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Amiri Baraka and Askia Touré continue the struggle.

Selected Bibliography

  • The Autobiography of LeRoi Jones. Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 1997.

  • Black Music. New York: De Capo Press, Inc., 1998.

  • Eulogies. Hawthorne, NY: Mouton de Gruyter, 1996.

  • Four Black Revolutionary Plays. New York: Marion Boyars Publishers, Inc., 1997.

  • Funk Lore: New Poems 1984-1994. Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press, 1996.

  • Jesse Jackson & Black People. Chicago: Third World Press, 1997.

  • Shy's, Wise, Why's: A Griot's Tale. Chicago: Third World Press, 1994.

  • Thornton Dial: Images of the Tiger. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1993.

  • Transbluesency: The Selected Poems of Amiri Baraka/LeRoi Jones. New York: Marsilio Publishers, 1995.

  • Wise Why's Y's: A Griot's Tale. Chicago: Third World Press, 1995.

Discussion Questions

1. Why does Baraka say the strongest political work you can do is in the arts?

2. How does he differentiate "mass or popular work" from "advanced work"?

3. How is watching and listening to Baraka reading his poetry a different experience than reading it yourself? Why did he choose the performance techniques that he did?

4. Who are the "heathens"?


Amiri Baraka, poet, activist, and playwright, is one of the most exciting and prolific authors in America. Considered an architect of the Black Arts Movement, he has published 14 books of poetry including Preface To A Twenty Volume Suicide Note, The Dead Lecturer, It's Nation Time, Spirit Reach, and Reggae or Not, a novel, five books of essays, 24 plays, and four anthologies. Baraka, born LeRoi Jones, was educated at Rutgers University and Howard University. Since 1962 he has combined his artistic and literary activities with teaching and has taught poetry and drama at The New School for Social Research, Columbia University, University of Buffalo, Yale University and George Washington University. He was the professor of African Studies at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Amiri Baraka has also been a prime and dynamic force in the Black Arts Repertory Theater School in Harlem and Spirit House in Newark. From 1968 until 1975, he was one of the founders and chairmen of the Congress of African People, a nationalistic Pan-African organization, and one of the chief organizers of the National Black Political Convention in 1972. He also edited Cricket, a magazine of African-American music, and directed and publication of new literature through Jihad Press and Peoples War Publications. He is currently editor of The Black Nation. As well as a long list of publications, his most recent work includes appearing in Warren Beatty's political satire Bulworth as a prophetic homeless man and writing the liner notes for the Ravi Coltrane's (son of John Coltrane) first album Moving Pictures.


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