I am very excited to announce that Grant Cooper and I will be returning to Success Academy’s High School of the Liberal Arts in midtown Manhattan to facilitate a second discussion series on James Baldwin. Last year’s series was tremendous with strong participation from parents, students, teachers and staff as well as other community members.
The new series will run on Monday evenings in January and February 2018. This year’s theme will be current events, and we will focus on how Baldwin’s writing, especially his non-fiction essays, can bring context to issues with which the United States is grappling right now. We’ll explore how can Baldwin’s insight, for example, help us to better understand recent events in Virginia, and other places, concerning Confederate monuments. Baldwin’s keen observations of American culture and history are timely as the nation struggles to reconcile brutalities of the past as well as issues like present-day police brutality.
Grounding his words in a foundation of love but not shirking from the emotional labor required to face and come to terms with who we are as a people, Baldwin speaks to us today. Perhaps there has been no more important time than now to sincerely look into the mirror which Baldwin bravely holds up to the American countenance in his work.
Looking forward to lively discussion, seeing friends from last year, and observing once again how Baldwin brings people together. Stay tuned for details!