It is not surprising that Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) — a black artist who, having been successful in the mainstream literary world, returned to Newark, N. J., to head a black cultural center and involve himself in local politics — is at the forefront of this movement. His latest book, In Our Terribleness, in which he collaborates with photographer Fundi (Billy Abernathy), is an example of the new direction that black art is taking.
In a mid‐sixties poem, Baraka uttered a subtle and brief manifesto for the future of blacks: “to turn their evil backwards is to live.” He has also said: “We want to conjure with Black life to re‐create it for ourselves.” In Our Terribleness fulfills both those de mands. It is a poetic‐photographic essay that both re creates and defines black life for the black reader. It is an expression of soul, and soul is a kind of “terribleness” that black people have nurtured as they survived in America.