May 29th 2010
Amiri Baraka is the author of the insightful and comprehensive book, Blue’s People. It is a book that has opened many minds and readers to the African American Diaspora along with the history and roots of African American music. Baraka has now published a new book of essays titled, Digging (The Afro-American Soul of American Classical Music). He is the author of over 40 books on poems, plays, essays, drama and importantly, the founder of the Black Arts Movement of Harlem in 1960, which became the blueprint for new American Theater aesthetics. He has taught at Columbia, Yale and the State University of New York and is the State Poet Laureate of New Jersey.
Amiri Baraka has a unique and remarkable understanding of African American culture and history, but with his new book, Digging, he has written a book where his inability to overcome a racial bitterness, clouds his capacity to exercise his wisdom in support of the very culture he is trying to honor. What’s more, race is the one issue that needs to be discussed in America but clearly people are afraid of being misunderstood, afraid of being mistaken as racist, or even accused of reverse racism. But let us first identify the definition of racism, which is; “Hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.” Further more, we also need to understand that the term “reverse racism” has an inherent racist disposition. Racism has its own identity and needs no further discerning explanation.