what inspired him to succeed and to raise a successful family
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Haki Madhubuti describes his participation in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Haki Madhubuti explains how the Organization of Black American Culture helped to nurture African American writers
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Haki Madhubuti describes his experience as a writer in residence at Cornell University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Haki Madhubuti explains how an article in 'Ebony' magazine helped to popularize his poetry
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Haki Madhubuti explains how his time at Howard University gave his work a global perspective
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Haki Madhubuti stresses the importance of ownership within the Black Arts Movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Haki Madhubuti explains how he was involved in Minister Louis Farrakhan's revival of the Nation of Islam
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Haki Madhubuti briefly discusses the importance of the Institute of Positive Education
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Haki Madhubuti describes the struggle to acquire funding for the Institute of Positive Education
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Haki Madhubuti describes his close relationship with his mentor, Gwendolyn Brooks
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Haki Madhubuti talks about meeting his wife and her involvement in institution building
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Haki Madhubuti describes earning a MFA degree at the University of Iowa
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Haki Madhubuti explains how his struggle has aided his career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Haki Madhubuti credits his and his wife's successes to hard work and determination
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Haki Madhubuti talks about conflicts with magazine publisher John H. Johnson
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Haki Madhubuti discusses what he gained from Hoyt W. Fuller and other mentors
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Haki Madhubuti briefly shares his thoughts on the Nation of Islam
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Haki Madhubuti compares 'Ebony' magazine with his own publishing company
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Haki Madhubuti talks about why he chose poetry and publishing as careers
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Haki Madhubuti describes how his values and political views inform his publishing work
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Haki Madhubuti explains how he became involved in multicultural work
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Haki Madhubuti discusses the future of Third World Press
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Haki Madhubuti believes that he will continue with his multicultural men's work in the future
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Haki Madhubuti briefly discusses the advantages to working with whites again
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Haki Madhubuti discusses the impact of his schools
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Haki Madhubuti talks about the negative influences of materialism on the black middle class
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Haki Madhubuti talks about the effects of the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Haki Madhubuti believes most African Americans want to continue improving their lives
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Haki Madhubuti discusses the positive effects of the Million Man March
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Haki Madhubuti briefly voices his opinions on some of Spike Lee's films
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Haki Madhubuti pays tribute to Betty Shabazz and other inspirational African American leaders
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Haki Madhubuti hopes to use his resources to help empower African Americans and all people
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Haki Madhubuti discusses the contemporary situation of African American writers
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Haki Madhubuti evaluates his own works
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Haki Madhubuti explains how violence and corruption have changed his perspective and his writing style
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Haki Madhubuti briefly discusses the potential of rap music as an expressive political art form
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Haki Madhubuti discusses his legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Haki Madhubuti describes the effects of finding his murdered mother's dead body