A mid-twentieth century African American writer and cultural activist, Tom Dent worked tirelessly to help cultivate the Black Arts Movement, mentoring numerous other artists and writers. Taken from his papers held at the Amistad Research Center in New Orleans, this vital collection brings together Dent's fiction, poetry, essays, interviews, and drama, including many previously unpublished works. With introductions by Kalamu ya Salaam, New Orleans Griot: A Tom Dent Reader showcases the remarkable life and writing of Tom Dent, from his early days in New York to working with the Free Southern Theatre in Mississippi to his astute observations of New Orleans and the black Mardi Gras Indians.
"Dent was so self-effacing that few know him as one of the most important and influential persons of letters in the last 100 years. The fact that his work has been collected in this volume is a great gift." —Ismael Reed
"A comprehensive portrait of the influential New Orleans writer whose oeuvre reflects the racial tensions of the times and is equally relevant today." –Kirkus Reviews
Kalamu ya Salaam is an American poet, author, filmmaker, and teacher from the 9th Ward of New Orleans. A well-known activist and social critic, Salaam has spoken out on a number of racial and human rights issues.