Amiri Baraka

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Amiri Baraka

Baraka in Miami, 2007
Born October 7, 1934(1934-10-07)
Newark, New Jersey
Died January 9, 2014(2014-01-09) (aged 79)
Newark, New Jersey
Occupation Playwright, poet, activist

www.amiribaraka.com

Amiri Baraka (October 7, 1934 – January 9, 2014) was an American writer. He has written poetry, drama, essays and music criticism.

Racism[change | edit source]

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.[1][2][3][4]

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.[5]

Death[change | edit source]

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.[6]

Works[change | edit source]

  • 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

References[change | edit source]

  1. David L. Smith . Amiri Baraka and the Black Arts of Black Art . boundary 2. Vol. 15, No. 1/2 (Autumn, 1986), pp. 235-254.
  2. Charles H. Rowell. An Interview With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Callaloo. Vol. 14, No. 2 (Spring, 1991), pp. 444-463.
  3. 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.
  4. http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/baraka.htm
  5. Jerry Gafio Watts. Amiri Baraka: The Politics and Art of a Black Intellectual. NYU Press, 2001. pg 332
  6. 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 | edit source]