A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Friday, November 11, 2011

African-American Series: Amiri Baraka at Monmouth College, 1987

The first use of the term "African-American" in The Bayshore Independent appears on pg 21 of the 4 Feb 1987 edition. The article announces the visit of Amiri Baraka to Monmouth College.

A student in the Newton, NJ school district wrote a short piece for Black History Month in which he/she provides a brief biography of Mr Baraka and explains what the poet of black culture means to him or her.

The video at top was recorded in Troy, New York in February 2009. Below is the text of the Bayshore Independent piece from 1987, mentioned above.

College sets Baraka for Feb. 16 program

Amiri Baraka, the celebrated poet and playwright, will read selections from his work and discuss aspects of black culture and history Feb. 16 at Monmouth College.

The program, offered in conjunction with the college's Black History Month celebration, will begin at 7 p.m. in the Wilson Auditorium.

Admission is free and open to the public.

Baraka, who began writing under his "slave name" LeRoi Jones, came to national attention in the late 1950's and early 1960's.

His poetry, plays, fiction and non—fiction have garnered international acclaim.

He has received Guggenheim and Whitney fellowships, as well as awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New Jersey State Council for the Arts.

In 1958, Baraka founded Totem Press which published works by Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and other significant beat generation writers.

Recently, Baraka has edited Cricket, a magazine of African—American music, and has directed publication of new literature through Jihad Press and Peoples War Publication.

He is currently editor of The Black Nation, a journal of African— American thought.


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