Rest In Power: Legendary Writer Amiri Baraka Dies At 79

(AllHipHop News) The world has lost one of the greatest wordsmiths its ever known. Controversial writer, poet laureate, professor and activist Amiri Baraka died yesterday (January 9th) after years of battling an undisclosed medical condition.

The 79 year old scholar had been was hospitalized in late December for an undisclosed illness.

Baraka was an active participant in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s and changed his named from his birth name Everett LeRoi Jones to Amiri Baraka following Malcolm X’s 1965 assassination. Baraka also founded the Black Arts Repertory Theatre and School.

The Baraka-led Black Arts Movement of the 1960s produced such legendary African American artists as Gil Scott Heron, Nikki Giovanni and others. In 2007, he spoke on the purpose of the Black Arts Movement:

[W]e wrote art that was, number one, identifiably Afro American according to our roots and our history and so forth. Secondly, we made art that was not contained in small venues. The third thing we wanted was art that would help with the liberation of black people, and we didn’t think just writing a poem was sufficient. That poem had to have some kind of utilitarian use; it should help in liberating us. So that’s what we did. We consciously did that.

Baraka was also a polarizing figure whom attracted a considerable level of controversy for his poem “Somebody Blew Up America” about the tragic events of September 11th, 2001. The poem was released after Baraka’s 2002 induction as the second ever poet laureate for New Jersey and contained lines that were perceived as anti-semetic. Soon after the poem was released, the poet laureate position was removed.

Check out Baraka perform the controversial poem, “Somebody Blew Up America” below:

  • MrNoName2K


  • water_ur_seeds

    RIP a real legend…

    • Sean Taylor

      There’s only one legend and that’s Bob.

      Don’t ever come out your mouth sideways again…chump!

      • water_ur_seeds

        fck off you stupid cuntttt…

  • Ionithus

    I read about this yesterday. Much Ra-spect. RIP

  • ZUBU

    Certainly blessings to he and his family.

    • ZUBU

      Wow, I just listened to his speech the best 9:00 mins I have spent in a long time. Very inspiring and of course very accurate IMO. Not many people have the courage to speak the truth about the true powermongers. I been telling people for years the 911 attacks did not go down as described, yeah the bldgs came down but not for the reason we were led to believe. He broke down the history of the true powermongers, the real Illuminati, NWO, Imperialist, and their historical as well as current agenda. Who who who……..?

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  • Larry Griffin

    Brilliant mind and a righteous soul R.I.L

  • johnblacksad

    R.I.P. Mr Baraka

    • RIP

      You know somewhere, Jube is feeling it!

      • DJ7


      • johnblacksad

        That brother Jube used to Shine on these boards… word!

  • $18916246


  • artcryme99

    wow….he mentioned Sharon in the speech and they died on the same day

    condi line was wrong but had me crackin up

    the answer is ….satan?

    for all the bs ahh is the only hiphop site that posts this kind of stuff…

    • bisolabliss

      ‘for all the bs ahh is the only hiphop site that posts this kind of stuff…’

      No doubt, one has to give props where/when props due but again AHH did blaze the trail for the other hip-hop websites with contents like this…folks just can’t wrap their heads around how far AHH has fallen.

  • dfwricwil

    Great man and I loved that poem. Rest in Peace my Brother!

  • Reblogged this on Dance hall and commented:
    Respect Due!

    It would be remiss of me not to pay tribute to someone who transformed my thinking and writing about the Black Atlantic and as part of it’s making, the Middle Passage experience. It was during his performance at that famous Calabash Literary Festival of 2005 when I first heard the famous lines:

    ‘Its my brother, my sister
    At the bottom of the Atlantic
    There’s a railroad made of human bones
    Black Ivory, Black Ivory.”

    Those words have stayed with me and at the time informed my writing on the connections in music and performance between Jamaica and South Africa as I was in the early stages if conceptualising my book DanceHall: From Slave Ship to Ghetto.

    Walk good! Leroi Jones. Amiri Baraka. Walk good until such time….

  • Elayorx El

    May be the best of our time, and whoever was offended by the above poem, you can not hide the shoes you have been wearing forever. It is pretty much common knowledge now, so thank you Amiri, and don’t worry, you’ve produced more coming up behind you. We love you.

  • R.I.P. to another great man.
    Greatness will never be forgotten.

  • bisolabliss

    Amiri Baraka in words (Notable Quotables)

    “There is no justice in America, but it is the fight for justice that sustains you.”
    —Home: Social Essays, 1966

    “Since the rich eat more/ than anybody else/ It is reasonable to assume/ that they are more full of shit.”
    —Class Gas

    “A man is either free, or he is not. There cannot be an apprenticeship for freedom.”
    —Home: Social Essays, 1966

    “Poetry is music, and nothing but music. Words with musical emphasis.”

    “God has been replaced, as he has all over the West, with respectability and air conditioning.”
    —Home: Social Essays, 1966


  • jubilee shine

    The most advanced mind and maximum leader of our time.

    Study the achievements of the Committee for Unified Newark, the Congress of Afrikan People, the National Black Political Convention in Gary, Indiana, 1972, the Revolutionary Communist League, the League of Revolutionary Struggle,,,

    NewArk was the first major northeast U.S. city to elect a Black mayor under Baraka’s leadership in 1970 following the ’67 rebellion, in which Amiri was beaten nearly to death by police and sentenced to prison for “inciting” through his poetry.

    His son Ras sits on Newark’s City Council and is leading candidate for mayor in the May election, which we must actively support!

    Check his Def Poetry Jam joint “Why Is We Americans” youtu[DOT]be/TEkBk_SdvjY

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