Thursday, February 15, 2007
Literary Encounter: Amiri Baraka
When I was a freshman in college, there were two plays that I'd studied that left on indelible impression on me. The first was Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee and the second was Dutchman by Amiri Baraka (aka Leroi Jones). Tonight I had the pleasure of introducing the influential and controversial Amiri Baraka at an event at Skylight. He was amazing. He talked about being a "Revoluntionary Optimist." He encouraged people to read, read, read. He said that when we read, we learn to protect ourselves from people who may want to hurt us. If someone says, you can't do that. I can point to a book and say, Yes, I can--it says so right here in this chapter.