An influential author and philosopher of the Black Arts Movement, he wrote about the role of theater artists during the Black Power era. His most important essays include The Negro in the Theatre (1964), Cultural Front (1965), and The Black Arts Movement (1968).
He earned his master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and later taught at Yale University.
His essays appeared in publications such as Liberator and Black World. He also published poetry and plays.
He was born in Atlanta, Georgia.
Jayne Cortez, the jazz musician and poet, was another prominent figure in the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and '70s.