Haki R. Madhubuti, formerly known as Don L. Lee, is an African-American poet, author, and educator. He was born on February 23, 1942, in Little Rock, Arkansas, as Don Luther Lee. Madhubuti is recognized for his contributions to African-American literature and his involvement in the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s.
In 1967, Madhubuti founded Third World Press, an independent publishing company focused on works by African-American authors. The press has played a vital role in promoting African-American literature and providing a platform for marginalized voices. It has published works by renowned authors such as Gwendolyn Brooks, Amiri Baraka, and Sonia Sanchez.
As a poet, Madhubuti’s works often explore themes of black identity, empowerment, and social justice. His poetry reflects a commitment to the Black Arts Movement’s principles, advocating for cultural pride, self-determination, and activism. Some of his notable collections include “Don’t Cry, Scream,” “Earthquakes and Sunrise Missions: Poetry and Essays of Black Renewal,” and “Run Toward Fear: New Poems and a Poet’s Handbook.”
Aside from his poetry, Madhubuti has also written essays, educational texts, and memoirs. His nonfiction works address topics such as education reform, the importance of literacy, and the role of black institutions in fostering community development. Notable examples of his prose include “Black Men: Obsolete, Single, Dangerous?,” “Claiming Earth: Race, Rage, Rape, Redemption,” and “Taking Bullets: Black Boys and Men in Twenty-First Century America.”
As an educator, Madhubuti has held teaching positions at various universities and colleges, including Chicago State University, where he was a professor of English and the founding director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing. He has dedicated his career to promoting education and literacy in African-American communities.
Haki R. Madhubuti’s contributions to literature, education, and activism have earned him numerous awards and honors. He has received the American Book Award, the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and the National Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent Award, among others.
Throughout his life, Madhubuti has remained an influential figure in the African-American community, using his voice and platform to empower and uplift others through his literary and educational endeavors.