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The Newark Experience: Amiri Baraka & the Black Power Movement

Amiri Baraka

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

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.
"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?


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

Baraka On...

database contains streaming videos Amiri Baraka On Art & Politics
Baraka speaking at Binghamton University, April 20, 2004.
Strategy and Tactics of a Pan African Nationalist Party
Newark, National Involvement, CFUN. 1972.
"Toward the Creation of Political Institutions for all African Peoples,"
Black World October 1972, 54-78. Rutgers-restricted Access
Ideological Statement of the Congress of African Peoples
IN African Congress: A Documentary of the First Modern Pan-African Congress. New York, NY., William Morrow and Co., Inc., 1972, pp.107-111. Available? Rutgers-restricted Access
National Liberation and Politics
Newark, N.J., Congress of African People, 1974. Rutgers-restricted Access
Congress of Afrikan People on the Afro-American National Question: The Black Nation.
Newark, N.J., 1975. Rutgers-restricted Access
"Newark Seven Years Later: ¡Unidad Y Lucha!"
Monthly Review 26(8), Jan. 1975, pp. 16-24. Available?
PRRWO and RWL: Not a "Revolutionary Wing," But a Dangerous Duo.
Newark, N.J., Revolutionary Communist League, 1976. Available?
"Ten Years Later: Newark/Detroit"
IN Daggers and Javelins: Essays, 1974-1979. New York, NY, William Morrow and Co. Inc., 1984, pp. 110-121. Available?
Chapter 9: "Newark Before Black Men Conquered,"
IN Raise, Race, Rays, Raze: Essays Since 1965 New York, NY, Random House, 1971, pp. 59-81. Available? Rutgers-restricted Access
New Era in Our Politics: The Revolutionary Answer to Neo-Colonialism in Newark Politics.
Newark, NJ., Jihad Productions, 1974. Available? Rutgers-restricted Access

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, University 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?
"'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.
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
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."

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.


Amiri Baraka Papers, 1945-2014
Finding aid to the archival collection (219.5 linear feet) at Columbia University. The Amiri Barka Papers contains correspondence, writings, and the personal, political activism and teaching materials related to Amiri Baraka's career as a poet, writer, editor, activist, and teacher in the New York City Beat, Downtown, and Black Arts literary scenes from the 1960s through the 2000s. Included are manuscripts from Baraka's numerous books of poetry, non-fiction, fiction, plays, editorial work, and screenplays. The collection also features organizational and documentary materials relating to Baraka's university teaching and Newark, NJ-based black radical activism, as well as audio/visual material, photographs, and printed material collected and created by Baraka.
Amiri Baraka Papers
Howard University Collection (87.5 Cubic feet). The Amiri Baraka papers spans 1951-1988 and contains biographical information, writings by Baraka (including an original manuscript of The Autobiography of Leroi Jones and poems), journals, articles, clippings, books, memorabilia and research files.
Amiri Baraka/LeRoi Jones Collection (1961-1984)
Newark Public Library collection. The collection (1 box) consists of 2 folders of photocopies of articles and clippings relating to Amiri Baraka (1964-1984), "A Checklist to Primary and Secondary Sources Related to Amiri Baraka" (1971), and 18 folders of printed material. The printed material consists largely of writings of Baraka published by the Newark-based Jihad Productions and other publishers, and material by others published by Jihad Productions.
Amiri Baraka Collection of Playscripts (1964-1986)
Schomburg Center collection. Collection includes more than thirty plays and screenplays including such early works as "The Toilet" (1964) in addition to "Jello," "Slave Ship," and "S-1." Some of the scripts have been produced and published, but the collection also includes a number of un-produced and unpublished works. The collection consists of holographs scripts, some with the author's annotations and changes; typescripts; rehearsal scripts, some with changes; production files; and a photocopy of a galley.

Black Power Press

Putting the Black Ink Back into Print: Black Newark/Black New Art
Jennifer Caroccio Maldonado. New Jersey Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 8(1), Winter 2022, 34-49.
On the importance of Black Newark and the subsequent titles, for the history of Newark and the history of the Black Power movement.

Newark Black Newspapers Collection

Under the leadership of Leroi Jones / Amiri Baraka, the four newspapers in this collection – Black News, Black New Ark, Black Newark, and Unity and Struggle– were published between 1968 and 1979. The Newark Black Newspapers Collection is now digitized and searchable.

Detailed holdings:

Black Newark
Vol. 1 No. 1-3, April - November 1968

Black News
Published by: Black People of Newark
Vol.1 No.4 (1969)

Black New ark
Published by: Committee for Unified Newark
Vol. 1 No. 5 (April 1972) - Vol. 2 No. 14 (Dec. 1973) [Incomplete]

Unity and Struggle
Published by: Committee for Unified Newark
Vol. 3 No. 1 (Jan/Feb. 1974) - Vol. 8 No. 1/2 (Feb. 1979) [Incomplete]


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