Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information


Pen Name: Don L. Lee

Genre: C:ADULT Non-Fiction Poetry

Born: 1942 in Little Rock, Arkansas


Illinois Connection

Madhubuti moved to Chicago as a child and still resides there today. He attended Roosevelt University, the University of Illinois Chicago Circle. In 2007, he was named ''Chicagoan of the Year'' by Chicago Magazine. The papers of Dr. Haki R. Madhubuti are housed at the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

A leading poet and one of the architects of the Black Arts Movement and proponent of independent Black institutions, Haki R. Madhubuti, publisher, editor, and educator and activist―has been a pivotal figure in the development of a strong Black literary tradition. He founded Third World Press (1967) and Third World Press Foundation (2002). He is a founder of the Institute of Positive Education/New Concept School (1969), co-founder of Betty Shabazz International Charter School (1998), and Barbara A. Sizemore Academy (2005), all of which are in Chicago. He is the former University Distinguished Professor and Professor of English at Chicago State University where he founded the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Creative Writing and Black Literature; he also created the annual Gwendolyn Brooks Writers Conference (1989-2010) and was the founding director of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program.

He has published more than 30 books (some under his former name, Don L. Lee) and is one of the world’s best-selling authors of poetry and nonfiction. Professor Madhubuti’s Black Men: Obsolete, Single, Dangerous? The African American Family in Transition (1990) has over 1 million copies in print.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


-- *American Book Award, 1991

-- *Illinois Author of the Year, Illinois Association of Teachers of English, 1991

-- *Fuller Award for Lifetime Achievement, Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, 2015