Today, Motown Records’ Black Forum label reissued Black Spirits Festival Of New Black Poets In America. Recorded at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem, NY, the spoken word collection features performances by Imamu Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), The Original Last Poets,Stanley Crouch plus a number of amateur youth poets. Download / stream Black Spirits Festival Of New Black Poets In America HERE.
On Black Spirits Festival Of New Black Poets In America, Imamu Amiri Baraka provides introductory comments and closes the album with “A History Poem.” The famed author, who taught at several universities, co-founded the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s. The Original Last Poets were a group of poets and musicians that formed in East Harlem in 1968 on Malcolm X’s birthday, May 19. They had a significant impact on popular culture that lived on in the work of subsequent lineups, known as The Last Poets. In addition to his poetry and novels, Stanley Crouch was known for his jazz and cultural criticism. He served as an artistic consultant for Jazz at Lincoln Center and appeared in several Ken Burns’ documentaries, including Jazz and Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson.
The album also features six poems by Kali Grosvenor plus performances by Johari Amini, Clarence Major, Norman Jordan, Jackie Earley, Askia Muhammad Touré, David Henderson, Larry Neal and Amus Moore. Woodie King Jr. produced Black Spirits Festival Of New Black Poets In America as well as Imamu Amiri Baraka’s 1972 album, It’s Nation Time – African Visionary Music, also released by Black Forum.