Name and location of repository
Level of description
Imamu Amiri Baraka Collection
Name of creator
Everett Leroy Jones was born in Newark, NJ on October 7, 1934. His father, Coyette, was a postal supervisor and his mother, the former Anna Russ, was a social worker. Growing up took piano, drum, and trumpet lessons (a background that would inform his later work as a jazz writer) and also studied drawing and painting.
Baraka changed his name when he became aware of the African revolution and his African roots. He was named by the man who buried Malcolm X, Hesham Jabbar. Baraka was a leading force in the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. In 1963 he published "Blues People: Negro Music in White America," known as the first major history of black music to be written by an African American. A year later he published a collection of poetry titled "The Dead Lecturer" and won an Obie Award for his play, "Dutchman." After the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965, he moved to Harlem and founded the Black Arts Repertory Theatre. In the late 1960s, Baraka moved back to his hometown of Newark and began focusing more on political organizing, prompting the FBI to identify him as "the person who will probably emerge as the leader of the Pan-African movement in the United States." Baraka continued writing and performing poetry up until his hospitalization late last year, leaving behind a body of work that greatly influenced a younger generation of hip-hop artists and slam poets. From DemocracyNow! program (January 10, 2014)
Content and structure elements
Scope and content
This collection contains over 100 items, primarily books that are cataloged and available via the Libcat system. The manuscript and drawings are also cataloged and available via the Libcat system.
System of arrangement
Cataloged in Libcat retrievable by the author's full name, Imamu Amiri Baraka. Some items are cataloged using his birth name of Leroy Jones or LeRoi Jones.
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Immediate source of acquisition
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Rules or conventions
Finding Aid Authors: Rebecca Hankins.
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