Larry Muhammad

Photo: Allie Fireel

Playwright Larry Muhammad’s artistic and intellectual debt to Amiri Baraka was the inspiration for his play, Looking for Leroy.

Muhammad was the first in his family to attend high school and college and when he answered the literary calling, Baraka was his idol. Ironically, they wound up related by marriage (Muhammad married into the South Carolina branch of Baraka’s family), but young Larry had very little first-hand contact with his hero. Their contact was limited to an awkward exchange once at a press conference and a timid occasional word at family gatherings.

Muhammad began as a journalist, writing for alternative newspapers and later for mainstream media, then studied playwriting at Sarah Lawrence. Throughout his varied career, he sought to be like Baraka. Trouble was, Baraka’s literary, aesthetic and philosophical directions were constantly shifting. Only one thing remained constant: Baraka regarded himself as the sole judge and arbiter of what it meant to be Black and he judged any Black play on whether it served the cause of Black Liberation.

NFT Credits

Credit Type Production Season
PlaywrightLooking for Leroy 2018-19 Season