Distributor:  Icarus Films
Length:  60 minutes
Date:  1983
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: 10-12, College, Adult
Color/BW:  Color
Closed captioning available
Interactive transcript available
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In Motion: Amiri Baraka

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Biographical profile of the out-spoken African-American writer.

In Motion: Amiri Baraka

IN MOTION: AMIRI BARAKA profiles the outspoken representative - formerly LeRoi Jones - of the Black consciousness movement who has been a major figure on the American literary and political landscape for three decades. Set in Newark, Greenwich Village, and Harlem, this documentary follows Baraka from before his trial for 'resisting arrest' and ends with his conviction despite allegations of police harassment.

The film visits Baraka at home preparing for the American Writers Congress, teaching a college class, hosting a jazz and commentary radio show, reading poetry, and speaking at an anti-apartheid rally. Interviews with writers Allen Ginsberg, Joel Oppenheimer, and A.B. Spellman, and activists Ted Wilson and Askia Toure provide insight into the modern day revolutionary, and the period which fostered him.

Accessible and informative, IN MOTION: AMIRI BARAKA takes a provocative look at an important chapter in modern American political history.

'A brilliantly executed documentary... In no time at all the documentary has established Mr. Baraka's prominence, his equanimity, and his problems... Why was Mr. Baraka arrested? The answer, explicit and implicit, is that it was because he was a black radical.'-John Corry, New York Times

'A fascinating look at a man who is indeed in motion, on a lifelong quest for artistic beauty and social justice that has led him to change his view of the function of the artist, to change his ideas about how best to bring about a fair society, to change his own name... [IN MOTION] contains striking cinematic touches.'-Cineaste


** 2001 African Literature Association Conference Film Festival


Main credits

Bourne, St. Clair (Producer)
Bourne, St. Clair (Director)
Poter, Lou (Screenwriter)
Eison, Carvin (Film editor)

Other credits

Camera, Carmin Eison; editor, Carvin Eison.

Distributor credits

A Video by St. Clair Bourne

Docuseek2 subjects

African-American Studies
Civil Rights
U.S. History
American Studies
The Politics of Art
Black History

Distributor subjects

American Studies
Civil Rights
History (U.S.)


Amiri Baraka; LeRoi Jones; American Writers Congress; video; Dutchman,"In Motion: Amiri Baraka",Icarus Films

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