Tag Archives: James Baldwin

Eddie Glaude Jr.’s ‘Begin Again’ reignites the words of James Baldwin

by Joe Martin

(This article was originally published by Real Change News and has been reprinted with permission.) 

It was the height of World War II. James Baldwin was a teenager in New York City when, in 1943, riots broke out in Detroit and in Harlem, Baldwin’s neighborhood. The lack of adequate housing, lack of jobs and hostility of the city’s police had precipitated the unrest in Detroit. In Harlem, a Black soldier had been shot in the back by a white police officer. Simmering anger over ongoing racism and its accompanying urban poverty exploded.

All this had a profound impact on the young, gay, Black man who aspired to be a writer. By 1948, it became apparent to Baldwin that he could not remain in the United States. His personal fury at the rampant injustices he and other people of color were daily subjected to forced him to confront unpleasant possibilities. He might murder someone or be murdered himself. His artistic ambitions could be shattered in the crucible of America’s meanness and contradictions. The situation was untenable. Baldwin left for France and would not return for nine years.

Continue reading Eddie Glaude Jr.’s ‘Begin Again’ reignites the words of James Baldwin

Review: I Am Not Your Negro

by Courtney Weaver

Remember this house and do not forget who built it…

Last weekend I sat in the Ark Lodge theater in Columbia City to view the James Baldwin documentary  I Am Not Your Negro, the recent adaptation of the legendary writer and public intellectual’s unfinished manuscript, Remember This House,  directed by Raoul Peck and accompanied by the voice of Samuel L. Jackson. The film was followed by a panel moderated by Marcus Harrison Green. Continue reading Review: I Am Not Your Negro

White Silence Can Be Golden

by Marilee Jolin

On Saturday night, I had the distinct privilege of attending Spectrum Dance Theatre’s production of A Rap on Race.  The script is an adaptation of the 1970 recorded conversation between poet and author James Baldwin and anthropologist Margaret Mead.  Baldwin (portrayed by local, Tony-award winning choreographer Donald Byrd) and Mead (played by actress Julie Briskman) sit on a raised platform discussing race in America – their tense and powerful conversation reflected in the evocative movements of the superb dancers below them. Continue reading White Silence Can Be Golden