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The Newark Experience

Amiri Baraka

Thinking About Amiri Baraka: Tributes/Resources/Remembrances/Video. From Harriet, The Poetry Foundation's blog for poetry and related news.

The Baraka Family in Newark

database contains streaming videos We Came and Stayed: Coyt Jones/Ras Baraka
Video mingling an interview with Coyt Jones, the father of poet and activist Leroi Jones/Amiri Baraka, from the 1990s with an interview with his grandson, Ras Baraka, the current mayor of Newark. Jones came to Newark from South Carolina in 1927. From The Newest Americans a project of the Rutgers University-Newark Department of Arts, Culture and Media.

Baraka and Newark

Home Rules: An Interview with Amiri Baraka
Van Gosse. Radical History Review 87, Fall 2003, pp. 109-126.
Compilation from from a series of interviews conducted with Amiri Baraka at his house in Newark between January and April 2002.
"The Proprioceptive Probe": Amiri Baraka's New Ark in Tales and Tales of the Out and the Gone
Ozge Ozbek Akiman. College Literature 51(1), Winter 2024, pp. 1-28
"Amiri Baraka reimagines his hometown, Newark, as a mythical New Ark in his fiction, Tales (1967) and the Tales of the Out and the Gone (2007), as a symbolic source wherefrom Black people reinvent themselves." Rutgers-restricted Access
"That's Where Sarah Vaughn Lives": Amiri Baraka, Newark, and the Landscape and Soundscape of Black Modernity
James Smethurst. Africology: The Journal of Pan African Studies 11(6), April 2018, pp. 247-254.
"For most of Baraka’s career as expressed through many genres and media of art in which he work, the arc of black life and art in Newark traced the arc of black modernity and the black revolutionary tradition."
"What Really Happened with LeRoi Jones in Newark"
Ronald Porambo. The Realist 82, September 1968, pp. 5-10, 14.Available?

