A Tribute to Amiri Baraka.

Author:Barnes, Adilah

The tumultuous 60's This was the era that rocked America off its axis A time of national revolution Watts Burn, baby, burn A call to social justice Free Huey P. Newton Seize the time All power to the people Black is beautiful This volatile backdrop left its mark on the Black Theatre scene It seems like it was only yesterday When the Black Arts Movement was on fire Sizzling with voices that could not be extinguished LeRoi Jones Later to liberate himself and become known as Amiri Baraka Amiri Baraka was at the helm of our Black Arts Movement With his unapologetic voice Fearless/ In your face/ Thought-provoking/ Shocking/ Controversial/ That was him Dutchman Yes, Clay and Lula on that train The Slave Walker, Grace and Bradford The Baptism Boy and The Homosexual The Toilet A full cast of characters And so many more Baraka was joined by comrade playwrights of the day whose voices also demanded to be heard Roll call Askia Toure Marvin X Ed Bullins Charles Fuller Ben Caldwell Sonia Sanchez Douglas Turner Ward Adrienne Kennedy Charles Gordone Paul Carter Harrison Salimu And spoken word artists like Gil Scott Heron The revolution will not be televised and The Last Poets Including Umar and the list goes on and on and on They paved the way For those who came later Ntozake Shange August Wilson George C. Wolfe Suzan-Lori Parks and so many more I pay homage to our literary elders of the 60's who stood on the shoulders of those who came before them Each one, teach one Langston Hughes Alice Childress Lorraine Hansberry and so many more What a proud legacy...

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