Monday, February 6, 2017

Baldwin: Bold, Bright, Brilliant

I re-read Baldwin's The Fire Next Time last year, and think it is an essential book that all Americans should read.  Baldwin wrote it in 1963, and now, over 50 years later, it remains more relevant than ever, and stands as one of the most important, lyrical, and searing books ever written about race relations in this country.

It seems Baldwin's words are resonating, as there is a resurgence of interest in his work, as evidenced by the recent release of the documentary I Am Not Your Negro.  I also recently watched another documentary about Baldwin, first aired in 1989, called The Price of the Ticket.  Both are powerful and important films (in my opinion, especially the latter), which depict Baldwin's courage, humanity, charisma, charm, poise, and passion for social justice. 

I recently read both  James Baldwin:  The Last Interview and Other Conversations published by Melivlle House, and Letter to Jimmy written by Alain Mabanckou, a Franco-Congolese writer.  Paired together, they provide a good range of information about Baldwin's life, both his early years and his last days.  The former includes Baldwin's own thoughts and reflections, while the latter provides Mabanckou's reflections on what shaped Baldwin's ideas.  They are both very good books, but I think the best place to start is with Baldwin himself.

No comments:

Post a Comment