In March of 1965, poet LeRoi Jones, who is known as Imamu Amiri Baraka moved from Manhattan to Harlem, this symbolized the moment the Black Arts Movement was born as he was a figurehead in that time. Baraka founded the Black Arts Repertory Theatre, which became an important institution because of the influence it had on the black community. The theatres’ initial purpose was to be a home for a variety of arts but it also served as a place to keep a high spirit, opposed to other theatres that were mainly commercial based and restrictive on its’ participants.
The Black Aesthetic Movement, also known as the Black Arts Movement, that prominent from mid 1960’s to the mid 1970’s gave way for participants to engage in social and political issues through the use of poetry, spoken word and performance as a form of expression; all of which that still remain a tool for black people today. The movement was not about having people of colour being placed against the white race. It was only concerned with structuring and determining the identity of their own race. Constructing a “black” identity opposed to a “negro” identity; taking pride in being black and working to improve the perceptions surrounding themselves. One aspect of the movement also provided emphasis on motions that showed “blackness”: afros, African pendants, overall sternness, and aggressive attitudes.