Black Arts Movement

Discussion in 'Glossary Term of the Day' started by MsJacquiiC, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. MsJacquiiC

    Poetica Magnifique Staff Member
    Jun 8, 2006
    The Black Arts Movement or BAM is the artistic branch of the Black Power movement. It was conceived of and promoted by writer and activist Amiri Baraka (born Everett LeRoi Jones) in the mid-1960s.

    Its constellation of writers, performers, and artists included Nikki Giovanni, Jay Wright, Larry Neal, and Sonia Sanchez. <span class="f-bold">“We want a black poem. And / a Black World. / Let the world be a Black Poem,” </span>writes Baraka (then LeRoi Jones) in his poem <span class="f-bold">“Black Art”</span> which served as a de facto manifesto for the movement.

    [ame=""]Amiri Baraka reads Black Art - YouTube[/ame]

    The Black Arts Movement practitioners were energized by a desire to confront white power structures and assert an African American cultural identity. Its aims were community-minded as well as artistic; during its heyday, hundreds of Afrocentric repertory theater companies, public art projects, and publishing ventures were organized throughout the United States.

    Time magazine describes the Black Arts Movement as the "single most controversial moment in the history of African-American literature – possibly in American literature as a whole." The Black Arts Repertory Theatre is a key institution of the Black Arts Movement.

    [FIELDSET="Black Art by Amiri Baraka"]Poems are bullshit unless they are
    teeth or trees or lemons piled
    on a step. Or black ladies dying
    of men leaving nickel hearts
    beating them down. Fuck poems
    and they are useful, wd they shoot
    come at you, love what you are,
    breathe like wrestlers, or shudder
    strangely after pissing. We want live
    words of the hip world live flesh &
    coursing blood. Hearts Brains
    Souls splintering fire. We want poems
    like fists beating niggers out of Jocks
    or dagger poems in the slimy bellies
    of the owner-jews. Black poems to
    smear on girdlemamma mulatto bitches
    whose brains are red jelly stuck
    between 'lizabeth taylor's toes. Stinking
    Whores! we want "poems that kill."
    Assassin poems, Poems that shoot
    guns. Poems that wrestle cops into alleys
    and take their weapons leaving them dead
    with tongues pulled out and sent to Ireland. Knockoff
    poems for dope selling wops or slick halfwhite
    politicians Airplane poems, rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
    rrrrrrrrrrrrrrr . . .tuhtuhtuhtuhtuhtuhtuhtuhtuhtuh
    . . .rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr . . . Setting fire and death to
    whities ass. Look at the Liberal
    Spokesman for the jews clutch his throat
    & puke himself into eternity . . . rrrrrrrr
    There's a negroleader pinned to
    a bar stool in Sardi's eyeballs melting
    in hot flame Another negroleader
    on the steps of the white house one
    kneeling between the sheriff's thighs
    negotiating coolly for his people.
    Aggh . . . stumbles across the room . . .
    Put it on him, poem. Strip him naked
    to the world! Another bad poem cracking
    steel knuckles in a jewlady's mouth
    Poem scream poison gas on beasts in green berets
    Clean out the world for virtue and love,
    Let there be no love poems written
    until love can exist freely and
    cleanly. Let Black people understand
    that they are the lovers and the sons
    of warriors and sons
    of warriors Are poems & poets &
    all the loveliness here in the world

    We want a black poem. And a
    Black World.
    Let the world be a Black Poem
    And Let All Black People Speak This Poem
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