By Michael Simanga (auth.)
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Extra resources for Amiri Baraka and the Congress of African People: History and Memory
He ordered me off his bus and told me to stand in front of a diner across the street where another bus would be coming soon. He was obviously amused by his actions and to this day I am convinced he purposely put me in a dangerous situation. I was cold and it was dark since there were no street lights that far out. I could see lots of young white people in the diner, but I tried to stay focused on looking for my bus. I was scared and acutely aware of how vulnerable I was. After about 10 minutes, a group of young men came out of the diner and began to yell at me.
He believed that the cultural liberation of African Americans would lead to the physical liberation of the black nation. According to Baraka: Because Karenga’s whole premise was of cultural revolution, I was pulled closer. Being a cultural worker, an artist, the emphasis on 38 AMIRI BARAKA AND THE CONGRESS OF AFRICAN PEOPLE culture played to my own biases. And no doubt in a society where the “advance forces” to often put no stress on culture and the arts at all, I thought his philosophy eminently correct.
After waiting for her, I called home and was told by my father to get back on the bus and come home, which I did. I fell asleep on the bus and when I awakened I was the last passenger and deep inside a white working-class suburb outside of Detroit called Redford. The white bus driver laughed when I asked him where I was and questioned him about letting me sleep when clearly I was way past my stop since no black people lived that far out at the time. He ordered me off his bus and told me to stand in front of a diner across the street where another bus would be coming soon.