James Baldwin on Justice and Equality
This weeks podcast is focussed on the outline of James Baldwin’s life. I have mentioned him a few times in previous podcasts. Such an interesting man who also led such an interesting life. Some people said that they did not know that much about him, and have since gone off and done their own searches and some of those people are now buying his books. He was such a scholar and his mind seemed so complex. I would have loved to have met him. I decided to do this short podcast, and to give a few reference sources for those of you wish to know more.
Commissioned by Harper’s Magazine to write on the civil rights movement, Baldwin first became acquainted with Martin Luther King during a trip through the South in 1957. Baldwin’s exposure to King and southern racism had a profound influence on his writing and helped deepen his lifelong commitment to social justice.
It is also useful knowing the background of James Baldwin and his involvement in the civil rights movement to then look at whether anything has changed today, in any country, though certain countries are high on the list for a pattern of behaviour against people who they considered ‘less than’ and the UK is being exposed to a wider range of people in various parts of the world, of the dark underbelly on increasing numbers of areas, which they would prefer the world not to address it each category by its correct name.
I will finish the podcast with a few quotes and a few newspaper reports on what young people in particular think about the treatment of The Duchess of Sussex by the UK.
The Life of James Baldwin
James Arthur Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987) was an American writer. He garnered acclaim across various mediums, including essays, novels, plays, and poems. His first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, was published in 1953; decades later, Time magazine included the novel on its list of the 100 best English-language novels released from 1923 to 2005. His first essay collection, Notes of a Native Son, was published in 1955.
Baldwin’s work fictionalizes fundamental personal questions and dilemmas amid complex social and psychological pressures. Themes of masculinity, sexuality, race, and class intertwine to create intricate narratives that run parallel with some of the major political movements toward social change in mid-twentieth century America, such as the civil rights movement and the gay liberation movement. Baldwin’s protagonists are often but not exclusively African American, and gay and bisexual men frequently feature prominently in his literature. These characters often face internal and external obstacles in their search for social and self-acceptance. Such dynamics are prominent in Baldwin’s second novel, Giovanni’s Room, which was written in 1956, well before the gay liberation movement.
His reputation has endured since his death and his work has been adapted for the screen to great acclaim. An unfinished manuscript, Remember This House, was expanded and adapted for cinema as the documentary film I Am Not Your Negro (2016), which was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 89th Academy Awards. One of his novels, If Beale Street Could Talk, was adapted into the Academy Award-winning film of the same name in 2018, directed and produced by Barry Jenkins.
In addition to writing, Baldwin was also a well-known, and controversial, public figure and orator, especially during the civil rights movement in the United States.
Birth and family
James Arthur Baldwin was born to Emma Berdis Jones on August 2, 1924, at Harlem Hospital in New York City. Baldwin was born out of wedlock. Jones never revealed to Baldwin who his father was.
James rarely wrote or spoke of his mother. When he did, he made clear that he admired and loved her, often through reference to her loving smile. Baldwin moved several times in his early life but always to different addresses in Harlem.
James Baldwin and his stepfather were not that close, and had many arguments. The relationship was difficult. You can learn more about that aspect of his life including the step father in the reference sources listed at the end of the article.
They fought because [James] read books, because he liked movies, because he had white friends”, all of which, David Baldwin thought, threatened James’s “salvation”, Baldwin biographer David Adams Leeming wrote. David Baldwin also hated white people and “his devotion to God was mixed with a hope that God would take revenge on them for him”, wrote another Baldwin biographer James Campbell. During the 1920s and 1930s, David worked at a soft-drinks bottling factory, though he was eventually laid off from this job, and, as his anger entered his sermons, he became less in demand as a preacher. David Baldwin sometimes took out his anger on his family, and the children became fearful of him, tensions to some degree balanced by the love lavished on them by their mother. David Baldwin grew paranoid near the end of his life. He was committed to a mental asylum in 1943 and died of tuberculosis on July 29 of that year, the same day Emma gave birth to their last child, Paula. James Baldwin, at his mother’s urging, had visited his dying stepfather the day before, and came to something of a posthumous reconciliation with him in his essay, “Notes of a Native Son“, in which he wrote, “in his outrageously demanding and protective way, he loved his children, who were black like him and menaced like him”.David Baldwin’s funeral was held on James’s 19th birthday, around the same time that the Harlem riot broke out.
