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Amiri Baraka, born in 1934, in Newark, New Jersey, USA, is the author of
over 40 books of essays, poems, drama, and music history and criticism, a
poet icon and revolutionary political activist who has recited poetry and
lectured on cultural and political issues extensively in the USA, the
Caribbean, Africa, and Europe.
With influences on his work ranging from musical orishas such as Ornette
Coleman, John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, and Sun Ra to the Cuban
Revolution, Malcolm X and world revolutionary movements, Baraka is
renowned as the founder of the Black Arts Movement in Harlem in the
1960s that became, though short-lived, the virtual blueprint for a new
American theater aesthetics. The movement and his published and
performance work, such as the signature study on African-American music,
Blues People (1963) and the play Dutchman (1963) practically seeded “the
cultural corollary to black nationalism” of that revolutionary American milieu.
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