First published in 1984, this is a revised edition of The Autobiography of Leroi Jones, which includes the original text (restored by the author) as well as a new introduction. Born Leroi Jones in 1934, (he became Amiri Baraka in the mid-1960s), he is one of the seminal figures of contemporary black writing, a poet, playwright, novelist, critic and political activist. Even more than those labels indicate, however, Baraka has been at the heart of literary and ideological ferment since the 1950s. Early in his career, he was strongly influenced by the Beats. During the cultural upheaval of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s, he moved uptown to Harlem, changed his name, and embraced a religion that was a hybrid of Islam and traditional African principles. And then, in the 1970s, Baraka turned his back on Black Nationalism and embraced Marxist Leninism. The autobiography, written in Baraka's inimitable style, one that we might call word-jazz, ends there.