As the oldest child, James worked part-time from an early age to help support his family. He was molded not only by the difficult relationships in his own household but by the results of poverty and discrimination he saw all around him. As he grew up, friends he sat next to in church would turn away to drugs, crime, or prostitution. In what Tubbs found not only a commentary on his own life but on the Black experience in America, Baldwin once wrote, “I never had a childhood … I did not have any human identity … I was born dead.”
Education and preaching
Baldwin wrote comparatively little about events at school. At five years old, Baldwin began school at Public School 24 on 128th Street in Harlem. The principal of the school was Gertrude E. Ayer, the first Black principal in the city, who recognized Baldwin’s precocity and encouraged him in his research and writing pursuits, as did some of his teachers, who recognized he had a brilliant mind. Ayer stated that James Baldwin got his writing talent from his mother, whose notes to school were greatly admired by the teachers, and that her son also learned to write like an angel, albeit an avenging one. By fifth grade, not yet a teenager, Baldwin had read some of Fyodor Dostoyevsky‘s works, Harriet Beecher Stowe‘s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and Charles Dickens‘ A Tale of Two Cities, beginning a lifelong interest in Dickens’ work. Baldwin wrote a song that earned New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia‘s praise in a letter that La Guardia sent to Baldwin. Baldwin also won a prize for a short story that was published in a church newspaper. Baldwin’s teachers recommended that he go to a public library on 135th Street in Harlem, a place that would become a sanctuary for Baldwin and where he would make a deathbed request for his papers and effects to be deposited.
It was at Public School. 24 that Baldwin met Orilla “Bill” Miller, a young white schoolteacher from the Midwest whom Baldwin named as partially the reason that he “never really managed to hate white people”. Among other outings, Miller took Baldwin to see an all-Black rendition of Orson Welles‘s take on Macbeth in Lafayette Theatre, from which flowed a lifelong desire to succeed as a playwright. David was reluctant to let his stepson go to the theatre—he saw stage works as sinful and was suspicious of Miller—but his wife insisted, reminding him of the importance of Baldwin’s education. Miller later directed the first play that Baldwin ever wrote.
After Public.School. 24, Baldwin entered Harlem’s Frederick Douglass Junior High School. At Douglass Junior High, Baldwin met two important influences. The first was Herman W. “Bill” Porter, a Black Harvard graduate. Porter was the faculty advisor to the school’s newspaper, the Douglass Pilot, where Baldwin would later be the editor. Porter took Baldwin to the library on 42nd Street to research a piece that would turn into Baldwin’s first published essay titled “Harlem—Then and Now”, which appeared in the autumn 1937 issue of Douglass Pilot. The second of these influences from his time at Douglass was the renowned poet of the Harlem Renaissance, Countee Cullen. Cullen taught French and was a literary advisor in the English department. Baldwin later remarked that he “adored” Cullen’s poetry, and said he found the spark of his dream to live in France in Cullen’s early impression on him. Baldwin graduated from Frederick Douglass Junior High in 1938.
In 1938, Baldwin applied to and was accepted at De Witt Clinton High School in the Bronx, a predominantly white, predominantly Jewish school, matriculating there that fall. At De Witt Clinton, Baldwin worked on the school’s magazine, the Magpie with Richard Avedon, who went on to become a noted photographer, and Emile Capouya and Sol Stein, who would both become renowned publishers. Baldwin did interviews and editing at the magazine and published a number of poems and other writings. Baldwin finished at De Witt Clinton in 1941. His yearbook listed his ambition as “novelist-playwright”. Baldwin’s motto in his yearbook was: “Fame is the spur and—ouch!”
