First Annual #TLPBlockParty to Honor Legendary Spoken Word Group ‘The Last Poets’ Goes Down This Weekend In D.C.!

If you’re planning on being in or near the D.C. area this weekend then you may want to drop by popular eatery Bus Boys and Poets on Sunday, May 19th for an epic event!

Team Triumphant Presents: “The Last Poets Block Party!” A tribute to The Last Poets. The first annual Last Poets Block Party will honor and commemorate the inception of the legendary spoken word group, The Last Poets who formed fifty years ago in Harlem, New York. The Last Poets are credited with creating the Spoken Word music genre which would later form into modern-day Hip-Hop. Hip-Hop artists scheduled to perform at the block party this Sunday include Brooklyn’s own Talib Kweli of Black Star, Smif N Wessun, Black Alley plus several other talented artists!

It all goes down this Sunday, May 19th at the famous Bus Boys and Poets cultural center in Washington D.C and #BrooklynGirlCode will be there!

For tickets please contact Sabriyah Hassan @agave718 on Instagram, curator of the first annual Last Poets Block Party and we’ll see you this weekend at #TLPBlockParty! #PowerToThePeople!!!✊🏾

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Cover art for The Last Poets' Self-titled 1970 debut album

Remembering #TheLastPoets for #NationalPoetryMonth

April marks National Poetry Month across the globe. So, it’s only right for #BrooklynGirlCode to take a little time out to remember one of the seminal groups responsible for the evolution of modern day poetry and what would later become Hip-Hop music. The Last Poets formed in Harlem, New York in 1969. But, little did they know that after forming, they would have a mega influence on many generations of music to follow and many of today’s biggest Hip-Hop stars including Common, Kanye West, Mos Def and others.

Salute to The Last Poets for all their contributions to music and American culture as a whole! Below is a recent Instagram post from The National Museum of African-American History and Culture paying homage to the legendary Last Poets.  ❤

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Long before records were spun at park jams and parties across New York City, spoken-word artists paired the natural rhythm of their works with music. From the Harlem Renaissance through the 1960s, artists relied on the spoken-word for powerful political and social commentary. Initially formed in 1968, over the years members of The Last Poets have included Gylan Kain, David Nelson, Abiodun Oyowele, Felipe Luciano, Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, Umar Bin Hassan, Sulaiman El-Hadi, and Nijala Obabi. The Last Poets is the debut spoken word album by The Last Poets, released in 1970. The Last Poets are considered one of the godfathers of Hip-Hop. Their politically charged Black nationalist poems, infused with drums and jazz, continue to inspire generations of poets and lyricists. This collective of The Last Poets was founded by Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, Umar Bin Hassan, Abiodun Oyewole, and percussionist Nilaja. #NationalPoetryMonth 📸: Gift of Umar Bin Hassan, © 1970 Douglas Records, Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

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#JazzLegend #Thelonious #Monk Turns #100!

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Thelonious Monk performing at Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem. Photo courtesy of Bluenote.com.

Today is the centennial birthday of American jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk. So, you know Brooklyn Girl Code had to write about it! Thelonious (Sphere) Monk (named after his maternal grandfather) was born in Rocky Point, North Carolina on October 10th, 1917. To many, Monk is considered to be one of the forefathers of modern jazz. And today on his 100th birthday, Thelonious Monk is still one of the most-recorded jazz composers in history falling second to Duke Ellington. This record is one that we may not see broken for a long time to come. Monk who stood out from the crowd for his unique sense of fashion, was a true genius on the piano and could woo his audience even if he played wearing only shorts. Monk started playing piano at the young age of six after moving from North Carolina to the Big Apple in 1922 with his family. As a youth, Monk played the church organ and later began taking his musical career more seriously serving as the house pianist at Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem. A world-renowned venue that is known as the birthplace of Bebop music. Monk’s noted influences included Duke Ellington, James P. Johnson and his mentor Mary Lou Williams. After an incident with the New York City Police involving Monk and his friend Bud Powell in 1951, Monk had his New York City Cabaret Card revoked and couldn’t play at many N.Y.C. venues for several years. This forced the jazz legend to take his musical talents over to Europe.

Later in his life, Thelonious Monk became more introverted and performed less for sold out crowds. But, thank goodness his music career spanned over thirty years (1940s- 1973) because otherwise, we would have never been blessed with Monk’s musical genius and prowess. Long after his death, Thelonious Monk is still influencing American music and culture and will continue to do so. Happy 100th Birthday to a real American jazz legend! Watch footage of Thelonious Monk playing with his band in Norway and Denmark in 1966 below via YouTube.

#HappyBirthday #JamesBaldwin !

Today is a real American Icon’s birthday! American essayist, playwright and novelist James Baldwin who was born in 1924 in Harlem, New York City would’ve turned ninety-three years old today. For writers everywhere, Baldwin was a saint. However, during his sixty-three years on this earth, he was a friend to many. In honor of the icon’s birthday, #BrooklynGirlCode has collected some of Baldwin’s best photos with his friends via the internet! No need to write a huge paragraph about how great James Baldwin was. All I’ll say is… if you’re over thirty years old and have never read a piece of Baldwin’s literature (i.e. The Devil Finds Work; The Fire Next Time, Remember This House, etc.!!) then you’re just missing out on life my friend! Check out some of Baldwin’s coolest photos with his friends below and Happy Born Day again to a great one!

James Baldwin and Brother David Baldwin
James Baldwin and his Brother David Baldwin in the 80’s. Photo courtesy of the bostonreview.net.
James Baldwin and Lorraine Hansberry
James Baldwin getting down with famed Playwright Lorraine Hansberry. Photo courtesy of kentakepage.com.
James Baldwin holding an abandoned young boy in Durham, North Carolina. Photo courtesy of Steve Schapiro.
James Baldwin holding an abandoned young boy in Durham, North Carolina circa 1957. Photo courtesy of Steve Schapiro.
James Baldwin with good friend Medgar Evers reading the news. Photo Courtesy of Steve Schapiro via the New York Times.
James Baldwin with good friend Medgar Evers reading the news. Photo Courtesy of Steve Schapiro via The New York Times.
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James Baldwin sharing a moment with Maya Angelou. Photo courtesy of Maya Angelou’s Wikipedia page.
Nina Simone and James Baldwin bumpinh heads! Photo courtesy of blogs.baruch.cuny.edu.
Nina Simone and James Baldwin bumping heads! Photo courtesy of blogs.baruch.cuny.edu.
Medgar Evers at home with James Baldwin and his two sons.
Medgar Evers at home with James Baldwin and his two sons. Photo courtesy of scoopnest.com.
James Baldwin with his younger Paula in 1953
James Baldwin with his younger sister Paula in 1953. Photo courtesy of pinterest.com.
James Baldwin and Lena Horne embracing during a meeting in New York in 1963.
James Baldwin and Lena Horne embracing during a meeting in New York in 1963. Photo courtesy of abagond.wordpress.com.
James Baldwin talking with friends in Chicago, Illinois 1984. Photo taken by Michelle Agins and courtesy of MFON.
James Baldwin talking with friends in Chicago, Illinois 1984. Photo taken by Michelle Agins and courtesy of MFON.
James Baldwin pictured with friends Odetta, Ralph Ellison, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. Photo courtesy of pinterest.com.
James Baldwin pictured with friends, singer Odetta Holmes, American novelist Ralph Ellison and actors Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. Photo courtesy of peakblackness.tumblr.com.