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Amiri Baraka / LeRoi Jones Collection (1961 - 1984)
RepositoryNewark Public Library, Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center
Collection IDMG Baraka
Size0.42 linear ft. (1 box)
Collection Description
Amiri Baraka, born Everett LeRoi Jones in Newark in 1934, is the author of over 40 books of poetry, essays, drama, and music history and criticism. In 1958, he founded and co-edited the avant-garde literary magazine "Yugen," with Hettie Jones, his first wife; in the same year he founded Totem Press, which first published works by Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and others. In 1968, his play "Home on the Range" was performed as a benefit for the Black Panther Party, and he became a Muslim, changing his name to Imamu Amiri Baraka. From 1968 to 1975, Baraka was chairman of the Committee for Unified Newark, a black united front organization. In 1974 Baraka adopted a Marxist-Leninist philosophy and dropped the spiritual title "Imamu." Baraka published an autobiography in 1984.
Collection Contents
The collection consists of 2 folders of photocopies of articles and clippings relating to Amiri Baraka (1964-1984), "A Checklist to Primary and Secondary Sources Related to Amiri Baraka" (1971), and 18 folders of printed material. The printed material consists largely of writings of Baraka published by the Newark-based Jihad Productions and other publishers, and material by others published by Jihad Productions.

Items by Amiri Baraka include: "The Dead Lecturer" (1964), "Afro-Arts," an anthology with works by Baraka and others (1966), "Spirit Reach" (1972), "Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note...." (1961),

"A Black Value System" (1969), "Tales by LeRoi Jones" (1967), "Home: Social Essays" (1966), "Toward the Creation of Political Institutions for All African Peoples" (1972), "Strategy and Tactics of a Pan African Nationalist Party" (1971), and "Kawaida Studies: The New Nationalism" (1972).

Other Newark-related material in the collection includes: "The First Militant Preacher" written by Ben Caldwell during the mid-1960s when Caldwell resided in Newark; and Jihad Productions publications, not by Baraka, including "Cabral on Nkrumah" ( 1972), "The Cricket: Black Music in Evolution" (1969), "Mwanamke Mwananchi" (The Nationalist Woman) by Mumininas of the Committee for Unified NewArk (1971), "Ujamaa -- The Basis of African Socialism," by Mwalimu Nyerere, 'The Political Leader Considered as the Representative of a Culture," by Ahmed Sekou Toure, and "Soul Session: Anthology of the B.C.D." (1969).
FormatTextual materials
SubjectsAfrican-American History / Civil Rights; Literature / Authors; Theater / Performing Arts
Time Period20th Century
Access policyOpen for research
Finding AidYes
Finging Aid URL