1.21.2014

Remembering poet, freedom fighter Amiri Baraka

(FinalCall.com) - Amiri Baraka, 79, born in 1934 in a Newark, N.J. hospital teacher, activist, artist, leader, died on Jan. 9 in a Newark, N.J. hospital. Mr. Baraka, born Everett LeRoi Jones, had been admitted to the Beth Israel Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit in December.

Mr. Baraka leaves behind his wife Amina Baraka and children Ras Baraka, Lisa Jones, Kellie Jones, Obataj Baraka, Shani Baraka, Dominque DiPrima, Maria Jones, and Amiri Baraka, Jr. He attended Newark’s Barringer High School, Columbia University, The New School, Rutgers University and Howard University. 

In 1963, Mr. Baraka published “Blues People: Negro Music in White America,” and in 1964 published a collection of poetry “The Dead Lecturer,” while writing the Obie Award winning play “Dutchman.” “Amiri Baraka was a literary genius and champion of global and domestic justice,” said Bill Fletcher Jr. in an email while traveling in Palestine. Mr. Fletcher, a writer, activist, and past president of TransAfrica Forum, added, “Had he compromised on his principles the system would certainly have rewarded him. Yet he refused to back down and remained defiant in the face of oppression and injustice.” [Read More]