American writer, James Baldwin would have been 93 years old today. He is one of my favorite writers, and especially so in this season in my life and in the current political climate.
Baldwin was unapologetically black, gay, not conventionally handsome and critical of his country. He was the embodiment of resistance. I remember when i first read him; I thought I had found a part of myself that was missing. I also felt permission to criticize the systemically oppressive country that is my home. Baldwin was a genius, and so much of what I do has threads of inspiration that lead back to him.
How I teach Hope about politics, social engagement and critique is strongly rooted in this black man’s work. I see him quoted often during the last 18 months or so; as his writings and critique of America’s treatment of people of color remains painfully current.
If you’ve never read any of James Baldwin’s work–you should. You should watch his interviews on YouTube and you should enjoy his snippets of sage, wondrous quips from his observations.
The quotes below are some of my favorites and that I come back to repeatedly. I challenge my readers to read them and push them through an adoption lens as well as the lenses of race and sexuality. I promise you, they still ring true.
Thank you, Mr. Baldwin.