Askia M. Touré, an award-winning poet, author, social activist, and African American Studies professor, is a fountain of fascinating oral history about the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), civil rights campaigns, the Black Panthers, and the 'Black Arts' movements, of which he is a co-founding architect.
A lifelong interest in the history of Africa inspired Touré to use his work to restore the lost heritage of African American people. Along with Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka, and other black writers, Touré helped shape the legacy of the 'Black Arts' Movement and profoundly changed how race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, politics, and art were and are understood.
Touré is featured in a host of anthologies, and authored five books, including From the Pyramids to the Projects, From the Projects to the Stars, winner of the 1989 American Book Award for Literature, and Dawnsong!, which received an award from the African-American Literature and Culture Society, an affiliate of the American Literature Association. Touré recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Pen Oakland.
BIO: Askia Touré
Askia Muhammad Abu Bakr el Touré is one of the founding members of the black arts movement of the 1960s and 1970s. As a poet, editor, and activist, Touré helped define a new generation of black consciousness that sought to affirm through the arts the community's African heritage as a means to create an uplifting and triumphal identity for the modern black experience. Touré is the author of several books of poetry and has been published in numerous anthologies.