In “Home,” a collection of Baraka’s essays from this period, published in 1966, he wrote:Yeah, he was all about the Zeitgeist, was that Baraka. In fact, reading his (deranged) articulation of his essential loathing for America and Jewry as expressed in his infamous post-9/11 diatribe masquerading as a poem revealed him to be a repellent hater--and a truly awful poet.
The black artist’s role in America is to aid in the destruction of America as he knows it. His role is to report and reflect so precisely the nature of the society, and of himself in that society, that other men will be moved by the exactness of his rendering and, if they are black men, grow strong through this moving, having seen their own strength, and weakness; and if they are white men, tremble, curse, and go mad, because they will be drenched with the filth of their evil.Reading these lines now, in an era defined by a black Presidency, the kill-whitey rhetoric has an almost comic undertone. But in the years between the murders of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., when this paragraph was written, Baraka’s articulation of the Zeitgeist made him essential reading.
But, yeah, props for being in synch with the Z (realizing, of course, that in his heyday, Rev. Jeremiah Wright was pretty Zeitgeisty, too).
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