Home » Writers » Authors » Baraka, Imamu Amiri

Baraka, Imamu Amiri

Born: 1934 AD
Currently alive, at 81 years of age.
Nationality: American
Categories: Authors, Dramatist, Writers

American writer of poetry, drama, essays, and music criticism.


1934 – Born Everett LeRoi Jones on 7th of October in  Newark, New Jersey.


Studied Philosophy and Religious studies at Rutgers University, Columbia University, and Howard University.


1954 – Baraka joined the U.S. Air Force reaching the rank of sergeant.


1957 – Discharged from United States Air Force service and moved to New York’s Greenwich Village.


1958 – Founded Totem Press, which published such Beat icons as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.


1960-1963 –  Married Hettie Cohen and they became joint editor of the Yugen, a literary magazine.


1960 – Baraka went to Cuba, which initiated his transformation into a politically active artist.


1961 – Published the Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note.


1963 – Published by Blues People: Negro Music in White America.


1964 – His play, The Dutchman, premiered and the he won an Obie Award for it.


1967 – LeRoi Jones adopted the Arabic name, Imamu Amiri Baraka, which he later changed to Amiri Baraka.


         – Baraka became a lecturer at San Francisco State University.


1968 – Arrested in Newark, for illegally carrying a weapon.


1970 – He strongly supported Kenneth Gibson’s candidacy for mayor of Newark.


1979 – Became a lecturer at SUNY for its Africana Studies Department.


1984 – Baraka became a full professor.


1987 – He was a speaker at the commemoration ceremony for James Baldwin.


1989 – Won an American Book Award for his works as well as a Langston Hughes Award.


1990 – Co-authored the autobiography of Quincy Jones.


1998 – Baraka was a supporting actor as a griot in Warren Beatty’s film Bulworth.


2002 – The state of New Jersey made him poet laureate.