The First Amendment Project

Season 1 Episode 2

Poetic License

Aired Unknown May 12, 2006 on SundanceTV
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Episode Summary

Poetic License
In September 2002, New Jersey Poet Laureate Amiri Baraka read his poem "Somebody Blew Up America" at a New Jersey poetry festival. This highly controversial poem led state officials to ask for Baraka's resignation, to which he refused. As a result, lawmakers eliminated the state-sponsored position entirely. In response, Baraka sued New Jersey Governor McGreevey claiming that his First Amendment rights were violated. This episode explores these events as well as the general issue of First Amendment protection for offensive speech, even "hate speech".moreless

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