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JAMES BALDWIN still resonating 50+ years later...

"Is the American Dream at the expense of the American Negro?"



“I realized that when I was very young - 

that whatever he was looking at, wasn’t me.” 

"If I'm not what they think I am,

 it's a threat to what they think reality is"!

"In a way black men were very useful for the American because in a country so absolutely undefined -

 so amorphous - where there are no limits - no height really, and no depth - there was one thing of which one could be certain. One knew where one was by knowing where the negro was. You knew that you were not on the bottom because the negro was there."

"There are 20 million people in this country, and you can't put them all in jail."

"It's much more sinister because it is much more effective. It's much more effective because it is, after all, comparatively easy to invest a population with a false morale by giving them a false sense of superiority. And it will always break down in a crisis. It's the history of Europe's imperialism. It is one of the reasons we are in this terrible place. It's one of the reasons we have 5 cops standing on a black woman's neck in Birmingham. Because at some point they believed -- they were taught, and they believed -- that they were better than other people because they were white. It leads to a moral bankruptcy. It is inevitable. It cannot but lead there."

Cornel West on James Baldwin

" 'Keep on pushing' Curtis Mayfield says. 'Be a force for good' Cole Train says. 'Mississippi, Goddam' says Nina Simone. That ain't having hope, that's BEING a hope. Courageously bearing witness regardless of what the circumstance is because you're choosing to be the kind of person with integrity to the best of your ability before the worms get your body. Boom. That's it. That's blues, beautiful tradition. "


The Fire Next Time

No Name in the Street

Go Tell It On The Mountain

Giovanni's Room

Another Country

The Evidence of Things Not Seen  

(about the Atlanta child murders)

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