Amiri Baraka was born LeRoi Jones on October 7, 1934, in Newark, New Jersey. Considered a highly controversial writer, Baraka deals with the experiences and anger of the African American community while describing and validating the quality of black life. Baraka was educated at Howard University and has taught at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and Rutgers University. Early in his career, he aligned himself with the beat generation. After visiting Cuba, he developed a more militant political voice and attacked much of the white community that had previously been his allies. Since that time, his writing has been firmly centered on the black experience and has been aggressive and separatist. In 1964, Baraka's play, The Dutchman, won an Obie Award for Best American off-Broadway play and in 1967, it was made into a film. Other works include the plays The Slave and The Toilet and a collection of poetry, Preface to a Twenty-Volume Suicide Note.