Monday, December 1, 2014

James Baldwin: The Writer and Intellectual

Greetings, Students.

Above is a clip from the historic debate between James Baldwin and William F. Buckley Jr. The topic of this Baldwin and Buckley debate is "Is the American Dream at the expense of the American Negro?"

How does this introduction to James Baldwin and this debate affirm, change, or challenge your understanding of American culture, African American culture and the Civil Rights Movement? 

Above is an embedded viewing of the documentary James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket. It is available via the UK Libraries' subscription to Films on Demand. 

About 44 minutes in the documentary begins to explore James Baldwin's contributions to the Civil Rights Movement and his perspectives about race relations.  Please feel free to learn more. 


  1. I actually watched both of these, James Baldwin's ideas were not as important as his spirit, the consciousness he brought to the table. In the debate at cambridge he brought up many many good points, but his connection with all the people was life changing. If you really watch the video, all the people in the room give him a standing ovation. after a while of being sitting and the standing ovation going on, James decides to stand up and be grateful to the students. The students keep applauding, James sits down. The students almost stop clapping, remember themselves and keep clapping about five seconds longer out of sheer herd instinct. That is what James gave all of us, including you and me, he stood up and lead the herd.

    1. Ben, you watched both? It was worth it wasn't it? James Baldwin is pretty amazing. I like that you point out that James Baldwin's life was very inclusive of all races and he always celebrated ALL people. Another interesting debate is the debate between James Baldwin and Malcolm X.

      Also if you have a moment to read Sonny's Blues, you should. Also Baldwin's story Going to Meet the Man is amazing.