I Support Amiri Baraka and the New Jersey Poet Laureate Post sign now

I support poet, playwright and activist Amiri Baraka in his struggle to exercise his freedom of speech rights and retain the post of Poet Laureate of the State of New Jersey. Amiri Baraka is the Peoples poet laureate. He is not alone in this struggle, I am with him, and he has my unqualified support.

When Trent Lott made his inflammatory racist remarks, why didnt you, Governor McGreevey, or your statesmen say anything to publicly condemn those statements? Why is it that you, Governor McGreevey, and your statesmen did not publicly condemn the defamatory statements of a Keansburg police officer where, during the scope of that officers employment, he labeled all groups of young Black men as "Niggers"?

There has not there been a criminal investigation into the death of Earl Faison, even though witnesses, including police officers, have come forward about the brutal beating Mr. Faison received while in the custody of Orange, NJ police officers. Why have you and your statesmen not said anything about this utter travesty?

It is disappointing to know that my elected government officials are using the law to politically placate special-interest groups to the detriment of every citizen who is not a member of one of these groups. Such nepotistic tactics bluntly point up the wane of democracy in the State of New Jersey.

Mr. Amiri Baraka has made significant contributions to the life of the City of Newark and has demonstrated again and again his commitment to its people and to the education of all children, both Black and White. Mr. Baraka is considered a founding father of the contemporary Black Cultural Arts Movement. He has been a political leader, social critic and civil rights activist. Most of all, he has been an ardent opponent of Black oppression.

Recently, the Newark School District appointed Amiri Baraka as Poet Laureate for the city's public schools. I support this decision by the Newark School District without hesitation or equivocation. The Board and the superintendent, Marion Bolden, did the right thing. In fact, I would like to see other school districts and municipalities make Mr. Baraka their poet laureate.

Amiri Baraka is fully deserving of this honor, as he is worthy of being the state's Poet Laureate. Mr. Baraka is a stellar product of the Newark public schools. He is a world-renown literary figure with a significant body of literary works and he has received awards and accolades at home and abroad.

Finally, I oppose all the bills that have been introduced to either remove Mr. Baraka from the position of Poet Laureate or to abolish the post. I believe that these attempts to silence Mr. Baraka are an abrogation of his freedom of speech rights. I strongly urge you to stop the passage of these bills.

The efforts to penalize Mr. Baraka are an overreaction that amount to political overkill. They send a chilling message to all people who cherish civil liberties and civil rights. Must the people now beware of a Cultural Police?

Whatever the outcome of all that has been done, Mr. Amiri Baraka will always be the people's Poet Laureate.

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Latest Signatures

  • 25 December 2015297. Michaelle Warren
    I support this petition
  • 24 December 2015296. Shawn D
    I support this petition
  • 22 December 2015295. De Adreaf
    I support this petition
  • 19 December 2015294. Robin H
    Baraka is complete clown. Blacks are so quick to rise and defend every "black artist" that they don't take the time to read his poetry. The idea that Bush allowed 9-11 to occur because he wanted to create a worldwide military dictatorship and the Israelis
  • 16 December 2015293. Rondee Navarro
    The attack on Baraka is pure racism!
  • 13 December 2015292. Eric Mt
    Ted Joans Lives!
  • 07 December 2015291. Valerie I
    I support this petition
  • 05 December 2015290. Jasmine Rg
    I am in total support of Mr. Baraka. Life is too short to live in fear. He has every right to practice freedom of speech. I'm pleased to know every one is not kissing the world's butt.
  • 05 December 2015289. Jeff J
    Freedom of speech is the basis for the success of our nation.
  • 03 December 2015288. J J
    I support this petition
  • 03 December 2015287. Jasmine Sc
    sometimes the truth hurts.
  • 02 December 2015286. Yavette Mt
  • 02 December 2015285. Melissa M
    I support this petition
  • 01 December 2015284. Chuck C
    I support this petition
  • 28 November 2015283. Kim M
    let us not blindly believe our leaders without exercising our rights of free speech!
  • 27 November 2015282. Sylvia Lw
    I support this petition
  • 26 November 2015281. Audrey A
    I support this petition
  • 23 November 2015280. Malika I
    I support this petition
  • 22 November 2015279. Tia B
    I support this petition
  • 19 November 2015278. Laura H
    I support this petition
  • 18 November 2015277. Don Benitez
    Baraka is a racist !!
  • 17 November 2015276. Earnest J
    I support this petition
  • 15 November 2015275. Monroe I
    I support this petition
  • 11 November 2015274. Kathy S
    I support this petition
  • 10 November 2015273. Karega Hakie
    I support this petition
  • 09 November 2015272. Darleen L
    I support this petition
  • 03 November 2015271. James B
    I support this petition

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Nelda RobbinsBy:
City LifeIn:
Petition target:
Governor James E. McGreevey


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