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More admiration and affection for James Baldwin

March 30, 2012

I am continually amazed by the talents of James Baldwin. I began reading (and rereading) his work as an adolescent. Despite the fact that he had been deceased for nearly a decade, his writing resonated with me like no other author. My mother loved the prose and poetry of Langston Hughes–as do I–but Baldwin has made the most lasting impression upon me.

There is something about the way Baldwin articulates the African-American condition–the anger, the resentment, the love, the defiance–and his ability to, somehow, survive his own existential plight, that amazes me. But it wasn’t until years later did I discover his deft skills as an orator. Here are two examples:

After listening and watching him speak, with such moral force, control and certainty, I am simply in awe.

On the topic of oration, I discovered Kevin Moreno‘s recording of my Full Circle talk from December, 2011. I previously posted a smartphone recording, but this rendition is slightly clearer.

You will not be awed by this:

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From → Race

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