Black Fire: An Anthology of Afro-American Writing

Front Cover
Black Classic Press, 2007 - Literary Collections - 670 pages
While many texts are readily available chronicling the Black Power Movement, the same cannot be said for its "aesthetic and spiritual sister," the Black Arts Movement. Black Fire: An Anthology of Afro-American Writing is a rare exception that documents and captures the social and cultural turmoil of the period. Amiri Baraka and Larry Neal, co-editors and contributors to this volume, saw Black Fire as a manifesto to bring about change in Black thought and action, generated from a Black aesthetic. Often considered the seminal work from the Black Arts Movement, Black Fire is a rich anthology and an extraordinary source document, presenting 178 selections of poetry, essays, short stories and plays from cultural critics, literary artists, and political leaders. Many of the contributors became prominent, nationally and internationally. Others receded into the cultural landscape, even before Black Fire's first publication in 1968. Included in this groundbreaking volume are the essays of John Henrik Clarke, Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael), Harold Cruse and A.B. Spellman; the poetry of Askia Toure, Sonia Sanchez, Gaston Neal, Stanley Crouch, Calvin C. Hernton, and surprisingly Sun Ra; the fiction of Julia Fields and drama from Ed Bullins. sixty-three additional contributors round out this comprehensive work.

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Contents

Reclaiming the Lost African Heritage
11
African Responses to Malcolm X
19
Revolutionary Nationalism and the AfroAmerican
39
Copyright

68 other sections not shown

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About the author (2007)

Amiri Baraka was born Everett LeRoi Jones on October 7, 1934, in Newark, New Jersey. He went to college at New York University and Howard University. After serving in the Air Force for more than two years, he was dishonorably discharged for reading communist texts. He attended graduate school at Columbia University and became involved in the Beat scene. In 1958, he founded the poetry magazine Yugen. He changed his name after the 1965 assassination of Malcolm X. He founded the Black Arts Repertory Theatre and School and led the Black Arts Movement, an aesthetic sibling to the Black Panthers. In 1964, Baraka's play, The Dutchman, won an Obie Award for Best American play and it was adapted into a film in 1967. His other plays include The Black Mass, The Toilet, and The Slave. His collections of poetry include Black Art, Black Magic, Home: Social Essays, and Preface to a Twenty-Volume Suicide Note. He received several awards during his lifetime including a PEN/Faulkner Award, a Rockefeller Foundation Award for Drama, and the Langston Hughes Award from City College of New York. In 1980, he began teaching at the State University of New York-Stony Brook, retiring from its African Studies department in 1994. He also taught at Rutgers University, George Washington University, Yale University, San Francisco State University, Columbia University, and the New School for Social Research. In 2002, he was named New Jersey's second poet laureate, but soon afterward became the center of a controversy concerning his 9/11 poem Somebody Blew Up America. He died after weeks of failing health on January 9, 2014 at the age of 79.

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