To Raise, Destroy, and Create: The Poetry, Drama, and Fiction of Imamu Amiri Baraka (Le Roi Jones)

By Henry C. Lacey | Go to book overview

the dramatic equivalent of the "raising" poems, is distinguished by the same exaggeratedly "spiritual" aura as those poems. In these works the writer seems to equate consciousness-raising with the necessity of restraint or stultification. After straining to reshape the degraded black man into the glorious "ancient image," Baraka seems to conclude suddenly that the image was never completely lost. He asserts that it is present in the tremendous energy of the black style and consequently attempts to infuse his works with this vital energy (compare the incessant movement of Slave Ship to the stylized manner of A Black Mass). The author perceives a spirituality or African continuity in the vigor of the popular dances of the day, as, for example, in his coingage "boogaloruba," an Africanization of the popular "boogaloo." As he asserts in In Our Terribleness, the soulful essence of black life shines brightly just under the veneer of urban depravity. The same message is rendered in even more compelling manner in the electrifying release of Slave Ship, Baraka's most ambitious play.


Notes
1
Larry Neal, "The Black Arts Movement," The Drama Review, XII, no. 4 ( Summer, 1968): 32.
2
Theodore Hudson, From Leroi Jones to Amiri Baraka ( Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1973), p. 21.
3
LeRoi Jones, "The Need for a Cultural Base to Civil Rites and Black Power Mooments," in The Black Power Revolt, ed: Floyd Barbour ( Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1968), p. 125.

-158-

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To Raise, Destroy, and Create: The Poetry, Drama, and Fiction of Imamu Amiri Baraka (Le Roi Jones)
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments v
  • Preface vii
  • Notes xii
  • Chapter I Die Schwartze Bohemien: "The Terrible Disorder of a Young Man" 1
  • Notes 40
  • Chapter II Joseph to His Brothers 43
  • Notes 91
  • Chapter III 93
  • Notes 158
  • Chapter IV Recapitulation 163
  • Notes 196
  • Selected Bibliography of Works by Baraka 198
  • Index 199
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