Amiri Baraka (1934-2014): Mean to Be Free

Greg Carr, Howard University


The life of Amiri Baraka (1934-2014) embodies the refusal to let others shape the memories, desires and destinies of African people, or to decide for us how to narrate or utilize our experiences in the long struggle for liberation and a fuller humanity beyond. In his physical absence, we are left to consider the creeping disappearance of first-rate Pan-African internationalist artists/organizers/thinkers as representative figures in Black (and non-Black) public spheres.