James Baldwin on Moral Apathy…

I’m terrified at the moral apathy — the death of the heart which is happening in my country. These people have deluded themselves for so long, that they really don’t think I’m human. I base this on their conduct, not on what they say, and this means that they have become, in themselves, moral monsters. […]

This Nettle…

“We all attempt to live on the surface, where we assume we will be less lonely, whereas experience is of the depths and is dictated by what we really fear and hate and love as distinguished from what we think we ought to fear and hate and love.” “This Nettle, Danger…,” 687


“I’m not interested in anybody’s guilt. Guilt is a luxury that we can no longer afford. I know you didn’t do it, and I didn’t do it either, but I am responsible for it because I am a man and a citizen of this country and you are responsible for it, too, for the very […]

Two Citations

I think this is how I want to guide the introduction to the concept of a Black literary tradition: To be an Afro-American, or an American black, is to be in the situation, intolerably exaggerated, of all those who have ever found themselves part of a civilization which they could in no wise honorable defend-which […]

My New Seminar for Fall 2014

This will be offered for the first time in Fall 2014 as a high-100 level seminar. I am happy to do it although it means a lot of work for me over the summer to make it accessible but not ‘easy’ and to make sure that I have a set of learning objectives in place […]

This Title

“Open the unusual door, child,” James Baldwin quoting his friend and mentor, Beauford Delaney, the painter (1901-1979)