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In 1965, following the assassination of black Muslim leader Malcolm X, Baraka left Greenwich Village and the bohemian world and moved uptown to Harlem and a new life as a cultural nationalist. He argued in "The Legacy of Malcolm X, and the Coming of the Black Nation," (collected in Home) that "Black People are a race, a culture, a Nation." Turning his back on the white world, he established the Black Arts Repertory Theater School in Harlem, an influential model that inspired black theaters throughout the country. In 1967, he published his black nationalist collection of poetry, Black Magic, which traces his painful exit from the white world and his entry into blackness.


From the "Introduction," to The LeRoi Jones/ Amiri Baraka Reader. Copyright 1991 by William J. Harris