Michael S. Harper: About Amiri Baraka

In the mid-sixties, a growing disenchantment with American society as a whole coalesced in Mr. Baraka as a rejection of white America and any hopes he had harbored of building a truly multiracial nation. Mr. Baraka then focused his artistic efforts in and on the black community and became an active and adept politician as well. He has described his evolving position: "To understand that you are black in a society where black is an extreme liability is one thing, but to understand that it is the society that is lacking and impossibly deformed, and not yourself, isolates you even more." The poetry of Amiri Baraka can be by turns tender, angry, and funny, written in many different styles, tones, and techniques. It is a window into the rage of some mid-century blacks, particularly those of urban ghettoes, who have watched several social "movements" come and go without much substantive change.

From the "Introduction," to Every Shut Eye Ain’t Asleep. Copyright © 1994 by Michael S. Harper.


Criticism Overview
Title Michael S. Harper: About Amiri Baraka Type of Content Biographical
Criticism Author Michael S. Harper Criticism Target Amiri Baraka
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 06 Apr 2015
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication Every Shut Eye Ain't Asleep: An Anthology of Poetry by African Americans Since 1945
Printer Friendly PDF Version
Contexts No Data Tags No Data

Rate this Content

Item Type Biographical
Average Rating 0/100
Use the above slider to rate this item. You can only submit one rating per item, and your rating will be factored in to the item's popularity on our listings.

Share via Social Media