Our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy have changed. We think you'll like them better this way.

Abiodun Oyewole of The Last Poets

  • Broadcast in Culture
  • 0 comments
OORadio

OORadio

×  

Follow This Show

If you liked this show, you should follow OORadio.
h:121881
s:3622641
archived

Abiodun Oyewole grew up Charles Davis in Queens, NY. Listening to his parents' jazz and gospel records and studying Langston Hughes and other great poets in school helped nurture Oyewole's love of poetry. His mother taught him to "throw [his] voice" by making him recite the Lord's Prayer in their basement so that she could hear him in the kitchen.

When he was 15, Charles Davis and a friend went into a Yoruban Temple in Harlem out of curiosity. The Yoruba priest there performed a ceremony with Charles and gave him the name Abiodun Oyewole. He began reading about the Yoruba gods and the significance of one's ancestors, and felt a deep spiritual connection to the religion: "I could say a prayer to my ancestors every morning so they could help me through my life. [That] made all the sense in the world to me."

The Last Poets were born on May 19, 1968, when David Nelson, Gylan Kain, and Abiodun Oyewole read poetry at a memorial for Malcolm X. Their goal was to be a poetic voice for Malcolm's call for self-determination and black nationalism. Like many black activists of the time, they were tired of Martin Luther King's integrationist agenda. They were much more influenced by the politics of radical members of the SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee), the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society), and the Black Panthers.

Comments

 comments