Amiri Baraka


Amiri Baraka (formerly LeRoi Jones) was born October 7, 1934 in Newark, New Jersey. He was an American poet and playwright who published provocative works that assiduously presented the experiences and suppressed anger of Black Americans in a white-dominated society. After graduating from Howard University (B.A., 1953), Jones served in the U.S. Air Force but was dishonourably discharged after three years because he was suspected (wrongly at that time) of having communist affiliations. He attended graduate school at Columbia University, New York City, and founded (1958) the poetry magazine Yugen, which published the work of Beat writers such as Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. Following the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965, Jones became increasingly focused on Black nationalism. In 1968, he adopted the name Amiri Baraka, and his writings became more divisive. In the mid-1970s he became a Marxist, though his goals remained similar. “I [still] see art as a weapon and a weapon of revolution,” he said. Source

Excerpt from Black Art

Let there be no love poems written

until love can exist freely and

cleanly. Let Black people understand

that they are the lovers and the sons

of warriors and sons

of warriors Are poems & poets &

all the loveliness here in the world

We want a black poem. And a

Black World.

Let the world be a Black Poem

And Let All Black People Speak This Poem







Literary Movements:

Black Arts Movement

Anthology Years:



Ars Poetica

Intersectionality & Culture


Literary Devices:


an instruction or a command

Varied syntax

diverse sentence structure