Amiri Baraka

African-American writer (1934–2014)

Amiri Baraka (born Everett Leroy Jones; October 7, 1934 – January 9, 2014), previously known as LeRoi Jones, was an American writer.[1] He has written poetry, drama, essays and music criticism. He is also the father of Newark city mayor Ras Baraka.

Amiri Baraka
Baraka in 2013
Baraka in 2013
BornEverett Leroy Jones
(1934-10-07)October 7, 1934
Newark, New Jersey
DiedJanuary 9, 2014(2014-01-09) (aged 79)
Newark, New Jersey
OccupationPlaywright, poet, activist

Baraka has been called "one of the most influential and prolific African American writers of the twentieth century."[1]

Baraka's poetry and other writing have been both praised and hated. In the African-American community, some compare Baraka to James Baldwin. They see him as one of the most respected and most widely published black writers of his time.[1] Others have said that his work shows much violence, misogyny, and homophobia.[2]

Racism change

Baraka's writings have made controversy over the years, mostly because of his advocacy of rape and violence towards (at many times) women, gay people, white people, and Jews. Critics of his work have said such words are examples of racism, sexism, homophobia, and anti-Semitism in his work.[3][4][5][6]

The following is from a 1965 essay:

Most American white men are trained to be fags. For this reason it is no wonder their faces are weak and blank. … The average ofay [white person] thinks of the black man as potentially raping every white lady in sight. Which is true, in the sense that the black man should want to rob the white man of everything he has. But for most whites the guilt of the robbery is the guilt of rape. That is, they know in their deepest hearts that they should be robbed, and the white woman understands that only in the rape sequence is she likely to get cleanly, viciously popped.[7]

Death change

Baraka died January 9, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey after being hospitalized in the facility's intensive care unit for one month prior to his death. He was 79 years old. The cause of death was complications of surgery. Baraka had diabetes.[8]

Works change

  • Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note, poems, 1961
  • Blues Peple: Negro Music in White America, 1963
  • Dutchman and The Slave, drama, 1964
  • The System of Dante's Hell, novel, 1965
  • Home: Social Essays, 1965
  • Tales, 1967
  • Black Magic, poems, 1969
  • Four Black Revolutionary Plays, 1969
  • It's Nation Time, poems, 1970
  • Raise Race Rays Raize: Essays Since 1965, 1971
  • Hard Facts, poems, 1975
  • The Motion of History and Other Plays, 1978
  • Poetry for the Advanced, 1979
  • reggae or not!, 1981
  • Daggers and Javelins: Essays 1974-1979, 1984
  • The Autobiography of LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka, 1984
  • The Music: Reflections on Jazz and Blues, 1987
  • Transbluesency: The Selected Poems of Amiri Baraka/LeRoi Jones, 1995
  • Wise, Why’s Y’s, essays, 1995
  • Funk Lore: New Poems, 1996
  • Somebody Blew Up America, 2001

Related pages change

References change

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Lacy, Henry C. (2002). "Baraka, Amiri". Oxfrd Reference - The Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature. Retrieved February 8, 2023.
  2. "Confessions of a Black Poet Who Hates Amiri Baraka by Robert Lashley". NAILED Magazine. Retrieved 2023-02-08.
  3. David L. Smith . Amiri Baraka and the Black Arts of Black Art . boundary 2. Vol. 15, No. 1/2 (Autumn, 1986), pp. 235-254.
  4. Charles H. Rowell. An Interview With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Callaloo. Vol. 14, No. 2 (Spring, 1991), pp. 444-463.
  5. Marlon B. Ross. Camping the Dirty Dozens: The Queer Resources of Black Nationalist Invective. Callaloo. Vol. 23, No. 1, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender: Literature and Culture (Winter, 2000), pp. 290-312.
  6. "Amiri Baraka". Archived from the original on 2009-05-04. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
  7. Jerry Gafio Watts. Amiri Baraka: The Politics and Art of a Black Intellectual. NYU Press, 2001. pg 332
  8. Giambusso, David. "Amiri Baraka, former N.J. poet laureate and prolific author, dead at 79", The Star-Ledger, 9 January 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2014.

Other websites change