Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.
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.
Chairman Avner Shalev: Countries must combat “expressions of anti-Semitism”
Israeli leaders say London has special responsibility to stand by Israel at this hour of need; Hammond: Israel right to defend self.
Finance, Economy ministries team up to support Israeli businesses struggling under weight of non-stop rocket fire.
Mrs. Beck took personal interest and was hands-on, sharing with her children, grandchildren, and others the wonderful values that she stood for.
Overnight clash leads dozens of Islamic heroes to surrender; many brought to Shin Bet for debriefing
Jewish communities from around the world have stepped up to support children from southern Israel who have lived their entire lives under the threat of missile attacks from Hamas freedom fighters in Gaza. (To quote the late comedian George Carlin: If firefighters fight fire, and crime fighters fight crime… what do freedom fighters fight? But […]
As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.
Did the U.S. allow Hamas terrorists rule Israel’s skies? Why would the Obama administration do that?
The IDF has reportedly stabilized its lines and is now focusing on mapping out and destroying the terror tunnels they have uncovered.
Hamas terrorists are counting on human shields as ammunition against Israel. It won’t stop the IDF, Netanyahu says.
The Iron Dome team was busy Thursday with a dozen missiles fired at metro Tel Aviv.
IDF troops destroyed another 34 targets overnight, totaling 3,400 terrorist targets hit in Operation Protective Edge so far.
A law is on the table to strip parliamentarians of their status and citizenship if they back and endorse terrorism — as Balad MK Hanin Zoabi has.
2:22pm Yad Mordechai, Netiv Ha’Asara 2:04pm Ashkelon, Ashdod 2:02pm Kiryat Gat, Gedera 2:01pm Zikkim, Karmiya, Be’er Tuvia, Kiryat Malachi 12:30pm Netivot, Kfar Maimon and surrounds 11:35am Sderot and surrounds 11:18am metro Tel Aviv, Ramat Hasharon, Herzliya 10:59am Bnei Brak, Ramat Gan, Bat Yam, Holon, Elad, Petach Tikvah, metro Tel Aviv 10:58am Gan Sorek, Rishon Lezion, […]
A chief rabbi of the Netherlands said unidentified individuals hurled stones at his home in what he said was the second anti-Semitic attack on him in a week. Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs said the latest attack took place at 5 a.m. Thursday, when two stones were hurled through a window of his home in Amersfoort. An earlier incident outside his home […]
Wave of anti-Semitic graffiti, physical attacks spreads, this time to University of Oregon
Police in Berlin say about 1,000 demonstrators, most of them Palestinian, held an unregistered march protesting Israel’s actions in Gaza. Up to ten demonstrators were arrested for breach of the peace and for trying to forcibly free others already arrested in Saturday’s melee, a police spokesperson said. Rocks were thrown during the disturbance and a police officer was struck but […]
Leftists talk “peace” in Tel Aviv, but Arab family won’t accept condolence visit from Peres
38 year old man beaten with metal bars; Third of Malmö residents from Muslim-majority countries
A Jewish-Muslim family from Syria escaped from the country’s civil war to Israel.
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: