Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

A Tribute to Amiri Baraka

Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

A Tribute to Amiri Baraka

Article excerpt

Adilah Barnes is an award-winning actor of stage, television and film. Her numerous television and film credits include five seasons on Roseanne, Erin Brockovich opposite Julia Roberts, Iron-Jawed Angels portraying Ida B. Wells, and the popular tv series, The Middle. Her one-woman play, I Am That I Am: Woman, Black has toured 40 states and three continents. Her book, On My Own Terms: One Actor's Journey was named #3 in June 2009 in Essence Magazine behind President Obama's two books. She is proprietor of The Writer's Well, an international literary retreat for women in Georgia and she has hosted the BlakeRadio internet show, Adilah. She co-founded the Los Angeles Women's Theatre Festival that is now celebrating their 24th Anniversary. Adilah is also an acting coach who has taught actors from youth to budding actors to celebrities that include Toni Braxton, Jada Pinkett, Kym Whitley, Florence LaRue, Freda Payne and many more. Her many awards include the 2016 Hall of Fame induction in her hometown of Oroville, California.

The tumultuous 60's

This was the era that rocked America off its axis

A time of national revolution

Watts

Burn, baby, burn

A call to social justice

Free Huey P. Newton

Seize the time

All power to the people

Black is beautiful

This volatile backdrop left its mark on the Black Theatre scene

It seems like it was only yesterday

When the Black Arts Movement was on fire

Sizzling with voices that could not be extinguished

LeRoi Jones

Later to liberate himself and become known as

Amiri Baraka

Amiri Baraka was at the helm of our

Black Arts Movement

With his unapologetic voice

Fearless/

In your face/

Thought-provoking/

Shocking/

Controversial/

That was him

Dutchman

Yes, Clay and Lula on that train

The Slave

Walker, Grace and Bradford

The Baptism

Boy and The Homosexual

The Toilet

A full cast of characters

And so many more

Baraka was joined by comrade playwrights of the day whose voices also demanded to be heard

Roll call

Askia Toure

Marvin X

Ed Bullins

Charles Fuller

Ben Caldwell

Sonia Sanchez

Douglas Turner Ward

Adrienne Kennedy

Charles Gordone

Paul Carter Harrison

Salimu

And spoken word artists like

Gil Scott Heron

The revolution will not be televised

and The Last Poets

Including Umar

and the list goes on

and on and on

They paved the way

For those who came later

Ntozake Shange

August Wilson

George C. …

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