Harlem, 1969. The air is charged with hope and revolution. The Black Panthers are in their prime, crack had not yet hit the streets. This is the backdrop against which The Last Poets wrote their passionate, self-critical poetry. Niggers are scared of revolution. Niggers love anything but themselves. Some twenty years later, young hip-hop bands drew on The Last Poets’ legacy, making them the ‘founding fathers’ of hip-hop.
Christine Otten’s audacious novel is based on the The Last Poets’ life stories, from their youth in the ghetto to their love lives, triumphs and defeats. The Last Poets is about New York and American history but—like all Great American Novels—even more about human resilience and beauty’s staying power. Having conducted in-depth interviews with the main players, Otten tells us a very personal story of redemption still relevant today. Even readers unfamiliar with
The Last Poets and their background will find the book a compelling read. Christine Otten is a Dutch writer and performer. The Last Poets, her literary breakthrough novel, was nominated for the Libris Literature Prize and has been adapted for the stage. She regularly performs at literary festivals, in theatres,bookshops and libraries.