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Amiri Baraka Amiri Baraka > Quotes


Amiri Baraka quotes (showing 1-14 of 14)

“And now each night, I count the stars.
And each night I get the same number.
And when the stars won't come to be counted,
I count the holes they leave.”
Amiri Baraka
“I am inside someone who hates me. I look out from his eyes.”
Amiri Baraka
“There is no justice in America, but it is the fight for justice that sustains you”
Amiri Baraka
“A system that warehouses people is not the cure for social ills”
Amiri Baraka
“what is lost because it is most precious
what is most precious because it is lost ”
Amiri Baraka
“& love is an evil word. Turn it backwards/see, see what I mean? An evol word.”
Amiri Baraka, The LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka Reader
“from the slave ship to the citizenship we faced a lot of bullship”
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.”
Amiri Baraka
“You look like death eating a soda cracker.”
Amiri Baraka, Dutchman & The Slave
“I am inside someone
who hates me. I look
out from his eyes. Smell
what fouled tunes come in
to his breath. Love his
wretched women.”
Amiri Baraka
“The word “art” is something the West has never understood. Art is supposed to be a part of a community. Like, scholars are supposed to be a part of a community… Art is to decorate people’s houses, their skin, their clothes, to make them expand their minds, and it’s supposed to be right in the community, where they can have it when they want it… It’s supposed to be as essential as a grocery store… that’s the only way art can function naturally.”
Amiri Baraka
“This development signified also that jazz would someday have to contend with the idea of its being an art (since that was the white man's only way into it). The emergence of the white player meant that Afro-American culture had already become the expression of a particular kind of American experience, and what is most important, that this experience was available intellectually, that it could be learned.”
Amiri Baraka
“To be sure, rock n' roll is usually a flagrant commercialization of rhythm & blues, but the music in many cases depends on materials that are so alien to the general middle-class, middle-brow American culture as to remain interesting. Many of the same kinds of cheap American dilutions that had disfigured popular swing have tended to disfigure the new music, but the source, the exciting and "vulgar" urban blues of the forties, is still sufficiently removed from the mainstream to be vital. For this reason, rock n' roll has not become as emotionally meaningless as commercial swing. It is sill raw enough to stand the dilution and in some cases, to even be made attractive by the very fact of its commercialization. Even its "alienation" remains conspicuous; it is often used to characterize white adolescents as "youthful offenders." (Rock n' roll also is popular with another "underprivileged" minority, e.g., Puerto Rican youths. There are now even quite popular rock n' roll songs, at least around New York, that have some of the lyrics in Spanish.) Rock n' roll is the blues form of the classes of Americans who lack the "sophistication" to be middle brows, or are too naïve to get in on the mainstream American taste; those who think that somehow Melachrino, Kostelanetz, etc., are too lifeless”
Amiri Baraka, Blues People: Negro Music in White America
“can't be rockefeller ... must be the devil”
Amiri Baraka


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