Amiri Baraka and the Black Power Movement in Newark

National Conference on Black Power
The National Conference on Black Power was held in Newark in July of 1967. Background, a video clip, and some archival documents from RiseUp North.
Amiri Baraka and the Congress of African People: History and Memory
Michael Simanga. New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
"The Congress of African People (CAP) was an important Black Power organization formed in 1970 and led by the activist poet Amiri Baraka. It made significant contributions to the Black Liberation Movement throughout the 70s as a leading organization in the National Black Political Convention, the National Black Assembly, African Liberation Day, the African Liberation Support Committee and the Black Women's United Front." Available?
The Making of the New Ark: Imamu Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), the Newark Congress of African People, and the Modern Black Convention Movement: A History of the Black Revolt and the New Nationalism, 1966-1976 Rutgers-restricted access
Komozi Woodard. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Pennsylvania, 1991. Available?
A Nation Within a Nation: Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) and Black Power Politics.
Komozi Woodard. Chapel Hill, Univeconrsity of North Carolina Press, 1999.
Examines the black power movement of the 1960s and 1970s as exemplified by the Modern Black Convention Movement led by Amiri Baraka. In Newark, this movement led to the development of a number of organizations, including the Committee for a Unified NewArk (CFUN), which later became the Newark chapter of the Congress of African People (CAP). Documents the black and Puerto Rican alliance that led to the election of Newark's first black mayor, Kenneth Gibson, in 1970. Available?
"It's Nation Time in NewArk: Amiri Baraka and the Black Power Experiments in Newark, New Jersey,"
Komozi Woodard. IN Freedom North: Black Freedom Struggles Outside the South, 1940-1980. Edited by Jeanne Theoharis and Komozi Woodard. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003, pp. 287-311. Available?
"Message from the Grassroots: The Black Power Experiment in Newark, New Jersey"
Komozi Woodard. IN Groundwork: Local Black Freedom Movements in America. Edited by Jeanne Theoharis and Komozi Woodard. New York University Press, 2005. Chapter 3, pp. 76-96.
"CFUN's [Committee for a Unified NewArk] work in Newark proved that a local organization could unleash creative ideas and energies at the grassroots level and use self-determination to redefine urban space..." Available?
They Punched Black: Martial Arts, Black Arts, and Sports in the Urban North and West, 1968-1979
Maryam Aziz. Journal of African American History 106(2), March, 2021, pp. 304-327.
"Martial artistry was an important aspect of Black Power organizing in the 1960s and 1970s. Organizations trained children and adults in martial arts in Black independent schools as well as in evening and weekend classes. By examining martial arts within the Committee for Unified Newark and the Black Panther Party in Oakland, this article focuses on how martial arts, as both athletics and arts, complicate our understanding of the strategies used to challenge political, artistic, and educational institutions." Rutgers-restricted Access
"'The Laboratory of Democracy': Construction Industry Racism in Newark and the Limits of Liberalism,"
IN Black Power at Work: Community Control, Affirmative Action, and the Construction Industry. Ithaca, N.Y., ILR Press/Cornell University Press, 2010.
On June 3, 1963, 200 protesters organized by the Newark Coordinating Committee (NCC) clashed with about 200 mostly white construction workers at the construction site for the new Barringer High School. The "protest represented the opening salvo in a prolonged struggle in which civil rights activists experimented with proto-Black Power strategies." Available?
We Are An African People: Independent Education, Black Power, and the Radical Imagination
Russell John Rickford. New York, Oxford University Press, 2016.
Examines the history of the Pan African nationalist private schools, including Baraka's Africa Free School, that appeared in the 1960s and 1970s. "Organizers of the schools saw formal education as a means of creating a vanguard of young activists devoted to the struggle for black political sovereignty throughout the world." Available?
Whatever Happened to the Chad School: An Institution of Educational Excellence?
Kinaya C. Sokoya interview with former Chad School administrator Babatu Y. Olubayo. The Chad School was an independent Black educational institution in Newark that was established and supported by the Black Youth Organization.
Amiri Baraka Discusses the United Brothers and Committee For Unified Newark (CFUN)
Clip from Baraka interview in which he discusses the formation of the United Brothers and Committee for Unified Newark. Courtesy of the Henry Hampton Collection, Washington University Libraries.
United Brothers of Newark Present Stokeley Carmichal
Poster for event at Central High on April 26, 1968.
The Black City: Remembering Newark in the Era of Black Power
Emma Hulse. Senior Thesis (History), Columbia University, 2009.
History of the Black Power movement in Newark based on interviews with Black Power activists.
"Return of the Native: Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), the New Nationalism, and Black Power Politics"
Cedric Johnson. IN Revolutionaries to Race Leaders: Black Power and the Making of African American Politics. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 2007, pp.42- Available?
The Baraka Film Archive: The Lost, Unmade, and Unseen Film Work of LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka
Whitney Strub, Black Camera 7(1), 2015, pp. 273-287. Rutgers-restricted access
"New-Ark and the Emergence of Pragmatic Nationalism"
Jeffy Gafio Watts. IN Amiri Baraka: The Politics and Art of a Black Intellectual. New York, New York University Press, 2001. Available?
Papa Doc Baraka: Fascism in Newark.
Costas Axios and Nikos Syvriotis. Including a special appendix: "Why the CIA Often Succeeds" by Hermyle Golthier. New York, National Caucus of Labor Committees, 1973.
Part of Lyndon LaRouche's National Caucus of Labor Committees' anti-Baraka campaign. The NCLC was convinced that Baraka was a CIA agent. Cover graphic. Available?
Amiri Baraka, From Black Arts to Black Radicalism.
The Black Power Movement, Part 1. Bethesda, MD, University Publications of America, 2000. 9 microfilm reels.
9 reels of Baraka materials from the collection of Dr. Komozi Woodard. Includes organizational records, print publications, articles, poems, plays, and speeches by Baraka, some personal correspondance, and oral histories spanning 1960 to 1988. A guide to the collection is available online.
Available at the Newark Public Library: N.J. Ref. 323.1196073 B617 pt. 1
Strategic Blackface: Re-Deploying American Minstrelsy From Black Arts to #BlackLivesMatter
Steven Keary Watts. (Ph.D. Thesis), Northwestern University, 2023.
"This dissertation theorizes the relation between blackface minstrelsy and contemporary Black performance...The first chapter develops the concept of “strategic re-deployment” by reconstructing a production of Amiri Baraka’s JELLO that took place during the Newark Uprising of July 1967. The chapter shows how strategic engagement with blackface minstrelsy was already a tool in the arsenal of Black Power, and how Baraka takes up the practice to direct political action at the community level during a particularly violent period of anti-blackness in Newark."Rutgers -restricted Access
Brick City Vanguard: Amiri Baraka, Black Music, Black Modernity
James Edward Smethurst. Amherst, University of Massachusetts Press, 2020.
"The focus considering how Baraka’s writing on and actual performance with music proposes an influential model of the creation of an African American people or nation, and the growth and consolidation of a black working class within that nation with important ties with other working- class sectors outside the black nation." Rutgers-restricted Access
LeRoi Jones, Tramp with Connections
Mary Diane Dippold. (Ph.D. Thesis) University of Maryland, 1971. Available?
Resounding Blackness: The Black Transnational Aesthetic of Amiri Baraka
Peter Thomas Clavin. (Ph.D. Thesis) State University of New York at Buffalo, 2019.
"This dissertation explores the transnational legacy of activist, playwright, and poet Amiri Baraka." Rutgers-restricted Access
Imamu Amiri Baraka: Galleys to an Unpublished Work
Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. "This item consists of galleys to an unpublished work on the 1967 Newark riots by Amiri Baraka (1934-2014) to have been published by Howard University Press. It is the setting copy with printer's and editorial notes."


In Motion: Amiri Baraka. 1983 documentary. Also on DVD: Available?


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