Donald Bakeer born in Kansas City, MO in 1944, and has been a poet for 55 years beginning in 1965 at Howard University when his first poem leaped out of him. In 1971 . he opened a bookstore on 42d and Crenshaw in Los Angeles, “The Poetry Shop” that sold the works of Amiri Baraka, Don L. Lee (Haki Madhubuti), Nikki Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez, Dudley Randle, Gwendolyn Brooks, etc., and his own first book of Poetry, “JOMO” (subtitled, “What I Gotta Say We Can Say With Looks).” The poetry and the times were revolutionary, so his book was appropriately profane. But, he also sold The Holy Quran.
Since then Donald has written over 500 poems, 2 novels, 2 screenplays, 2 memoirs, 6 other nonfiction books, and 5 anthologies. He has performed with the Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra, 2 classical pianists, jazz, blues , and hip hop artists. He has been performing in the Leimert Park/Crenshaw area for almost 50 years and is a a retired English teacher, having taught African American Literature, Creative Writing, Journalism, Composition, and, of course, Poetry for 30 years at Horace Mann Middle School, Manual Arts H.S., Washington Prep and many of the other local middle schools and high schools.
He has been married a total of 43 years (widowed to cancer twice, but never divorced) and has 7 children and 8 stepchildren. Donad's latest book, PTSD! Who, Me? , is a scathing memoir about his unique experiences in the Army during the Vietnam War, and seeking mental health treatment afterwards. The theme of the book is #nomorewarfortherestofthecentury.
Donald Bakeer is best known for writing the novel CRIPS and the movie “SOUTH CENTRAL”, with the, now, famous character, “O.G. Bobby Johnson” who takes shahada in prison and rescues his son from the notorious Crip gang. Produced by Warner Bros. and Oliver Stone CRIPS was used to thwart the gangs’ insidious traditions of illiteracy and atheism by replacing them with a renaissance of poetry/literature/rap and Islam.