Explores the life, works and beliefs of the late writer and civil rights activist.
“It is, alas, the truth that to be an American writer today means mounting an unending attack on all that Americans believe themselves to hold sacred. It means fighting an astute and agile guerrilla warfare with that American complacency which so inadequately masks the American panic.”
In this remarkable episode of American Masters, we take a deep look into the life and work of James Baldwin. Let this serve as a powerful reminder of the responsibility that rests upon us as poets and writers. It is indeed our task to tell the truth when no one else is — to blast our light through the unending darkness. We have witnessed our art and resistance be co-opted and commodified. We must fight the temptation to turn our poetry into mere entertainment. We must remember the tradition from which our work emerges. Let us learn from our dear friend, James Baldwin, about how to shake up the world with our voice. There is work to be done and poems to be left in the wreckage for the next generation of lonely artists searching for a sign amidst the ash.