12 Dade St
Join us as we celebrate the life and writings of Donald Goines (1936-1974) in our Poet/Author Series! Goines was an African-American author whose powerful works have influenced everything from films to hip hop music. We’ll have an open mic to share excerpts from his novels + poetry inspired by his work and the people they are based on.
This event is free to the public. Food + drink will be available for purchase.
The novels he published under his own name are about the “lumpenproleteriat,” the criminal underclass. Under the name “Al C. Clark,” Goines wrote five novels about a black revolutionary cat called Kenyatta. Unlike Goines’ gangstas, Kenyatta – named after the great African freedom fighter Jomo Kenyatta – takes an active stance against exploitation and the depredations of inner-city life. He opposes the Establishment and is a sworn enemy of white cops. The head a black militant organization dedicated to the Herculean task of douching out the ghettos of drugs and prostitution, Kenyatta is killed in a shootout in the last book of the series, “Kenyatta’s Last Hit” (1975).
Between five and ten million of Goines books have been sold, though his work did not receive much critical attention until the the hip hop generation, which he influenced, became a cultural phenomenon. Goines’ books have inspired gangsta rappers from Tupac Shakur to Noreaga as a new generation of rap-influenced African Americans adopted the long-gone writer as part of their cultural heritage. Goines’ works reflect the anger and frustration of African Americans as a people. The hip hop generation was sympathetic and accepting of Goines’ rejection of the values of white society.