Amiri Baraka

Born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, Amiri Baraka was one of the nation's most revered Black poets and esteemed writers. His collections of plays, poems, novels, musical critiques, and essays have been met with both veneration and condemnation for their emphasis on Black oppression, racism and gender, sex and class issues. He was respected for his fearless activism and impassioned fight to spread Black history, culture and art and worked closely with empowerment groups such as the Black Panthers and founded others like the Black Arts Movement and the Congress of African People. The former US Air Force sergeant turned Pan-African leader received a plethora of accolades and honors, including induction into the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Before Columbus Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. He briefly served as the second Poet Laureate of New Jersey before the position was abolished in July 2003. On January 9, 2014, 79-year-old Amiri Baraka died at Newark's Beth Israel Medical Center.  (Photo: Mick Gold/Redferns)

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This Day in Black History: Oct. 7, 1934

On Oct. 7, 1934, playwright, poet, critic and activist Amiri Baraka was born.

In Newark, Ras Baraka Looks Forward

After winning a hard-fought mayoral race, Ras Baraka prepares to take the helm of Newark.

Ras Baraka Wins Newark Mayor's Race

Ras Baraka, the son of the late iconic African American writer Amiri Baraka, beat law professor Shavar Jeffries to become the mayor of Newark, New Jersey after elections on Tuesday.

From the Harlem Renaissance to Slam: Black Poetry Movements

Black writers have made major contributions to the poetry world. In celebration of National Poetry Month in April, take a look at Black poetry movements through the years.

NJ Wake Set for Activist Poet-Writer Amiri Baraka

The Rev. Jesse Jackson will be among those honoring activist poet-playwright Amiri Baraka at a wake in New Jersey on Friday night.

Activist Poet-Playwright Amiri Baraka Dies at 79

Poet and playwright Amiri Baraka has died at age 79, his booking agent said.
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