On Wednesday, November 14, we proudly present a unique performance by the founding fathers of hip-hop, Abiodun Oyewole and Baba Donn Baba Babatunde. These two legendary members of The Last Poets will accompany the official book presentation of the recently translated book of the same name by the Dutch writer Christine Otten; The Last Poets.
Join The Netherland Club of New York and publishing house World Editions for an evening with Christine Otten, Abiodun Oyewole and Baba Donn Babatunde who will be launching the book with a spoken-word performance and unique conversation conversation about why they started The Last Poets in the late 1960s, and how their new style, that merged music and poetry, with politically charged raps, taut rhythms, contributed to raising African-American consciousness. The Last Poets almost single-handedly laid the groundwork for the emergence of hip-hop.
‘Christine is a real… Whitegirl.
A SERIOUS DUTCH WHITEGIRL!
But she’s our Whitegirl!’
This is how Umar Bin Hassan, one of the Last Poets describes Christine Otten, the author of the novel The Last Poets. It is half a century since the Last Poets stood in Harlem, uttered their first words in public, and created the blueprint for hip-hop. Today, their revolutionary words are as relevant as ever. After meeting several years ago, the Dutch author Christine Otten and Umar felt an instant connection, and Christine spent three months traveling across the United States interviewing members of the hip-hop band Last Poets, their families, friends, and musicians to write her acclaimed novel The Last Poets.
Join us for an evening with Christine Otten and the legendary fathers of hip-hop Abiodun Oyewole and Baba Donn Babatunde who will be launching the book with a spoken-word performance, a conversation, and brief reading and book signing.
Christine Otten, writer, performer, and theater maker, is driven by a commitment to social issues; her novels are always inspired by real people or actual events. The Last Poets, her much-deserved literary breakthrough, was nominated for the Libris Literature Prize and has been adapted for the stage. The multifaceted Otten regularly performs at literary festivals and in theaters, is the co-founder and presenter of a literary variety show, and creator of the theater-project Prison Monologues. She teaches creative writing to prisoners.
Abiodun Oyewole is a poet, teacher and founding member of the American music and spoken-word group The Last Poets, which developed into what is considered to be the first hip hop group. Critic Jason Ankeny wrote, “With their politically charged raps, taut rhythms, and dedication to raising African-American consciousness, the Last Poets almost single-handedly laid the groundwork for the emergence of hip-hop.”
BABA DONN BABATUNDE
Baba Donn Babatunde is the drummer of the Last Poets, the “heartbeat of the group” and one of the three members of the band. When he was 11, his activist mother turned him on to the Last Poets; since 1991, when he joined the group that so inspired him, he tries to summon in his drumming “the spirit, the anger I felt when I first heard those poems. What I do is the dramatisation of those words, carrying them rather than fighting them.”
TNC Members: FREE | Non-members: $15
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