Amiri Baraka (1934-2014): Poet-Playwright-Activist Shaped Revolutionary Politics, Black Culture


NERMEEN SHAIKH: —how other leaders in the black community responded to him?

LARRY HAMM: Well, first of all, it’s important for people to understand that Baraka did not make this change suddenly. First and foremost, Baraka pointed young people like me to Africa and to African leaders, revolutionary leaders like Kwame Nkrumah, like Amílcar Cabral in Guinea-Bissau, like Samora Machel in Mozambique, like Mwalimu Julius Nyerere in Tanzania. You cannot read these people and not eventually move to the left, because many of them either call themselves socialists, Marxists or Marxist-Leninists. So, Baraka and the members of the Committee for a Unified Newark, members of the Congress of African People, were studying these people. So, for me, from an intellectual point of view, it’s almost inevitable that they would move in that direction. And early on, I can remember, you know, Baraka followed a brand of black nationalism called Kawaida. But I can remember when the poster came out that condensed Kawaida down to the three cutting edges: black nationalism, pan-Africanism and revolutionary socialism. And that was as early as 1972, I believe.

KOMOZI WOODARD: He was way ahead. He was way ahead.

_________________________________ Catch up O you molecular song________'the great white stomach     which yet rules  and tries to digest the world'_____Amiri Baraka  ______ _________________________________Poetry is a way of Life. Amiri lived that life the way he saw fit ~ many readers/ auditors and fit ~ _______________________________________