Mwatabu S. Okantah


    A native of Vaux Hall, New Jersey, Mwatabu S. Okantah holds a BA in English and African Studies from Kent State University (1976) and an MA in Creative Writing from the City College of New York (1982).  He is an Associate Professor and Poet-in-Residence in the Department of Pan-African Studies at Kent State University.  Okantah also serves as Director of the DPAS Study Abroad in Ghana Program.

    A former Assistant to the Director of Black Studies at Cleveland State University, he is the author of Afreeka Brass (1983), Collage (1984), Legacy: for Martin & Malcolm (1987), Cheikh Anta Diop: Poem for the Living--released as a trilingual edition in English, French & Wolof (1997), Reconnecting Memories: Dreams No Longer Deferred (2004) and Muntu Kuntu Energy: New and Selected Poetry (2013).

    As performance poet, he has worked as Griot for the Iroko African Drum & Dance Society, as a percussionist/vocalist with the Rhodes Street Rude Boys reggae band and in collaborations with the Cavani String Quartet  as well as with Vince Robinson and the Jazz Poets.  He leads his own ensemble, Baba Okantah and Muntu Kuntu Energy.

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  • 2013 Interview with Dee Perry19:10