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Umbra poets

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Title: Umbra poets  
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Subject: Lorenzo Thomas (poet), Umbra (disambiguation), Amiri Baraka, Black Arts Movement
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Umbra poets

Umbra was a collective of young black writers based in Manhattan's Lower East Side founded in 1962. Major members included the following writers:

Askia Touré, a major shaper of "cultural nationalism," directly influenced LeRoi Jones, along with Umbra writer Charles Patterson and Charles's brother, William Patterson. Touré joined Jones, Steve Young, and others at BART/S (Black Arts Repertory Theatre/School).


  • Background 1
  • Umbra Magazine 2
  • Further reading 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Umbra was the first post-On Guard for Freedom, had been founded on the Lower East Side by Calvin Hicks. Its members included Nannie and Walter Bowe, Harold Cruse (who was then working on The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual, 1967), Tom Dent, Rosa Guy, Joe Johnson, LeRoi Jones, and Sarah Wright, among others. On Guard was active in a famous protest at the United Nations of the American-sponsored Bay of Pigs Cuban invasion and was active in support of the Congolese liberation leader Patrice Lumumba. From On Guard, Dent,[1] Johnson, and Walcott along with Hernton, Henderson, and Touré established Umbra.

Umbra Magazine

The Umbra collective produced Umbra Magazine, which grew out of Friday-night workshops, meetings, and readings on Manhattan's Lower East Side in summer 1962, "and out of the need expressed for it at those meetings".[2]

Further reading

  • Fortune, Angela Joy, "Keeping the Communal Tradition of the Umbra Poets: Creating Space for Writing", Black History Bulletin, Vol. 75, No. 1, Spring 2012.]
  • and Lower East Side Poetics"Umbra" in Daniel Kane, All Poets Welcome: The Lower East Side Poetry Scene in the 1960s, University of California Press, 2003, pp. 79–90.


  1. ^ The Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature"Dent, Tom (1932-1998)", in William L. Andrews, Frances Smith Foster & Trudier Harris (eds), , Oxford University Press, 2001, pp. 106-07.
  2. ^ , Volume XXXXVII, Number 24, 1 May 1963.Vassar Miscellany News"Umbra Poets Read Their Own Poetry",

External links

  • Historical Overviews of The Black Arts Movement
  • , Vol. 3 Issue 1, January/February 2001, p. 32.Black Issues Book ReviewRone Shavers, "Black Bohemia's Tribal Elder",
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