Imamu Amiri Baraka, born Everett Leroy Jones on October 7, 1934, is a world-renowned revolutionary figure who has had an immensely controversial and enduring career in various forms of literature, art, and political activism. Most notably known for his poetry, Baraka would gain respect in many societal facets.
A native of New Jersey, Baraka has traveled extensively and lived during times of international and domestic crises; during his life, his ideology would often change as a reaction to influential current events. He lived through the entire Cold War, the Vietnam War, the African-American Civil Rights Movement, and many other dilemmas which would directly influence his outlook and writing accordingly. At almost 77 years old, Baraka remains an influential figure with countless awards, accreditations, works, and international respect. His efforts, accompanied by his common dissent, would have an enormous influence on the future of American contemporary music, popular culture, and other mediums of artistic expression.
What to Expect
This project attempts to explore Baraka’s significance in the African-American Literary Canon, specifically in regards to his “Black Aesthetic” which he called for during the “Black Arts Movement”. As an extremely dynamic individual, it was imperative that I understood the historical precursors to his career before attempting to write about him. I couldn’t stop reading about his deeply intriguing and controversial career, and I have included a lot of historical/personal information that is irrelevant to my argument, but it serves (I believe) as important insight into his character. Please feel free to leave me comments or criticisms about anything you may find among these pages.