What do Allen Ginsberg, Adrienne Rich, and Amiri Baraka have in common with one another and with slam poetry, hip hop, and graffiti?

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thetall | (Level 3) Educator

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Allen Ginsberg, Adrienne Rich, and Amiri Baraka (born LeRoi Jones) share a lot in common. They were all actively involved in poetry post-WWII, when the world was experiencing major revolutions and resistance against sociopolitical norms of the past. They all lived in marginalized communities and this shaped their ideas as expressed through their work. They used poetry as a vehicle for sociopolitical change and did not shy away from controversy. They focused on the issues facing their communities at the time, which included civil rights, Black Arts, sexuality, the anti-war movement, and feminism.

Allen Ginsberg and Amiri Baraka were both notable members of the Beat movement. Amiri Baraka later started the Black Arts Movement which was the artistic arm of the Black Power Movement. Adrienne Rich was actively involved in the women’s movement. Their work substantially influenced other forms of art and culture such as slam poetry, hip hop and graffiti (visual arm of hip hop culture). The topics of discussion started by these poets are still talked about in poetry competitions. Their discussion points are also expressed actively through hip hop and by graffiti artists through their work to date.

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