Baldwin sought refuge in religion. He first joined the now-demolished Mount Calvary of the Pentecostal Faith Church on Lenox Avenue in 1937, but followed the preacher there, Bishop Rose Artemis Horn, who was affectionately called Mother Horn, when she left to preach at Fireside Pentecostal Assembly. At 14, “Brother Baldwin”, as Baldwin was called, first took to Fireside’s altar. It was at Fireside Pentecostal, during his mostly extemporaneous sermons, that Baldwin “learned that he had authority as a speaker and could do things with a crowd”, says biographer Campbell. Baldwin delivered his final sermon at Fireside Pentecostal in 1941. Baldwin later wrote in the essay “Down at the Cross” that the church “was a mask for self-hatred and despair … salvation stopped at the church door”.He related that he had a rare conversation with David Baldwin “in which they had really spoken to one another”, with his stepfather asking, “You’d rather write than preach, wouldn’t you?”
Later Years in New York
Baldwin left school in 1941 to earn money to help support his family. He secured a job helping to build a United States Army depot in New Jersey. In the middle of 1942 Emile Capouya helped Baldwin get a job laying tracks for the military in Belle Mead, New Jersey. The two lived in Rocky Hill and commuted to Belle Mead. In Belle Mead, Baldwin came to know the face of a prejudice that deeply frustrated and angered him and that he named the partial cause of his later emigration out of America. Baldwin’s fellow white workmen, who mostly came from the South, derided him for what they saw as his “uppity” ways and his lack of “respect”.Baldwin’s sharp, ironic wit particularly upset the white Southerners he met in Belle Mead.
In an incident that Baldwin described in “Notes of a Native Son“, Baldwin went to a restaurant in Princeton called the Balt where, after a long wait, Baldwin was told that “colored boys” weren’t served there. Then, on his last night in New Jersey, in another incident also memorialized in “Notes of a Native Son”, Baldwin and a friend went to a diner after a movie only to be told that Black people were not served there. Infuriated, he went to another restaurant, expecting to be denied service once again. When that denial of service came, humiliation and rage heaved up to the surface and Baldwin hurled the nearest object at hand—a water mug—at the waiter, missing her and shattering the mirror behind her. Baldwin and his friend narrowly escaped.
During these years, Baldwin was torn between his desire to write and his need to provide for his family. He took a succession of menial jobs, and feared becoming like his stepfather, who had been unable to properly provide for his family. Fired from the track-laying job, he returned to Harlem in June 1943 to live with his family after taking a meat-packing job. Baldwin would lose the meat-packing job too after falling asleep at the plant. He became listless and unstable, drifting from this odd job to that. Baldwin drank heavily, and endured the first of his nervous breakdowns.
Beauford Delaney helped Baldwin cast off his melancholy. In the year before he left De Witt Clinton and at Capuoya’s urging, Baldwin had met Delaney, a modernist painter, in Greenwich Village. Delaney would become Baldwin’s long-time friend and mentor, and helped demonstrate to Baldwin that a Black man could make his living in art. Moreover, when World War II bore down on the United States the winter after Baldwin left De Witt Clinton, the Harlem that Baldwin knew was atrophying—no longer the bastion of a Renaissance, the community grew more economically isolated and Baldwin considered his prospects there bleak. This led Baldwin to move to Greenwich Village, where Beauford Delaney lived and a place by which he had been fascinated since at least fifteen.
Baldwin lived in several locations in Greenwich Village, first with Delaney, then with a scattering of other friends in the area. He took a job at the Calypso Restaurant, an unsegregated eatery famous for the parade of prominent Black people who dined there. At Calypso, Baldwin worked under Trinidadian restauranteur Connie Williams, whom Delaney had introduced him to. While working at Calypso, Baldwin continued to explore his sexuality, came out to Capouya and another friend, and frequent Calypso guest, Stan Weir. He also had numerous one-night stands with various men, and several relationships with women. Baldwin’s major love during these years in the Village was an ostensibly straight Black man named Eugene Worth. Worth introduced Baldwin to the Young People’s Socialist League and Baldwin became a Trotskyist for a brief period. Baldwin never expressed his desire for Worth, and Worth died by suicide after jumping from the George Washington Bridge in 1946. In 1944 Baldwin met Marlon Brando, whom he was also attracted to, at a theater class in The New School. The two became fast friends, maintaining a closeness that endured through the Civil Rights Movement and long after. Later, in 1945, Baldwin started a literary magazine called The Generation with Claire Burch, who was married to Brad Burch, Baldwin’s classmate from De Witt Clinton. Baldwin’s relationship with the Burches soured in the 1950s but was resurrected near the end of his life.
