Friday, January 10

A Farewell To Writer Amiri Baraka

Poet, Writer, and Activist Amiri Baraka was born Everett LeRoi Jones in 1934 in Newark, New Jersey. Baraka who was an ardent figure in the Black Renaissance of Art and Culture in Harlem was noted with the likes of Zora Neale Hurston, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright and others as one of the eight figures who have significantly affected the course of African-American literary culture. 

As a Writer and Poet, Baraka was praised for speaking out against oppression and injustice. By the early 1970's Amiri Baraka was recognized as an influential Writer in America, influencing writers such as Nikki Giovanni and Don L. Lee. Arnold Rampersad wrote of Amiri Baraka in the American Book Review that  “More than any other black poet . . . he taught younger black poets of the generation past how to respond poetically to their lived experience, rather than to depend as artists on embalmed reputations and outmoded rhetorical strategies derived from a culture often substantially different from their own.

Baraka wrote and published poems, essays, and works of non-fiction.  He was most famously noted for "Blues People" which was an in-depth history of music from the time of slavery throughout the various incarnations of blues and jazz, with integrated social commentary. Baraka became the second Poet Laureate of New Jersey in 2002 and 2003.

Amiri Baraka contributed greatly, perhaps understanding the sacredness and gift of writing... along with the power of having a voice. We salute his life, works, and contributions with thanks. The craft of writing will continually be developed in excellence. With the upcoming Writer's Workshop, the plan is to give strength to voices and keep the power and progress alive. A Special Farewell and thank you to Mr. Baraka. Rest In Peace.

The first creative writing workshop and boot camp will be held in Atlanta, Georgia. Tickets can be purchased at

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