Funeral Held for Activist Poet-Writer Amiri Baraka
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A cacophony of bagpipes, African drums and jazz riffs creatively blended— much like the elements of an Amiri Baraka poem — at the Saturday funeral for the activist-writer and a founder of the Black Arts Movement, who died earlier this month.
The service, held at Newark Symphony Hall, featured poetry, music and tributes to a man several speakers hailed as a creative and committed revolutionary who had a profound influence both on American culture and on a generation of artists and activists.
The 79-year-old author died Jan. 9 in his native Newark of an undisclosed illness. Baraka wrote blues-based poetry, essays, plays, and books and operas — or “boperas” as he called them — mixing music, spoken word and rhythm in a signature style that many credit as an important precursor to hip-hop, rap and slam poetry. He was inducted into the American Academy…
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