Near the end of 1944 Baldwin met Richard Wright, who had published Native Son several years earlier. Baldwin’s main designs for that initial meeting were trained on convincing Wright of the quality of an early manuscript for what would become Go Tell It On The Mountain, then called “Crying Holy”. Wright liked the manuscript and encouraged his editors to consider Baldwin’s work, but an initial $500 advance from Harper & Brothers dissipated with no book to show for the trouble. Harper eventually declined to publish the book at all. Nonetheless, Baldwin sent letters to Wright regularly in the subsequent years and would reunite with Wright in Paris in 1948, though their relationship turned for the worse soon after the Paris reunion.
In these years in the Village, Baldwin made a number of connections in the liberal New York literary establishment, primarily through Worth: Sol Levitas at The New Leader, Randall Jarrell at The Nation, Elliot Cohen and Robert Warshow at Commentary, and Philip Rahv at Partisan Review. Baldwin wrote many reviews for The New Leader, but was published for the first time in The Nation in a 1947 review of Maxim Gorki‘s Best Short Stories. Only one of Baldwin’s reviews from this era made it into his later essay collection The Price of the Ticket: a sharply ironic assay of Ross Lockridge‘s Raintree Countree that Baldwin wrote for The New Leader. Baldwin’s first essay, “The Harlem Ghetto”, was published a year later in Commentary and explored anti-Semitism among Black Americans. His conclusion in “Harlem Ghetto” was that Harlem was a parody of white America, with white American anti-Semitism included. Jewish people were also the main group of white people that Black Harlem dwellers met, so Jews became a kind of synecdoche for all that the Black people in Harlem thought of white people. Baldwin published his second essay in The New Leader, riding a mild wave of excitement over “Harlem Ghetto”: in “Journey to Atlanta”, Baldwin uses the diary recollections of his younger brother David, who had gone to Atlanta as part of a singing group, to unleash a lashing of irony and scorn on the South, white radicals, and ideology itself. This essay, too, was well received.
Baldwin tried to write another novel, Ignorant Armies, plotted in the vein of Native Son with a focus on a scandalous murder, but no final product materialized and his strivings toward a novel remained unsated. Baldwin spent two months out of summer 1948 at Shanks Village, a writer’s colony in Woodstock, New York. He then published his first work of fiction, a short story called “Previous Condition”, in the October 1948 issue of Commentary, about a 20-something Black man who is evicted from his apartment, the apartment a metaphor for white society.
Life in Paris (1948–1957)
More information contained in the Wikipedia reference source.
Return to New York
Even from Paris, Baldwin heard the whispers of a rising Civil Rights Movement in his homeland: in May 1955, the United States Supreme Court ordered schools to desegregate “with all deliberate speed”; in August the racist murder of Emmett Till in Money, Mississippi and the subsequent acquittal of his killers would burn in Baldwin’s mind until he wrote Blues for Mister Charlie; in December Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus; and in February 1956 Autherine Lucy was admitted to the University of Alabama before being expelled when whites rioted. Meanwhile, Baldwin was increasingly burdened by the sense that he was wasting time in Paris. Baldwin began planning a return to the United States in hopes of writing a biography of Booker T. Washington, which he then called Talking at the Gates. Baldwin also received commissions to write a review of Daniel Guérin‘s Negroes on the March and J. C. Furnas‘s Goodbye to Uncle Tom for The Nation, as well as to write about William Faulkner and American racism for Partisan Review
The first project became “The Crusade of Indignation” published in July 1956. Baldwin suggests that the portrait of Black life in Uncle Tom’s Cabin “has set the tone for the attitude of American whites towards Negroes for the last one hundred years”, and that, given the novel’s popularity, this portrait has led to a unidimensional characterization of Black Americans that does not capture the full scope of Black humanity. The second project turned into the essay “William Faulkner and Desegregation”. The essay was inspired by Faulkner’s March 1956 comment during an interview that he was sure to enlist himself with his fellow white Mississippians in a war over desegregation “even if it meant going out into the streets and shooting Negroes”. For Baldwin, Faulkner represented the “go slow” mentality on desegregation that tries to wrestle with the Southerner’s peculiar dilemma: the South “clings to two entirely antithetical doctrines, two legends, two histories”; the southerner is “the proud citizen of a free society and, on the other hand, committed to a society that has not yet dared to free itself of the necessity of naked and brutal oppression.” Faulkner asks for more time but “the time […] does not exist. […] There is never time in the future in which we will work out our salvation.”
