Black Magic – Collected Poetry, 1961-1967. Sabotage, Target Study, Black Art.
First Printing. Indianapolis / New York, The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1969. 14.5 cm x 22 cm. 225 pages. Original Hardcover with the rare illustrated dustjacket in protective collector’s Mylar. Very good+ condition with only minor signs of external wear. Internal pages clean and bright. Signed and inscribed by author LeRoi Jones under his assumed name of Amiri Baraka.
Includes for example the following poems: Death is Not as Natural as You Fags Seem to Think / Reading and Weeping / Newshit / Evil Nigger Waits for Lightnin’ / The World is Full of Remarkable Things etc.
Amiri Baraka (born Everett Leroy Jones; October 7, 1934 – January 9, 2014), previously known as LeRoi Jones and Imamu Amear Baraka, was an American writer of poetry, drama, fiction, essays and music criticism. He was the author of numerous books of poetry and taught at several universities, including the University at Buffalo and Stony Brook University. He received the PEN/Beyond Margins Award in 2008 for Tales of the Out and the Gone.
Baraka’s career spanned nearly 52 years, and his themes range from black liberation to white racism. Some poems that are always associated with him are “The Music: Reflection on Jazz and Blues”, “The Book of Monk”, and “New Music, New Poetry”, works that draw on topics from the worlds of society, music, and literature. Baraka’s poetry and writing have attracted both high praise and condemnation. In the African-American community, some compare Baraka to James Baldwin and recognize him as one of the most respected and most widely published black writers of his generation. Others have said his work is an expression of violence, misogyny, and homophobia. Regardless of one’s viewpoint, Baraka’s plays, poetry, and essays have been described by scholars as constituting defining texts for African-American culture.
Baraka’s brief tenure as Poet Laureate of New Jersey (in 2002 and 2003) involved controversy over a public reading of his poem “Somebody Blew Up America?”, which resulted in accusations of antisemitism and negative attention from critics and politicians.