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Imamu Amiri Baraka Imamu Amiri Baraka is a poet and playwright that became well known in the late sixties and early seventies He wrote many controversial poems and plays such as Dutchman and poems such as the collection A Preface to a 20 Volume Suicide Note Baraka dealt with many issues ranging from homosexuality to racsism In his lifetime Baraka has experihenced much racsism due to him being African-American He never backed down from his critics though and kept on writing the same controversial poems and plays Imamu Amiri Baraka was originally born to the name Everett Leroy Jones on October 7 1934 in Newark New Jersey As a young child he spent his time writing comic strips and science fiction stories however as a young child he wanted to be a minister because they were the most respected leaders in the black community He changed his mind later quoting There are to many homosexuals in the church for me After High School he enrolled at Rutgers University and then changed the spelling of his name to LeRoi Jones He then went on and transferred to Howard University but he found Howard too difficult and he eventually dropped out From 1954 to 1957 Baraka served in the US Air Force in the Air Force he wrote a daily journal After being dishonorably discharged from the Air Force due to circumstances undisclosed After his service he moved to New Yorks Greenwich Village In 1958 he got married to a white Jewish woman by the name of Hettie Cohen This is when he first started to publish his Poetry In 1961 Baraka earned much respect among fellow poets by writing Preface to a 20 Volume Suicide note Later in that year he hit a philosophical turning point when he produced his first play called Dente In 1965 he divorced his wife and moved to Harlem where he joined a Black Panther group Later in that same year
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