Poet Playwright Activist

Amiri Baraka

Amiri Baraka throughout his career has adopted a confrontational style for his poetry, drama, fiction and essays. With intent to create awareness about the concerns of African-Americans, his writings where on one hand have been praised as a voice against oppression, on the other hand, have also incited controversies.

Amiri Baraka believed poetry to be a process of discovery of one’s inner feelings. Like the projectivist poets, he has always been of the opinion that the poetic writings should follow the shape of writer’s own breath. During the African-American Civil Rights Movement, Baraka’s politically charged essays and writings proved to be extremely influential for the local audiences.

A few are also available online with audio and video. The audio list includes ‘Somebody Blew up America’, ‘In Walked Bud’, ‘The Academic Cowards of Reaction’, ‘Something in the Way of Things’ feat Roots and the ‘Academic Cowards of Reaction’. Also, the video of ‘Ugly’ at Dodge Poetry Festival is available.

Apart from the essays, novels and poems, Amiri Baraka is also a recognized writer for music criticism. The era of sixties is significant for the author since this is the time when he was search for a reliable voice for his own poetry and came up with studies such as ‘Black Music’, ‘The Music: Reflections on Jazz and Blues’ and ‘Blues People: Negro Music in White America’.

Baraka is praised as ‘flawless’ by the famous author Lloyd W Brown for his essays on music. He is known to attract attention of the people not only with knowledge of the subject, but also with his persuasive and engaging style that plays its role even with his controversial and questionable sentiments.