Ewuare X. Osayande is a political activist, award-winning author, cultural analyst, poet, essayist, publisher and internet radio talk show host. The Quarterly Black Review has called Osayande “one of Black America’s newest insurgent intellectuals coming to the table with enough mental firepower to be a David Walker for our time.” He is founder and chairperson of The People’s Alliance for Justice Now!, co-founder and director of POWER (People Organized Working to Eradicate Racism) and creator of ONUS Rites-of-Passage. Osayande is also founder of The Spit Fire Poetry Fest, an annual poetry festival in Camden, NJ that was initiated on the 40th anniversary of the Camden Rebellion of 1971. Osayande is creator and host of “The Resistance with Ewuare Osayande” an online talk show that champions the causes and concerns of people of color worldwide. His latest books are Whose America? and Misogyny & the Emcee: Sex, Race & Hip Hop.
Ewuare Osayande is a dynamic lecturer on issues ranging from race, class, gender, culture and religion to war, the environmental movement, social justice and globalization. He has spoken at over 500 different educational, religious and community centers from Harvard University to Howard University, from Riverside Church in New York to Al Aqsa Mosque in Philadelphia, from Alameda County Juvenile Hall in California to Graterford prison in Pennsylvania.
In September 2008, Ewuare Osayande was a featured poet at the Congressional Black Caucus’ 38th Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, DC. Osayande is the 2006 recipient of the Walt Whitman Arts Center’s Vanguard Writer’s Award. In April of that same year Osayande became the first poet to have a symposium on his body of work at Temple University’s Poet Series sponsored by The Institute for the Study of Race and Social Thought. For four consecutive years from 2007 to 2010, Ewuare Osayande has been the keynote speaker at Westminster Presbyterian Church’s Annual Commemoration of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King in Trenton, NJ. Additionally, Osayande has delivered keynote speeches at The Damascus Road Anti-Racism Conference (2005), the Men Stopping Violence National Conference (2005) and the Global Climate Control Conference held at Harvard University (2004).
Osayande’s work is featured in several new anthologies including Men Speak Out: Profeminist Views on Gender, Sex and Power (Routledge 2007), The Revolution will Not be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex (South End Press 2007), This Poem is Sponsored by: A Collection of Critical Poetry by Corporate Watch and What Lies Beneath: Katrina, Race and the State of the Nation (South End Press).
Osayande’s latest book of poems is entitled Whose America?. The book is introduced by legendary poet and leader of the Black Arts Movement, Haki R. Madhubuti, founder and president of Third World Press. In his introduction, Madhubuti says that Osayande’s “poetic range is that of a seer.” He continues, “Writing poetry to this poet is like drinking water; it is his life-source, his song and his uniquely determined voice.”
Ewuare Osayande’s latest book of essays is entitled Misogyny & the Emcee: Sex, Race & Hip Hop. According to Aishah Shahidah Simmons, director and producer of NO! The Rape Documentary, “Ewuare Osayande’s Misogyny & the Emcee takes no prisoners and cuts straight to the chase on challenging all forms of inter and intra-racial violence perpetuated against Black women and girls. Too fierce!”
Osayande’s other published books and pamphlets include Blood Luxury (2006), published internationally by Africa World Press with an introduction by Amiri Baraka, Commemorating King: Speeches Honoring the Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement (2010), Art at War: Revolutionary Art Against Cultural Imperialism (2006), Free the Land: Revisioning Environmentalism (2005), Are White Christians Anti-Racist, or do They Just Want to be Forgiven? (2004), Black Anti-Ballistic Missives: Resisting War/Resisting Racism (2003), 9/11: Riots in the Sky (2001), Caught at the Crossroads Without a Map (2001), Crucifixions in the Street: Race, Rap & Religion (2000), So the Spoken Word Won’t Be Broken: The Politics of the New Black Poetry (1999), Gangsta Rap is Dead (1997), Akoben: A Call To Action, Responding to the Ramifications of Racism in Black America (1996), Kwanzaa: A Biblical Perspective (1993) co-authored with J.E. Price and Malcolm X: The Man or the Image (1992).
Osayande’s poems and essays have also been published in the international poetry collection In Our Own Words: A Generation Defining Itself, Vol. 4 as well as the anti-war anthology All the Days After. His poem “Blood for Oil” is featured in Dance the Guns to Silence: 100 Poems for Ken Saro-Wiwa.
Ewuare Osayande was the first Poet-in-Residence for the African American Studies Program at Rutgers University in Camden, NJ (2002-2004). Dr. Wayne Glasker, Chairperson of the African American Studies Program at Rutgers University has called Ewuare Osayande’s work “brilliant and compelling.” He continues, “His criticism is passionate and captures the anguish and urgency of the contemporary crisis in African American life. A powerful voice in the tradition of David Walker, Frederick Douglass and Malcolm X.”
Currently, Osayande is an adjunct professor at Rutgers University in Camden, NJ where he teaches African American Studies.
From 2000 to 2003 Osayande was the national coordinator of the Black Radical Congress’ “Education Not Incarceration” campaign. At that time he published an educational pamphlet titled, “How We Got Here: School Privatization and the Struggle for Educational Justice in Philadelphia.” He continues to organize communities across the country on the issue of educational and social justice in the United States.
Osayande‘s convictions are infused in his life-work. As he has stated, “To violate someone because that person is female or gay or lesbian or poor or disabled or is a person of color, does not diminish that person’s humanity, rather, it diminishes your own. What matters in the end, is what we do on behalf of those who are suffering now. True freedom is experienced in the fight to dismantle all forms of oppression.” Osayande’s radical vision is rooted in the revolutionary spirit of his ancestors that fought slavery in the United Statessinging: “Better to live one’s life for freedom’s cause, than to live and die a slave.”
Lewis Gordon, Director of the Institute for the Study of Race and Social Thought at Temple University, has called Ewuare Osayande, “Passionate, provocative, evocative, insightful and always truthful, Osayande’s work stands as one of the best examples of prophetic criticism that speaks not only to, and from, the contemporary Africana urban youth experience, but to anyone interested in the struggle for human liberation.”