Baldwin initially intended to complete Another Country before returning to New York in the fall of 1957 but progress on the novel was trudging along, so he ultimately decided to go back to the United States sooner. Beauford Delaney was particularly upset about Baldwin’s departure. Delaney had started to drink a lot and was in the incipient stages of mental deterioration, now complaining about hearing voices. Nonetheless, after a brief visit with Édith Piaf, Baldwin set sail for New York in July 1957.
James Baldwin at home in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France
The house where James Baldwin lived and died in Saint Paul de Vence, France
Baldwin lived in France for most of his later life. He also spent some time in Switzerland and Turkey. Baldwin settled in Saint-Paul-de-Vence in the south of France in 1970, in an old Provençal house beneath the ramparts of the famous village.His house was always open to his friends who frequently visited him while on trips to the French Riviera. American painter Beauford Delaney made Baldwin’s house in Saint-Paul-de-Vence his second home, often setting up his easel in the garden. Delaney painted several colorful portraits of Baldwin. Fred Nall Hollis also befriended Baldwin during this time. Actors Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier were also regular house guests.
Many of Baldwin’s musician friends dropped in during the Jazz à Juan and Nice Jazz Festivals. They included Nina Simone, Josephine Baker (whose sister lived in Nice), Miles Davis, and Ray Charles In his autobiography, Miles Davis wrote:-
I’d read his books and I liked and respected what he had to say. As I got to know Jimmy we opened up to each other and became real great friends. Every time I went to southern France to play Antibes, I would always spend a day or two out at Jimmy’s house in St. Paul de Vence. We’d just sit there in that great big beautiful house of his telling us all kinds of stories, lying our asses off…. He was a great man.
The years Baldwin spent in Saint-Paul-de-Vence were also years of work. Sitting in front of his sturdy typewriter, he devoted his days to writing and to answering the huge amount of mail he received from all over the world. He wrote several of his last works in his house in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, including Just Above My Head in 1979 and Evidence of Things Not Seen in 1985. It was also in his Saint-Paul-de-Vence house that Baldwin wrote his famous “Open Letter to My Sister, Angela Y. Davis” in November 1970.
Baldwin’s lengthy essay “Down at the Cross” (frequently called The Fire Next Time after the title of the 1963 book in which it was published) similarly showed the seething discontent of the 1960s in novel form. The essay was originally published in two oversized issues of The New Yorker and landed Baldwin on the cover of Time magazine in 1963 while he was touring the South speaking about the restive Civil Rights Movement. Around the time of publication of The Fire Next Time, Baldwin became a known spokesperson for civil rights and a celebrity noted for championing the cause of Black Americans. He frequently appeared on television and delivered speeches on college campuses. The essay talked about the uneasy relationship between Christianity and the burgeoning Black Muslim movement. After publication, several Black nationalists criticized Baldwin for his conciliatory attitude. They questioned whether his message of love and understanding would do much to change race relations in America. The book was consumed by whites looking for answers to the question: What do Black Americans really want? Baldwin’s essays never stopped articulating the anger and frustration felt by real-life Black Americans with more clarity and style than any other writer of his generation.
James Baldwin – Quotes on Equality – in Respect of Race
Baldwin faced racism in his life as he grew up. The mistreatment of fellow kin had an impact on his life as is depicted through his publications. The following are some of his statements about race:
- The only thing that white people have that black people need, or should want, is power-and no one holds power forever.
