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Nita N. Kumar

poet, essayist, playwright, music critic, editor, and university teacher. Lawrence Paul Neal was one of the most influential thinkers—an activist-philosopher—of the Black Arts Movement in the 1960s, and along with LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka), envisioned and articulated the spirit of the movement, which he defined as “the aesthetic and spiritual sister of the Black Power concept.” Larry was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to Woodie and Maggie Neal and was the oldest of the five sons. While he was still young, the family moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he attended Roman Catholic High School, and went on to receive his BA in English and history from Lincoln University (1961), and MA from the University of Pennsylvania (1963), where he took graduate courses in folklore.

Among Neal's most notable contributions are his radical essay, “The Black Arts Movement,” and the book Black Fire An Anthology of ...