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). An Associate Professor and Poet-in-Residence in the Department of Pan-African Studies at Kent State University, he also serves as Director of the DPAS Ghana Study Abroad 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 (1997/2017), Reconnecting Memories: Dreams No Longer Deferred (2004) and Muntu Kuntu Energy: New and Selected Poetry (2013). Guerrilla Dread: Poetry for the Heart and Mind is forthcoming from Africa World Press in 2019.
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.
Muntu Kuntu Energy Poetry and Music
With Nigeria's, Oluseun Anikulapo Kuti