Ras Baraka’s "Black Girls Learn Love Hard" (Moore Black Press 2005) is more than a brother mourning the loss of hissister; more than a father arming his daughters with weapons of truth; more than a son lamenting the struggle of his foremothers. "Black Girls Learn Love Hard" is also more than Baraka’s first published collection of poetry.

It is a critical look at a world that preys on women instead of praising them, a thought provoking investigation into the social and political issues that plague the African American community, and a passionate tribute to the strength and resilience of Black Girl Love.

Moore Black Press is honored to be publishing this touching, powerful collection of work that pays homage to the life and courageous spirit of Baraka’s younger sister Shani, and all women who learn love hard.

Released in August 2005, Black Girls Learn Love Hard features cover art by renowned artist Renaldo Davidson. Growing up in Newark, NJ, Baraka says, "What I write about I have witnessed. I always knew Black Girls loved hard because they are triply oppressed because of their gender, their nationality, and their class." As the son of revered poet-activists Amina and Imamu Amiri Baraka, activism and art have always been synonymous. "Poetry and art is culture," says Baraka. "Art is activism. There is no division for me with art and politics."

It is no surprise this vice principal of Weequahic High School in Newark has been such an ative participant in the politics and culture of his native New Jersey. At age 24, Baraka ran for Newark’s Mayor, garnering 9% of the vote. He also ran in 1998 an d2002 for Newark’s Councilman-at-Large, and on September 27, 2002 Baraka was sworn in as Deputy Mayor under the tenure of The Honorable Sharpe James.

A graduate of Howard University, Baraka received his degree in political science and history in 1991. While a student he formed Black Nia F.O.R.C.E. (Freedom Organization for Racial and Cultural Enlightenment) - a student group at the forefront of campus political and social activism. Baraka served as Assitant Youth Coordinator for the Commission for Racial Justice, and traveled with G.E.T.B.U.S.Y. – a tour of rappers and political activists who lectured at jails and schools around the country. In his junior year, Baraka successfully led the 1989 historic student protest to remove Lee Atwater, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, from the university’s Board of Trustees. The following year, Baraka was elected as Vice President of the Howard University Student Government.

As an artist, Baraka independently released his debut spoke word CD, Shorty for Mayor, with the acclaimed single "Hot Beverage in the Winter" featuring Grammy award winning artist Lauryn Hill. Baraka also edited In the Tradition with Kevin Powell, and anthology of young Black poets and writers (1991). He recently appeared on Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry on HBO, and is currently working on his second book of essays and poem.

In Black Girls Learn Love Hard, Baraka questions the flaws in our thinking, but gives hope to a future of love for Black Girls and a community healed by respect and empowerment. Baraka says, "Love is a revolutionary ideal and Black Girl Love epitomizes the reason that we have made it thus far. And all of the Black women in my life that I have loved, love, or that love me have been an intricate part of who I am."
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