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Africa World Press & The Red Sea Press

RECONNECTING MEMORIES: Dreams No Longer Deferred, by Mwatabu Okantah


RECONNECTING MEMORIES: Dreams No Longer Deferred, by Mwatabu Okantah


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“Deeply rooted in the tradition of African American artistic expression, these lyrical poems are provocative and revelatory. They remind us that black poetry is not only a legitimate literary genre but that it is life as we have experienced it for generations and the challenges we still face. Okantah leads us to the rediscovery in ourselves of a history we have always known.”

-Naomi Long Madgett
Poet Laureate, City of Detroit

“Reconnecting Memories is a stirring collection of poems that highlight the communal links among the people of the African Diaspora and addresses the pains and troubles of today’s society. Okantah’s strong and poignant words will reverberate inside your head as he reminds us of our sorrowful past and of the ordeals of the present.”

-Memphis Vaughan, Jr.
Editor, Journey to TimBookTu: An African American Poetric Odyssey/

“The poems in Reconnecting Memories are taken from our ancestral tree. Okantah explores what it means to be a black poet during hard times. The brother writes like the elder he is. There is wisdom in his words and a love for Africa in his heart. These poems cry like the birds we once heard in Eric Dolphy’s horn. They are black and true.”

-E. Ethelbert Miller
Editor, Beyond the Frontier: African American Poetry for the 21st Century

Reconnecting Memories challenges us to close generational divides, go beneath the surface of consumer culture, overturn the contradictions of American democracy and rediscover ourselves. Finally, a poetry missive that bridges the gap between the Black Arts Movement and the hip-hop explosion. Mwatabu Okantah is a clear voice, reminding us of the Black poet’s responsibility to rhyme and resist.”

-Bakari Kitwana
Author, The Hip-Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African American Culture

MWATABU OKANTAH is currently Poet-in-Residence in the Department of Pan-African Studies at Kent State University and director of the Center of Pan-African Culture. He was Griot for the Iroko African Drum & Dance Society and is the leader of the Muntu Kuntu Energy Ensemble—a four-piece performance group. He is also the author of Afreeka Brass and Collage.


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