Imamu Amiri Baraka By: Yanice Harvey
Why Did I choose this poet? • I chose this poet because I wanted to pick someone that I have never heard of before, I also wanted to pick someone that no one else heard of before. Imamu Amiri Baraka’s name seemed really funny to me, and very unusual.
Who Is He? • Imamu Amiri Baraka, formerly known as Leroi Jones. He was born on October 7th, 1934. He is an American writer of poetry, drama, essays, and music criticism. He was born Everett Leroi Jones in Newark, New Jersey. In 1967 he adopted the African name Imamu Amear Baraka, which he later changed to Amiri Baraka.
Family • Barak’s father, Gearld Roi Jones worked as a postal supervisor and lift operator. His mother Ana Lois Nee Russ was a social worker. He first married Hettie Baraka which later changed her name to Hettie Cohen. He later divorced her. In the year of 1966, He married Sylvia Robinson, who later adopted the name Amina Baraka.
Career • Baraka studied Philosophy and religious studies at Rutgers University, Columbia University and Howard University without receiving a degree. In 1954 he joined the US Air force, reaching the rank of sergeant. After an anonymous letter to his commanding officer accusing him of being a communist led to the discovery of Soviet writings. Baraka was put on kitchen duty, and given a discharge for violation of his oath of duty. The same year he moved to Greenwich Village working in a warehouse for music records.
Career Cont. • He soon became interested in Jazz. At the same time he came into contact with the movement of Beat poets, that later had a powerful influence on his poetry career. He also worked as a clerk for Gotham Book Mart, where he came into contact with many other well-known authors and poets. In 1967 he became a lecturer at San Francisco State university.
Struggles • In 1968, he was arrested in Newark for allegedly carrying an illegal weapon and resisting arrest during the 1967, Newark riots, and was sentenced to three years in prison; shortly afterward an appeals court reversed the sentence based on his defense by his attorney, Raymond A. Brown.That same year his second book of jazz criticism, Black Music, came out, a collection of previously published music journalism
Interesting Facts • As of today Imamu Amiri Baraka works as a professor at Rutgers University. • Baraka was nominated as one of the 100 greatest African Americans, for his accomplishments. • In 2003, Baraka's daughter Shani, age 31, was murdered in the home of her sister. A New Jersey jury sentenced the man found guilty of murdering Shani Baraka and another woman at the house in the 2003 shooting to 168 years in prison.
My favorite Poem By Imamu Amiri Baraka • Incident: • He came back and shot. He shot him. When he cameback, he shot, and he fell, stumbling, past theshadow wood, down, shot, dying, dead, to full halt.At the bottom, bleeding, shot dead. He died then, thereafter the fall, the speeding bullet, tore his faceand blood sprayed fine over the killer and the grey light.
Poem Cont. 2 • Pictures of the dead man, are everywhere. And his spiritsucks up the light. But he died in darkness darker thanhis soul and everything tumbled blindly with him dyingdown the stairs.We have no word
Poem Cont. 3 • on the killer, except he came back, from somewhereto do what he did. And shot only once into his victim'sstare, and left him quickly when the blood ran out. We knowthe killer was skillful, quick and silent, and that the victimprobably knew him. Other than that, aside from the caked sournessof the dead man's expression, and the cool surprise in the fixtureof his hands and fingers, we know nothing.
Imamu Amiri BarakaCinquain….. Poet African American Writes, Speaks, Walks Disappoint, Quiet, love, Sorry Poems