The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
Amiri Baraka, the New Jersey poet laureate whose works were celebrated by blacks but often condemned by Jews, has died.
Baraka’s writings, lectures and poetry brought him national renown beginning in the 1960s, and the one-time black nationalist was celebrated by many African Americans as a voice of the disenfranchised. He was a winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award. But Baraka, who died Thursday at age 79, also could be hateful.
In September 2002, not long after he was named the poet laureate of New Jersey, Baraka penned a poem called “Somebody Blew Up America” that suggested Israel knew in advance about the 9/11 attacks. He wrote, “Who knew the World Trade Center was gonna get bombed/Who told 4000 Israeli workers at the Twin Towers/To stay home that day/Why did Sharon stay away?”
The poem prompted calls for Baraka’s dismissal as New Jersey’s poet laureate, including by then-governor James McGreevey. Baraka refused. After it became clear that there was no way to force him to resign, New Jersey’s legislature voted in 2003 to eliminate the position entirely.
Baraka was born Everett Leroy Jones in Newark, N.J., in 1934. He later attended Howard University, but was expelled from the historically black college he derided as “an employment agency” where “they teach you to pretend to be white,” according to The New York Times.
After spending several years in the Air Force, Baraka moved to New York, joined the beatniks and began writing, publishing his first major book, “Blues People,” in 1963. He won acclaim the following year for his play “Dutchman,” about a white woman who stabs a black man to death aboard a subway train while the passengers sit idly by.
As his radicalism grew and he became a black nationalist, Baraka left his wife and two daughters because he believed that being married to a white woman was wrong, according to the Times.
In a book published in 1969, Baraka wrote, “Smile, jew. Dance, jew. Tell me you love me, jew,” and, “I got the extermination blues, jewboys. I got the hitler syndrome figured.”
Baraka continued to inspire and outrage over the ensuing decades, mixing teaching with activism. When Rutgers University denied Baraka tenure in 1990, he called members of its English department Nazis and Klansmen.
Baraka is survived by four sons and four daughters, according to the Times; another daughter, Shani Baraka, was murdered in 2003 by the estranged husband of her half-sister.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Erdan is set to be sworn in as the new Minister of Internal Security, Strategic Affairs and Advocacy.
Effort to depose Rabbi Riskin are revenge against his positions and halachic decisions.
Appointing Gold, a strong right-winger, is a clear message to the Obama administration that Israel’s fed up with its illusions.
Hareidi Jews dance as they celebrates the end of Jewish holiday of Shavuot at the Kotel in Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday night (and that was after just 2 days, imagine how they danced in Galus after three!).
The terrorist organization also copied the Israeli phrase that Jerusalem always will be “undivided.”
Two cops who ordered a pizza vomited instead of getting high.
The terrorist organization’s “exposé” to a friendly Lebanese newspaper also is justification for the IDF to bomb human shields.
“You shall not take a bribe, for bribery blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts just words.” Deuteronomy 16:19
Actress and comedienne Meara Stiller died on Saturday at age 85.
Hezbollah terror chief Hassan Nasrallah is getting very scared of Islamic State’s advances.
Between June 2014 and April 2015, the suspects habitually hurled rocks and firebombs into a number of Jewish-owned homes and facilities in A-Tur.
Nobel Prize winner John Nash (86) and his wide Alicia Nash (82) were killed in a car crash on Saturday night in New Jersey.
More than 20 cars and buildings in a Jewish community in north London were vandalized with swastikas. The Nazi symbol was drawn on approximately 27 cars in the Osbaldeston Road area of Stoke Newington on Sunday night, The Daily Mail reported. An unnamed 32-year-old man was arrested in connection with the vandalism Tuesday. The neighborhood […]
New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind called on the Jewish community to attend the funeral of an assassinated New York police officer. “The brave men and women of the NYPD risk their lives every day to protect us. We value them and stand with them,” Hikind, a Democrat who represents Brooklyn, said in a statement […]
“Move Jew” scrawled on a Philadelphia home and slurs written on a synagogue and 10 garages in Chicago.
Cuba has “the largest pool of untapped baseball talent in the world, and Major League Baseball may tap and leave Cuba dry.
Argentina’s president Christina Fernandez has accepted an official Jewish godson for the first time in the country’s history to help counter legend of death to a seventh son. She described in seven tweets her meeting with her new godson, Yair Tawil, a member of a Chabad-Lubavitch family. He was adopted as a godson under a […]
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/antisemitic-black-poet-amiri-baraka-dies/2014/01/11/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: