The Week on Sunday (weekly)

  • Author, activist and truth-teller James Baldwin was born today in 1924. To celebrate what would have been his 89th birthday, read this excerpt from his 1979 essay “If Black English Isn’t a Language Then Tell Me What Is”:

    It goes without saying, then, that language is also a political instrument, means, and proof of power. It is the most vivid and crucial key to identify: It reveals the private identity, and connects one with, or divorces one from, the larger, public, or communal identity. There have been, and are, times, and places, when to speak a certain language could be dangerous, even fatal. Or, one may speak the same language, but in such a way that one’s antecedents are revealed, or (one hopes) hidden.

    For more Baldwin gems, check out Buzzfeed’s list of 25 powerful quotes and watch an excerpt of California Newsreel’s biographical film “The Price of the Ticket.”

    tags: JamesBaldwin Race_Politics

  • The biggest issue being discusses is unemployment, and the inequality of employment opportunities despite the fact that all kids, white, black, and otherwise, were getting the same, integrated public education.

    As one man says:

    “Let me tell you about San Francisco. The white man is not taking advantage of you out in public like they doing down in Birmingham. But he’s killing you with that pencil and paper, brother. When you go and look for a job, can you get a job?”

    tags: JamesBaldwin Race_Politics

  • I am not in paradise,” James Baldwin assured readers of the Black Scholar in 1973. “It rains down here too.” Maybe it did. But it seemed like paradise to me. In 1973 I was 22 years old, an eager young black American journalist doing a story for Time, visiting Baldwin at his home just outside the tiny, ancient walled village of St. Paul de Vence, nestled in the alpine foothills that rise from the Mediterranean Sea. The air carried the smells of wild thyme and pine and centuries-old olive trees. The light of the region, prized by painters and vacationers, at once intensifies and subdues the colors, so that the terra-cotta tile roofs of the buildings are by turns rosy pink, rust brown, or deep red.

    tags: JamesBaldwin Race

  • My Entry into America is a Bill of Sale –

    God travelled in different directions – Christianity, “rising on the wings of power” became white as it travelled north and west whilst Islam “out of power” became Black and travelled south and east on the dark side of Heaven [in the minds of the Christian church] so in this way they, Muslims, can now fill the void of the necessary evil that is craved.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.