Segments in this Video

Introduction to Last Poets (02:17)


Meet the Last Poets: Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, Felipe Luciano, Umar Bin Hassan, Dahveed Nelson, Abiodun Dyewole, and Babatunde.

Black Liberation (02:05)

The Last Poets unite 40 years after their inception. One member explains their common goal, which was the liberation of black people. Listen to a poem about a black man turned into a "human gun."

Hip Hop Glorification (02:25)

The Last Poets compare their trademark sound to hip hop. Listen to one poem that criticizes the contemporary version of black manhood for celebrating "players" and shirking revolution.

Black Self-Hatred (02:03)

A Last Poet recalls childhood memories of lynchings. Listen to one poem that touches on self-hatred and fear of revolution within the black community.

Last Poets' Movement & Mission (04:12)

The Last Poets describe their movement in the 1960s and 1970s, which aimed to revolutionize black self-image and foster unity in the wake of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination.

Last Poets' 40-Year Reunion (03:09)

Listen to the Last Poets as they rehearse for their 40-year reunion performance. They reflect on how they started and how they've changed.

Oppression of Puerto Ricans (02:17)

One Last Poet discusses the themes of pride, anti-imperialism, and the righteousness of armed struggle that characterize his poems. Listen to a poem about Puerto Rican struggle.

Desensitization to Deaths of African-Americans (04:03)

The Last Poets bridged the gap between the Black Pride and Black Power movements. Listen to a poem that illuminates the staggering number of deaths throughout history in the black community.

"Destroy the Lies" (01:27)

Listen to a poem whose refrain says, "Destroy the lies."

Rage Against Brainwashing (02:46)

One Last Poet discusses his aim to agitate against systematic oppression of black people. Listen to a piece that criticizes the brainwashing of black Americans.

Last Poets' Influence & Place in History (01:36)

Last Poets discuss how the Last Poets raised black consciousness and inspired black pride. They recall their contemporaries in Harlem and the exciting moment in history they helped ignite.

America's Dark Side (02:02)

Listen to a performance that undercuts American optimism with refrains of "napalm," "cocaine," and "corruption."

Black Community (00:52)

The Last Poets recall gatherings in a New York park that strengthened notions of black community and public ownership.

Black Political Activism (02:07)

The Last Poets remember a time when black people identified themselves by their political affiliations. Listen to a piece that alludes to jazz legends and makes the statement, "Victory is yours, if you want it."

American Terrorism (05:13)

Listen to a composition about terrorism within the American government. Last Poets discuss the disunity and paranoia among radical groups in the 1960s and '70s that ultimately destroyed them.

Last Poets' Misbehavior (01:37)

Last Poets laugh about their experiences in "crack houses," jails, and gangs.

Price of Freedom (02:44)

Listen to a Last Poets piece (in Spanish, with English subtitles) about the price of freedom among oppressed people, with the refrain, "I shoot and I cry."

Next Generation (04:23)

One Last Poet laments his failure to leave a better world for the next generation, who, instead, turned to selling drugs. Listen to a piece that emphasizes looking toward the future with one eye on the past.

"God Bless the Child" (03:09)

Listen to a Last Poets rendition of "God Bless the Child."

Closing Thoughts & Credits: The Last Poets: Made in Amerikkka (01:17)

The Last Poets explain how they broke up and call for the realization of a new America. (Credits)

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The Last Poets: Made in Amerikkka

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Woven into the roots of hip-hop, slam poetry, and other socially conscious forms of expression is the seminal work of the Last Poets, a confederation of musicians and spoken-word artists who began performing together in 1968. This film documents a 2011 concert and recording session in which the Poets reintroduce some of their best known compositions, displaying as much energy and passion as when they first took on the mantle of Black Power advocacy. Mingling the performance sequences with lyrics splashed across the screen in urban-cool graphics, the program also features a vivid parade of talking-head discussions that take viewers from the group’s origins and the formative experiences of its individual members to the heady atmosphere of today’s hip-hop scene. In the latter, the Last Poets remain dazzlingly relevant. Contains potentially offensive language and mature subject matter associated with artistic expression. Viewer discretion advised. (52 minutes)

Length: 53 minutes

Item#: BVL53225

ISBN: 978-1-61753-974-9

Copyright date: ©2012

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Only available in USA and Canada.