Amiri Baraka, the poet, novelist, and activist once known as LeRoi Jones, has died at the age of 79.
1. "A man is either free, or he is not. There cannot be an apprenticeship for freedom."
2. "Art is a weapon in the struggle of ideas, the class struggle."
3. “There is no justice in America, but it is the fight for justice that sustains you.”
4. "Art is whatever makes you proud to be human."
5. "God has been replaced, as he has all over the West, with respectability and air conditioning."
6. "Warriors are poets and poems and all the loveliness here in the worlds."
7. "Since the rich eat more/ than anybody else/ It is reasonable to assume/ that they are more full of shit."
8. "Thought is more important than art. To revere art and have no understanding of the process that forces it into existence, is finally not even to understand what art is."
9. "There is no depth to education without art."
10. "If the flag of an armed enemy of the U.S. is allowed to fly over government buildings, then it implies that slavery, or at least the threat of slavery, is sanctioned by that government and can still legally exist."
11. "Poetry is music, and nothing but music. Words with musical emphasis."
12. "The attempt to divide art and politics is a bourgeois which says good poetry, art, cannot be political, but since everything is ... political, even an artist or work that claims not to have any politics is making a political statement by that act."
Watch Baraka perform one of his best known pieces, "The Way Of Things (In Town)."
Tracy Clayton is an audio producer for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Tracy Clayton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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