Legendary poet and activist Amiri Baraka died today at the age of 79 years old. Although the cause of death was not immediately known, nj.com reports that he had a long standing struggle with diabetes. He was hospitalized in December and was was labeled being in critical condition.
Here is what you need to know about this beloved and controversial figure.
1. He Was Born and Raised in Newark, New Jersey
Barka became poet laureate of New Jersey in 2002 and was quickly called on to resign after reading a controversial poem about September 11. People were offended by the poem, “Somebody Blew Up America,” which inferred that Israel knew about the September 11 attacks before they happened.
5. He Has Been Embroiled in a Few Controversies
Baraka has been the recipient of much criticism over the years because of his open support of Fidel Castro’s Cuba, his reverence for Lenninist-Marxism, and his previously mentioned thoughts about the September 11 attacks.
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