Friday, August 05, 2022

Cornel West on the Legacy of James Baldwin

In an age of mendacity and criminality, which is our own, just telling the truth and having integrity is revolutionary. It’s subversive. It’s counter-cultural. James Baldwin . . . [brings] the rich tradition of eloquence, of truth-telling, witness-bearing, soul-stirring writing. . . . [Baldwin] is someone who refused to allow his fire to be dampened by overwhelming bleakness and darkness. And that’s a beautiful thing.

Dr. Cornel West

This past Tuesday, August 2, was the 98th anniversary of the late American writer and activist James Baldwin.

To (belatedly) mark the occasion I share the following 2017 video of Dr. Cornel West discussing Baldwin’s legacy.

Related Off-site Links:
5 Things You Didn’t Know About James Baldwin – Tracy Shapley Towley (Book Riot, August 2, 2022).
James Baldwin’s Blueprint for the LGBTQ+ Rights Movement – Tre’vell Anderson (Out, May 19, 2019).
James Baldwin on Being Gay in AmericaThe Village Voice (June 22, 2018).
James Baldwin’s Black Queer Legacy – Anthony James Williams (Electric Lit, March 23, 2017).
James Baldwin’s Sexuality: Complex and Influential – Mashaun D. Simon (NBC News, February 7, 2017).
James Baldwin, a Guide in Bleak Times – JoAnn Wypijewski (The Nation, January 21, 2015).
American Lives: James Baldwin, “Lifting The Veil” – NPR (July 15, 2011).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
James Baldwin’s Potent Interweavings of Race, Homoeroticism, and the Spiritual
Something to Think About – December 29, 2015
Radical Returnings
Cornel West on Responding to the “Spiritual Decay That Cuts Across the Board”
“Two of the Most Dedicated and Enlightened Heroes of Present Day America”
Cornel West: Quote of the Day – December 3, 2020


Kenrick Varnado said...

Wow! That's footage that brought on a new deeper found respect for James Baldwin. Dr. Cornell's comment on living in a world of criminality proves even Baldwin's Ideals still are prevalent in todays time. Much needed. Thanks for blogging!

Michael J. Bayly said...

Glad it resonated with you, Kenrick!