News reporter and anchor, poet, writer, activist and lecturer, Felipe Luciano is one of the most dynamic Latino public figures in the United States of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. His eloquence, vision, and passion for issues of social justice are extraordinary and reflect the courage of a generation that chose to organize, teach and struggle against the powerful institutions of discrimination.
This two-time Emmy recipient and former WNBC-TV New York news anchor, defied adversity early in life. Luciano was born in New York City and raised in poverty in East Harlem and Brooklyn by a single Puerto Rican mother. In 1966, the Harlem antipoverty agency, HARYOU-ACT, recognized his academic potential and creative talent and urged the young Luciano to apply to college. With the support of the college readiness program, SEEK, he enrolled in the City University of New York Queens College campus, where he immediately became involved in the student activism of the 1960s. Luciano soon became known within activist circles for his membership in the Last Poets, the group of black power era artists mentored by Amiri Baraka, whose politically charged live-music and spoken word poetry performances in the 1960s prefigured the emergence of hip hop and rap in the 1970s and 1980s. As a member of the Last Poets, Luciano led provocative political workshops in Harlem that attracted progressive intellectuals and activists, including leading figures of the black power movement like Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown.
Most Requested Topics:
- The Power & Impact of the Young Lords and Today's Struggle for Identity & Social Justice: Movements do not just happen. There are conditions within the community and the individual that must be met before the first banners are unfurled. The Young Lords Party fought the power successfully in the '60s and saw its demands come to fruition within their lifetime. How do young Latinos organize and prepare for the new battles of power, identity, and community
- US Latinos - The Covenant with Our Ancestors : With all the differences among Latinos in America, is there a collective goal? Are there ideological principles we can rely on, an aesthetic we can emanate and replicate for future generations? We did not get here by ourselves. There is a social contract with our ancestors we must fulfill if we wish to achieve true success and prosperity.
- Fire in the Hole - World Politics Now!: In this keynote speech, Luciano touches on how the uniqueness of Hispanic politics can be utilized to identify and resolve hot spots in the world and avoid costly wars. Our times demand that we know who the world players are, why they feel the way they do, and what impact our country has on their culture; the fire "over there" could very well be the fire over here.
- The Original Last Poets - Pushing & Defining the Voice of the Next Generation: In the '60s, the Original Last Poets spoke out about racism, brutality, and the lack of pride and empowerment in black and brown communities. This presentation is a powerful poetry performance with imagery and music. Felipe Luciano's poetry delivers the message from the spiritual, political, and cultural matrix of the black and Latino American.
- A House Divided: Luciano address why and how Latinos sabotage collective success through misconceptions about culture, race, nationality, and history. He argues that slave mentalities and self-hatred still exist in a modern world: color and physical characteristics are the new handcuffs.
- The New Iberia/The New America: The Challenge of Change: Join Luciano as he answers the question, "What is the effect on America of the emerging Latino population as it becomes the largest ethnic group in the country?"