From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up-- Baraka's career merits close attention because of the inherent fascination in observing the evolution of a major talent in the arts, and also to witness the manner in which a creative person acutely sensitive to his environment responds to changing stimuli in the world around him and seeks to change that world to reflect his own evolving weltanschauung . In the 1960s, the black poet-dramatist shed his white wife, his "slave" name, and his Greenwich Village residence to move uptown to Harlem both physically and spiritually. There he became an ardent exponent of black supremacy. His creative work became stridently anti-white, as Baraka despaired of any possibility of blacks being able to realize their potential in a world dominated by whites. In the 1970s, he turned Marxist-Leninist-Maoist and returned to the idea of working together with like-minded whites to accomplish desired goals. Bernotas has done creditable work in outlining the major themes of Baraka's public life as a figure of action and influence. He is less successful in his critical exploration of Baraka's poems and plays. His book, however, is well worth purchasing. --Norman Lederer, Thaddeus Stevens State School of Technology, Lancaster, PA
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.