Keorapetse Kgositsile Poetry Reading
Where: Furman 114, Vanderbilt
When: Thu., April 12, 7-8 p.m.
It’s a pretty good measure of influence when one of the most influential groups of its time takes its name from your work. Case in point: The Last Poets, arguably the godfathers of rap, took their name from a poem by Keorapetse Kgositsile, the Johannesburg-born writer, activist and onetime African National Congress member.
Active in the Uptown Black Arts movement in New York City, Kgositsile has long been a catalytic force in African-American arts, bringing his dynamic reading style everywhere from the halls of Columbia to the jazz clubs of Harlem. As it happens, his legacy extends in many directions: his grandson is the hip-hop artist known as Earl Sweatshirt, of OFWGKTA fame.
Now in his 70s, Kgositsile still delivers his poems with a kind of understated majesty, as you can see in the clip above — and in person tonight.