Amiri Baraka 1

I’m trying to make the poems as musical as I can – from the inception. So that whether they’re read on the page, or people read them aloud, or I read them aloud, the musicality will be kind of a given.
Amiri Baraka

As a political artist, I think you have to learn how to create art, no matter what your ideology is.
Amiri Baraka

I was Everett LeRoi Jones. My grandfather’s name was Everett.
Amiri Baraka

You have to get an individual who’s willing to actually struggle with the system to change it. As long as you have people who – to make substantive changes, to make infrastructure changes.
Amiri Baraka

I’m fully conscious all the time that I’m an American Negro, because it’s part of my life. But I also know that if I want to say, ‘I see a bus full of people,’ I don’t have to say, ‘I am a Negro seeing a bus full of people.’
Amiri Baraka

America is as much a black country as a white one. The lives and destinies of the white American are bound up inextricably with those of the black American.
Amiri Baraka

I came to my Marxist view as a result of having struggled as a nationalist and found certain dead ends theoretically and ideologically, as far as nationalism was concerned, and had to reach out for a communist ideology.
Amiri Baraka

There will be, and should be, reams and reams of analysis, even praise, for our friend but also even larger measures of non-analysis and, certainly, condemnation for James Baldwin, the Negro writer.
Amiri Baraka

Alas, we have not yet the power to render completely sterile or make impossible the errors and lies which will merely be America being itself rather than its unconvincing promise.
Amiri Baraka

Spike Lee is part of a retrograde movement in this country.
Amiri Baraka

We should understand the impact that Malcolm had on the whole of American society.
Amiri Baraka

Mao Zedong was a revolutionary. He made a revolution.
Amiri Baraka

My own thinking has evolved. You find Africanisms in American speech. You find an African influence on United States culture. There are all kinds of Africanisms in America, as you would expect, if you really thought about it… That whole thing is much broader; the influence is much broader than I first understood.
Amiri Baraka

When I was saying, ‘White people go to hell,’ I never had trouble finding a publisher. But when I say, ‘Black and white unite and fight, destroy capitalism,’ then you suddenly become unreasonable.
Amiri Baraka

Jimmy Baldwin was the creator of contemporary American speech even before Americans could dig that. He created it so we could speak to each other at unimaginable intensities of feeling, so we could make sense to each other at yet higher and higher tempos.
Amiri Baraka

Jimmy Baldwin was not only a writer, an international literary figure: he was a man, spirit, voice – old and black and terrible as that first ancestor.
Amiri Baraka

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