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Activist, Poet, Playwright Amiri Baraka Dies at 79

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Longtime activist, poet and playwright Amiri Baraka has died.

His booking agent said that he died Thursday at Newark's Beth Israel Medical Center.

The New Jersey native and one-time Columbia University student was born Everett Leroi Jones.

A controversial poet and writer, Baraka was closely tied to the Black Power movement of the 1960s and is well known for works like "Only Revolution Will Set Us Free" and his September 11th poem, "Somebody Blew Up America."

The latter poem, branded as anti-Semitic by some, cost him his position as poet laureate of New Jersey when then-Governor James McGreevey eliminated the post in 2003.

Amiri Baraka is survived by six children.

He was 79 years old.

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