Brilliant Fire! Amiri Baraka
Poems, Plays, Politics for the People
Editors: Haki R. Madhubuti, Michael Simanga, Sonia Sanchez, Woodie King Jr.
On January 9, 2014 we lost one of our most influential and prolific cultural workers, the activist-artist Amiri Baraka. Third World Press, the oldest continuously publishing
African American press in the United States, will publish a comprehensive anthology about the life, work and legacy of our brother, Imamu Amiri Baraka.
April 30, 2014. Submissions should be sent as a Microsoft Word document attachment
emailed to: TWPBarakaCall@gmail.com. Please include a brief bio with address and phone number in a separate attachment.
my name is my own my own my own / and i can’t tell you who the hell set things up like this / but i can tell you that from now on my resistance / my simple and daily and nightly self-determination / may very well cost you your life
from poem about my rights by june jordan
I had the recent pleasure of attending and presenting at Rutgers University’s, Radical Historiographies Graduate Student Symposium.
The symposium, organized and sponsored by the African American and Diaspora Studies Group of the English department, was held at Rutgers – New Brunswick on March 28, 2014.
I was a part of the 3rd panel of the day, "Making Private History Public: Archives and Historical Sites," moderated by Margarita Castroman.
- Carrie Y.T. KhoLi, Rutgers University, “Leroi Jones to Amiri Baraka: Living Black Radical Praxis”
- Dalena Hunter, University of California, Los Angeles, “Out of the Archival Closet: Opening Black Lesbian Lives to the Historical Record”
- Alexander Johnston, University of California, Santa Cruz, “The Radical Archive: Attica Distorted, Attica Revealed”
- Ebonee Davis, Morgan State University, “‘Filling in the Blanks’: Black History Education at Museums and Public Sites”
Honestly, I got in a little late
(who knew it would take almost 24 hours to get to JFK airport from Hilo, Hawaii?), but from what I’ve heard, the pre-lunch portion of the conference was phenomenal. And from what I experienced, the post-lunch activities and keynote were equally amazing!
Are you interested in viewing all of my slides + speech notes? Want to share archival or black radical research? Let’s discuss!
My abstract’s below:
“Leroi, Imamu, Amiri: A Man Out of Time,” retraces the trajectory of Baraka’s literary canon (including previously unpublished works housed at Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library), meditating on how the work of archiving - specifically, the work of conscious collecting - manifests itself as central to black radical praxis.
Framing Baraka as author, activist, and archivist, this paper contextualizes Baraka’s life work within an idea of revolution as multiple continuous cyclical processes and insists that black radicalism requires an unearthing of the past and simultaneous grounding in the present. Black radicalism – an always already self-critical, self-autonomizing act of investigating, assessing, and modifying history’s narrative – as performed by Baraka is a constant dialectic of exca/culti-vation of past and present as both preparation for, and creation of, the future. Focusing on Baraka’s performance of personal transformation, “Leroi, Imamu, Amiri,” argues that understanding Baraka’s black radical praxis offers a more critical interrogation of Baraka’s canon, as well as a more critical articulation of the possibilities of African American literature as a gauge and tool of social change.