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Return from Exile III

Amiri Baraka (center) at the entrance to Spirit House, Newark, with musicians and actors of the black arts movement, 1966.

Return From Exile III


For the third installment of the Return From Exile series created by poet and writer Harmony Holiday, we celebrate Amiri Baraka’s Jihad Records (1964–71) and The Black Arts Repertory Theatre (1965–69) with a pop-up presentation featuring an audio and ephemera archive of jazz poetics LPs, original prints, and rare books. This culminates in a live read of Baraka’s 1964 play The Slave. Holiday’s pop-up archive offers out-of-print Baraka recordings and celebrates the reissue of his recordings on LP, as well as offering recordings by other Black poets working in the Black radical tradition. The practice of bringing poetry, theater, and Black music collectives into the same spaces—demonstrated by Baraka and others in the 1960s—represents a potential model for gathering and generating Black radical work and thought outside of the academy today, with collectively improvised archives as a path for a true return from psychic, social, emotional, and intellectual exile.