Perhaps the most brilliant* American voice of the second half of the twentieth century, James Baldwin would have been 90 years old today. Here at the Rustbelt, we have a special place for Baldwin. His essay The Fire Next Time being read and reread as a late teen; Baldwin helped me to put in perspective the hard world of race and racial rules that I grew up in. Baldwin helped to make me a revolutionary.
Here he is speaking in London in 1969, very much a prophet of old.
*all of these apply to Baldwin and so much more.
bril·liant [bril-yuhnt] adjective
1. shining brightly; sparkling; glittering; lustrous:
2. distinguished; illustrious:
3. having or showing great intelligence, talent, quality, etc.:
4. strong and clear in tone; vivid; bright:
5. splendid or magnificent: