African-American, jazz-influenced poet and author whose works include Ark of Bones and Play Ebony, Play Ivory. He was associated with the Black Aesthetic movement of the 1960s and 1970s.
He briefly attended Rutgers University and subsequently joined the U.S. Air Force.
He was an active participant in the Civil Rights Movement. Tragically, he was shot to death in 1968 by a white police officer.
With his wife Loretta Ponton, he had two children.
He was a contemporary of fellow African-American author Toni Morrison.