Black Power Poet Amiri Baraka Dead at 79
Baraka an influential, controversial figure
By Newsy, a Newser Video Partner
Posted Jan 10, 2014 9:10 AM CST

(Newser) – Amiri Baraka, known as one of the most influential writers of his generation, died at a hospital in Newark, New Jersey, yesterday. He was 79 years old. His son told NPR Baraka passed away "from complications after surgery following a long illness." He had been in the hospital since December. Baraka left behind more than a half-century’s worth of poems, books, and plays. He was also a teacher and prominent activist. In the 1960s and '70s, Baraka was a part of various organizations working to increase African American political power. He also led the Black Arts Movement, which was seen as the artistic branch of the Black Power movement.