James Baldwin Painting

Oil on Canvas, 24/01/2019 – Black Activist James Baldwin 

 

 


Someone has to find a way to put the present administration on the spot.”

James Baldwin is so quotable, paintable, photogenic, and an eloquent promoter of forgiveness and loving one another, despite everything that a gay black man raised in Harlem like himself would have had to live through. “I did not believe that all white people were devils, and I did not want young black people to believe that.”

One of his observations that really struck me from a while ago was his observation of his contemporary black civil rights activists:

“As concerns Malcom and Martin, I watched two men, coming from unimaginably different backgrounds, whose positions, originally, were poles apart, driven closer and closer together.

By the time each died, their positions had become virtually the same position. It can be said, indeed, that Martin picked up Malcolm burden, articulated the vision which Malcolm had begun to see, and for which he paid with his life. And that Malcolm was one of the people Martin saw on the mountain top.

Medgar was too young to have seen this happen, though he hoped for it, and would not have been surprised; but Medgar was murdered first.

I was older than Medgar, Malcolm and Martin. I was raised to believe that the eldest was supposed to be a model for younger, and was, of course, expected to die first.

Not one of these three lived to be forty.”

“I had to accept, as time wore on, that part of my responsibility – as a witness – was to write the story, and to get it out”.

 

The film “I am not your Negro” by Raoul Peck really does this great philosopher and writer justice, so watch that as well as all his Youtube clips and of course, his books and essays.

I got hooked in first by The Fire Next Time, which I highly recommend.

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