Thursday, August 2, 2012

Happy Birthday James Baldwin

Happy Birthday James Baldwin

 When I was young I use to beg my mother to let me stay up late on a school night so that I could watch him on television. He was the first black writer I had ever seen and he was writing about the things I cared deeply about. I was mesmerized by him and soaked in everything he said.  When dad brought  home a copy of the Fire Next Time for a class he was taking  I snuck that book out of his pile and took it to my room. I know now my dad must of know I had it, he saw me sneaking around and reading it, he never asked for that copy  back he just went out and bought a new copy himself:)

In my novel Act of Grace, Mr. Baldwin's book The Fire Next Time show up when  Grace's  english teacher is trying to reach her restless class:

Up front, Mrs. Watanabe began trying her best to get us to explore the finer points of James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time. After twenty minutes, she realized she was looking at a whole neighborhood of folks whose lights were on, but who were not home. So with a tiny smile that signaled her surrender, she closed her notebook. Then, for the sake of conversation, she asked what she already knew, “so what is everybody planning to do after graduation?”

~Act of Grace. 

 Thank you dad for never asking for your book back.


Leslie McGraw said...

I love this!

akash said...

Novelist, essayist, and playwright James Baldwin stands out as one of America’s most-treasured wordsmiths, notable for his bold ruminations on race, sexuality, and other subjects considered too controversial for the time of his creative peak.