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Baraka, Imamu Amiri

Born: 1934 AD
Currently alive, at 82 years of age.
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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.