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A Symposium

1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Browsing Room
Founders Library
500 Howard Place NW

No registration necessary
Open to the public

A scholarly examination of Amiri Baraka’s literary and cultural legacies.


Dana Williams, PhD 

(Dr. Williams will introduce the panels and panelists, and discuss her findings regarding the Amiri Baraka holdings at the MSRC)

PANEL I: (View the Video)

Sandra ShannonSandra Shannon, PhD   
“Baraka, Black Ethos, and the Black Arts Movement”



Shana Morgan Kirlew, PhD 
Claiming Space: Amiri Baraka's Fight
in the Art of Anthologizing and the Science of Editing"


Jennifer JordanJennifer Jordan, PhD   
"Baraka and the Evolution of the Black Aesthetic"


 PANEL II: (View the Video)

Meta Jones

Meta DuEwa Jones, PhD
"Amiri Baraka’s Poetry:
For the Time Being and For All Times"


Greg CarrDr. Greg Carr, PhD 
"Changing Sames: The Blue Notes of Amiri Baraka's Political Ark"


PLENARY ADDRESS (View the Video)

Eleanor TraylorEleanor Traylor, PhD
"Amiri Baraka:
The Voice of a Generation"


For More Information, Contact

Dr. Dana Williams
(202) 806-6730



Media Sponsors of 



 WPFW 89.3 WHUR 96.3


View a copy of the Program from the Baraka Tribute Event.  Click here.




MARCH 22, 2014

  OCTOBER 7, 1934  -- JANUARY 9, 2014

"Amiri Baraka was a brother for all seasons, one of America’s most extraordinary Renaissance men."

On Saturday, March 22, 2014, Howard University’s Moorland-Spingarn Research Center (MSRC), Department of English, and Department of Afro-American Studies will present a symposium and commemorative program titled

Celebrating the Life and Work
of the L
ate Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones

Amiri Baraka was a man whose poetry, plays, essays, criticism, and activism challenged the boundaries of contemporary American thought and action.

Baraka, who died on January 9, 2014, at the age of 79, attended Howard as an undergraduate in the 1950s.

He became one of America’s most renowned and prolific writers, producing 27 published books of poetry, drama, music and literary criticism, political analysis and commentary, social justice theory, biography, and autobiography.

Baraka's ties to Howard University spanned six decades. He frequently lectured, read, and performed on Howard’s campus, educated all of his children here, and designated the MSRC as the repository of his archival papers and memorabilia.

A native of Newark, New Jersey, Baraka was also one of Black America’s most outspoken political writers, thinkers, and activists. He was active in both the Black Nationalist and Black Power movements, but helped to forge meaningful coalitions between moderate and radical factions within the African American and world communities.

Inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, he was recognized and celebrated for his vast knowledge and uncommon intellect, yet he remained firmly grounded in the African American vernacular tradition and faithful to his Black cultural allegiances.

According to the co-producers of the March 22nd tribute program—MSRC and HU Library System (HULS) director Howard Dodson, veteran cultural events planner Karen Spellman, and HULS communications specialist D. Kamili Anderson

“Amiri Baraka was a brother for all seasons, one of America’s most extraordinary Renaissance men. Howard University is delighted to preserve his papers and to celebrate the life and genius of this amazing African American icon.”  



Brought to you by:

The Moorland-Spingarn Research Center is one of the world’s largest repositories of archival materials attesting to the history and culture of African people in the Americas and globally. 


The Howard University Department of English has been home to some of the monumental forebears of Black literary expression and criticism, including Alain Locke, Sterling Brown, Arthur P. Davis, Toni Morrison, Paula Giddings, Houston Baker, and more.

The Howard University Department of Afro-American Studies, offering an interdisciplinary undergraduate curriculum focusing on the presence of Black social formations in the Western Hemisphere, serves over 1,000 students per academic year.



View the Recorded Program
Click Here!

An Evening of Tribute
& Celebration

6:00 p.m.

Cramton Auditorium
2455 Sixth St NW

Free and open to the public

Live Poetry, Music, Drama, Commentary, and
Multimedia Presentations

•  Actor Danny Glover reading from Baraka's work and other distinguished actors in scenes from Baraka's The Dutchman and The Book of Monk, directed by Woodie King Jr.

Danny GloverWoodie King Jr.
Craig Harris

Scenes from Keep Your Razor Sharp, a musical celebrating Baraka’s Blues People, featuring jazz trombonist Craig Harris and his band

• Performances by jazz vocalist René Marie; drummer Obalaji Baraka, Amiri's eldest son; and Abiodun Oyewole of The Last Poets

Rene Marie
The Last Poets
Tom Porter James Early

Commentary on Baraka’s politics: activists Tom Porter James Early

Sonia Sanchez
Haki Madhubuti
A. B. Spellman
Eugene Redmond
Tony Medina
Jessica Care Moore



    Guest Poets
       & Artists:


• Sonia Sanchez

• Haki Madhubuti

• A. B. Spellman

• Eugene Redmond

• Tony Medina

• jessica Care moore


Guest Performance by:

The Howard University Jazztet 

Howard U Jazztet

and More... Stay Tuned!


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