In 1970, Amiri Baraka used abilities to help elect Kenneth Gibson as the first black mayor of Newark. His success was short-lived as he noticed that Gibson had abandoned promises to Blacks and Puerto Ricans, and left them disenfranchised. This prompted Baraka to begin distancing himself from pragmatic politics, and he began to question his own identity (Brown 14).
After a tour in Africa (1974), Baraka returned to the United States with a new-found outlook on society. He began to see social inequity as a multiracial class struggle, and he abandoned the desire for an exclusively black cultural revolution. He now proclaimed to be a Marxist-Leninist, and he denounced or clarified many of his previously controversial remarks (Brown 14). Although his political viewpoints would not change thereafter, his name would still be tied with controversy.