In this episode of Talks at GS, Princeton professor and author Eddie Glaude Jr. discusses the legacy of 20th century essayist and novelist James Baldwin and why he believes Baldwin’s reflections on America and the Black experience are so relevant today.
On why he believes James Baldwin’s work is so relevant today: “In the midst of this unsettling moment, you see Baldwin quotations everywhere. ‘Ignorance allied with power is the most ferocious enemy justice could have.’ And that comes from No Name in the Street in 1972, or people quoting The Fire Next Time, or folks reaching for his insights in his essays and the like or his journalistic pieces. It makes sense because Baldwin is insisting that we tell ourselves the truth.”
On his outlook for lasting change that could come from the current conversation on racial equity: “Wherever we are, we have a chance because we have the potential to do miracles… So there's no guarantee of the outcome, but as long as we are here right here, right now, we have a chance. And that's where I bank all my hope that we will actually prove to be the miracle this time.”