A leading poet and one of the architects of the Black Arts Movement, Haki R. Madhubuti—publisher, editor and educator—has been a pivotal figure in the development of a strong Black literary tradition. He has published more than 31 books (some under his former name, Don L. Lee) and is one of the world’s best-selling authors of poetry and non-fiction. His Black Men: Obsolete, Single, Dangerous?: The African American Family in Transition (1990) has sold more than 1 million copies. Selected titles include: Don’t Cry, Scream! (1969), 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 80 anthologies from 1997 to 2013. His recent releases are YellowBlack: The First Twenty-One Years of a Poet’s Life, A Memoir (2006) and Liberation Narratives: New and Collected Poems 1966-2009 (2009). Madhubuti’s latest books are Honoring Genius: Gwendolyn Brooks: The Narrative of Craft, Art, Kindness and Justice (2011) and By Any Means Necessary, Malcolm X: Real, Not Reinvented (co-edited with Herb Boyd, Ron Daniels and Maulana Karenga, 2012).
Professor Madhubuti is a proponent of independent Black institutions. He founded Third World Press Foundation in 1967. He is also a founder of the Institute of Positive Education/New Concept School (1969), and a cofounder of Betty Shabazz International Charter School (1998), Barbara A. Sizemore Middle School (2005), and DuSable Leadership Academy (2005), all of which are in Chicago. Madhubuti was founder and editor of Black Books Bulletin (1970-1994), a key journal documenting the literature, scholarship and conversations of African American voices for over two decades.
An award-winning poet and recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships, the American Book Award, an Illinois Arts Council 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. In 2007, he was named Chicagoan of the Year by Chicago Magazine. In May of 2008, Professor Madhubuti was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Art Sanctuary of Philadelphia. In 2009, he was named one of the “Ebony Power 150: Most Influential Blacks in America” for education. In 2010, he was presented with the President’s Pacesetters Award from the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education, and was awarded the Ninth Annual Hurston/Wright Legacy prize in poetry for his book, Liberation Narratives. At the 2013 “Bridge Crossing Jubilee,” Professor Haki R. Madhubuti was inducted into the Hall of Resistance at the Ancient Africa, Enslavement and Civil War Museum in Selma, Alabama. Two recent book-length critical studies on Madhubuti’s literary works are Malcolm X and the Poetics of Haki Madhubuti by Regina Jennings and Art of Work: The Art and Life of Haki R. Madhubuti by Lita Hooper.
Professor Madhubuti earned his MFA from the University of Iowa. His distinguished teaching career includes faculty positions at Columbia College of Chicago, Cornell University, University of Illinois at Chicago, Howard University, Morgan State University, and the University of Iowa. He is the former University Distinguished Professor and a professor of English at Chicago State University where he founded and was director-emeritus of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center and director of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program. Professor Madhubuti served as the Ida B. Wells-Barnett University Professor at DePaul University for 2010-11.