In Memory of Radio Essay

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In this brief essay, Hakac discusses the hidden meaning in the language of the poem.

Imamu Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) was fond of disguising racial themes in some of his early poetry. For example, "In Memory of Radio" has no trace of explicit racial reference, yet the poem is easily read as a statement that Blacks living in a white society have a special ability for the divination of evil. The poet's use of jive and the reader's conversion of a brief passage into Black English reveal Baraka's oblique theme.

Structurally the poem begins with a reference to Lamont Cranston and ends with one to him as the Shadow, jive for Black. It develops the poet's pre- and post-World War II assumption that radio heavily, through optimism and fantasy, purveyed the view that God's in His Heaven, All's Right with the Status Quo. The mention of Hitler and...

(read more from the Critical Essay #3 section)

This section contains 459 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the In Memory of Radio Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
In Memory of Radio from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.