Amiri Baraka, born Everett LeRoi Joins, was a poet, playwright and political organizer whose career spanned more than five decades.
After the assassination of Malcom X, Baraka moved to Harlem where he founded the Black Arts Repertory Theatre, an organization that helped fuel the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Baraka’s book “Blues People: Negro Music in White America” was the first book of black music history written by a black author.
In addition to his prolific artistic career, Baraka was also a powerful political organizer who played an important role with the Congress of African People (CAP). A conference and exhibit at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History explores Baraka’s life and work.
Host Frank Stasio is joined by three participants in tomorrow’s symposium: Sonia Sanchez, renowned poet and activist who is a longtime friend and colleague of Amiri Baraka; Michael Simanga, activist and scholar who authored the book “Amiri Baraka and the Congress of African People: History and Memory” (Palgrave MacMillan/2015); and Joseph Jordan, professor of African/African-American Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill and the director of Stone Center.
Watch a trailer for a new documentary about Sonia Sanchez and the Black Arts Movement, "baddDDD Sonia Sanchez."