James Baldwin

James Baldwin, America’s Greatest Writer?

The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates delves into the late author's insightful and unapologetic forays into race and America

by The Atlantic, September 26, 2013

James Baldwin

James Baldwin

Much of Baldwin's writing is roughly contemporaneous with the Civil Rights movement, but he seems to share none of its hope, none of its belief in the power of love to conquer all. There is something so real about him. He is not a nationalist, but a humanist—and yet he is the most clear-headed humanist I've ever read. He is not here to flatter you. He is not here to make White people better. He is not here to change the world. He doesn't even seem like he's trying to "inspire." He is here to write—because it's what he wants to do. I love that, and I feel it on so many levels.

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