May 14, 2014
Ras Baraka, one of the sons of the late poet and playwright Amiri Baraka, handily beat rival Shavar Jeffries Tuesday night to become the next mayor of his father’s city. How he did it was no mystery to those paying attention. Baraka, the city’s South Ward councilmember until Tuesday night, got the support of the people because of his consistent commitment to them for 23 years. His slogan was, “When I become mayor, we become mayor.” Baraka, 44, will become Newark’s 39th mayor at his July 1 inauguration.
January 11, 2014
Amiri Baraka was a giant to those who know him. And now that he is physically gone, his legend will only grow. The FBI once identified him as “the person who will probably emerge as the leader of the pan-African movement in the United States.” Even those who critiqued him considered him to be brilliant, even referring to him as the Malcolm X of literature and spoken word. He often said bluntly and yet humbly that “Malcolm X was my leader.” Amiri Baraka put into practice what Malcolm taught him about cultural revolution.