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Paperback A Nation within a Nation: Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) and Black Power Politics Book

ISBN: 0807847615

ISBN13: 9780807847619

A Nation within a Nation: Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) and Black Power Politics

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Book Overview

Poet and playwright Amiri Baraka is best known as one of the African American writers who helped ignite the Black Arts Movement. This book examines Baraka's cultural approach to Black Power politics... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings


As a young man and not knowing much about Amiri Baraka,I walked away with vast knowledge of his life in the late 1960s and early 70s. This book does great justice to the impact Baraka had in the post-civil rights era in Newark. His plans, thoughts and energy are all detailed in this book. Anyone who has any intrest in Black Cutural Nationalism or an intrest in the post-civil rights era should pick up this book. Woodard describes the struggle and changing environment that Newark,NJ goes through as it changes socially and racially.

This is a must read for all interested in politics and race

Woodard writes about the relationship of black power, black cultural arts, and the black nationalist movement with LeRoi Jones, later Amiri Baraka, one of its main supporters. ... He concludes that Black America requires an ideological and political arsenal of both nationalism and Marxism. But at no time can the emphasis be purely Marxist or nationalist without doing damage to the black community. In other words, sectarianism is the enemy of black liberation and the fight for equality. This is a must read for all interested in politics and race in the U.S. Recommended for undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. -- P. Barton-Kriese, Indiana University East, Choice July/August 1999

The most important book on Black Power Movement

Professor Peniel Joseph writes that, "Historian Komozi Woodard's `A Nation Within A Nation' ... stands out as the most important book to be written about the Black Power Movement. `A Nation Within A Nation' is really several books rolled into one. First, it is a well-researched and painstakingly detailed case study of the dramatic consequences of Black Power politics on [the] racial and political dynamics of Newark, New Jersey during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Second, it is a political biography that underscores the significance of Amiri Baraka to the Black Power Movement's rise and eventual decline in American politics. Third, the book explores the transformation of black cultural nationalism during the Black Power era and Baraka's pivotal role in contemporizing black nationalism as an expressive political and cultural vehicle. Finally, it's a study of the divese and complex matrix that produced black political thought and practice during the period; a historical interrogation of the national and international implications of radical anti-colonial discourses that undergirded Black Power politics."

One of the most comprehensive studies of black nationalism.

According to Publishers Weekly, "Woodard examines the role of poet Amiri Baraka's `cultural politics' on Black Power and black nationalism in the 1960s. After a brief overview of the evolution of black nationalism since slavery, he focuses on activities in Northeastern urban centers (Baraka's milieus were Newark, NJ, and, to a lesser extent, New York City). Taking issue with scholars who see cultural nationalism as self-destructive, Woodard finds it "fundamental to the endurance of the Black Revolt from the 1960s into the 1970s." California Senator Tom Hayden, says: "The fascinating story of a struggle that nearly succeeded in creating self-determination in the urban ghetto" And, in Professor Robin D.G. Kelley's assessment, the book "will be one of the most important studies of black urban politics and culture in the postwar period." As far as Professor Michael B. Katz is concerned, it "breaks new ground and revises standard interpretations of the era. I am particularly impressed with the way he has connected political mobilization to movements in the arts, literature, and intellectual life, on the one hand, and to the restructuring of American life, on the other. It's a hardheaded, unflinching analysis, and he tells it well and with great feeling." Finally, Professor John Dittmer found it "Balanced and moving." "It should be required reading ... for all citizens who care about the problems of race and class in urban America. ... quite simply, one of the most important books we have on the black urban experience in the twentieth century ... by one of the leading scholars of the African American experience in this country." The book concludes that there have been five distinct phases in the history of black nationality formation in the U.S. The first phase was the ethnogenesis of African Americans during slavery; that established the social and cultural foundations of Black America. The second was the black nationalism that flowered before the Civil War among free Blacks in the urban North. A third phase resulted from the failure of the Civil War and Reconstruction to guarantee full citizenship for African Americans; under racial oppression and Jim Crow segregation, a subject nation developed in the Black Belt areas of the South. The most vivid example of that phase of nationality formation was the great Kansas Exodus. The fourth phase of black nationality formation resulted from the Great Migration of perhaps 1.5 million African Americans and from the development of large, compact, black concentrations in the ghettos of America; the flowering of that nationalism is seen in the Garvey Movement of the 1920s. And finally, a fifth stage of nationality formation ensued from the migration of 4 million Black Americans form the South between 1940 and 1970 and the development of dozens of "second ghettos," that generated hundreds of urban uprisings during the 1960s; that sense of modern nationality was h
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