"Nothing Can Be Changed Unitl it is Faced" - The Life and Work of James Baldwin

Socialism 2017

August 15, 2017

“The necessity for a form of socialism is based on the observation that the world’s present economic arrangements doom most of the world to misery,” wrote James Baldwin in a discussion of the Black Panther Party in his 1972 book No Name in the Street, “that the way of life dictated by these arrangements is both sterile and immoral; and, finally, that there is no hope for peace in the world so long as these arrangements obtain.” Novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic, Baldwin was closely associated with the civil rights and Black power movements, and known for his searing criticism of racism and social injustice. In her 1987 eulogy, writer Toni Morrison wrote of his “unassailable combination of mind and heart, of intellect and passion.” With prose that was “neither bloodless nor bloody, and yet alive,” she wrote, “you gave us the undecorated truth.” This presentation will explore the intersection of Baldwin’s literary and political life.

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