- Nakedness has no colour: this can come as news only to those who have never covered, or been covered by, another naked human being.
- Please try to remember that what they believe, as well as what they do and cause you to endure does not testify to your inferiority but to their inhumanity.
- I love a few people, and they love me, and some of them are white and isn’t love more important than colour?
- What one does realise is that when you try to stand up and look the world in the face like you had a right to be here, without knowing that this is the result of it, you have attacked the entire power structure of the Western world.
- From my point of view, no label, no slogan, no party, no skin colour, and indeed no religion is more important than the human being. It is not a romantic matter. It is the unutterable truth: all men are brothers. That’s the bottom line.
- People who treat other people as less than human must not be surprised when the bread they have cast on the waters comes floating back to them, poisoned.
- The power of the White world is threatened whenever a Black man refuses to accept the white world’s definitions.
The following are some of James Baldwin’s greatest, shortest, and most famous remarks about truth and justice.
- Even those who are not affected by injustice are as indignant as those who are. Ask any Mexican, any Puerto Rican, any black man, any poor person – ask the wretched how they fare in the halls of justice.
- The county is not just about justice, it is about injustice. If one wishes to know how justice is administered in a country, one does not question the policemen, the lawyers, the judges, or the protected members of the middle class. One goes to the unprotected – those, precisely, who need the law’s protection most! – and listen to their testimony.
- There are so many ways of being despicable it quite makes one’s head spin. But the way to be really despicable is to be contemptuous of other people’s pain.
- It is a terrible, inexorable law that one cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one’s own: in the face of one’s victim, one sees oneself.
- American history is longer, larger, more varied, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it.
- Words like “freedom,” “justice,” “democracy” are not common concepts; on the contrary, they are rare. American identity is a series of myths about one’s heroic ancestors.
- To be born in a free society and not be born free is born into a lie. Any honest examination of national life proves how far we are from the standard of human freedom we began.
- Experience, which destroys innocence, also leads one back to it. If one cannot risk oneself, then one is simply incapable of giving. And, after all, one can give freedom only by setting someone free.
- Our dehumanisation of the Negro then is indivisible from our dehumanisation of ourselves; the loss of our own identity is the price we pay for our annulment of his. The miracle is that some have stepped out of the rags of the Republic’s definition to assume the great burden and glory of their humanity and their responsibility for one another.
- The making of an American begins at the point where he rejects all other ties, any other history, and himself adopts the vesture of his adopted land. Read more:
Justice and Equality in the UK for Meghan The Duchess of Sussex – Did it ever happen?
Extracts from the NBC News Reference Source:-
Harry and Meghan’s departure has prompted a nationwide reckoning about whether this former empire has made any significant progress tackling issues of racism and classism. The fight has been cast as the latest battle in a culture war dividing this country and beyond.
Younger people are more likely to side with the Sussexes on grounds of mental health and race, polls suggest, while older Britons are more inclined to believe the couple acted hypocritically and disrespected Harry’s grandmother, the widely loved Queen Elizabeth II.
The tone of the debate couldn’t be further removed from the initial optimism of the wedding, which saw A-list celebrities, an African American bishop and a gospel choir breathe an unprecedented energy into the fusty pomp and circumstance that’s defined these spectacles for centuries.
“It felt like something out of a storybook,” said Munya Chawawa, 27, a broadcaster and a satirist, who was a pundit during the BBC coverage that day. “I actually felt a bit tearful, seeing a foreign woman of color not only being accepted into the royal family but applauded by the masses filling the streets. It felt like I was part of a moment in history.”
Soon came headlines, however, commenting on Meghan’s “exotic DNA,” and how she was “(almost) straight outta Compton.” A BBC presenter was fired for tweeting a picture of a chimpanzee and likening it to the couple’s son, Archie. And Princess Michael of Kent — who is married to the queen’s first cousin — wore a blackamoor brooch when she met Meghan for the first time.
There were startling double standards.
The Daily Mail ran a story about Prince William’s wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, “cradling her baby bump,” while accusing Meghan of “pride” and “vanity” for doing the same. The Daily Express told of how William “gifted” Kate avocados, but when Meghan ate the fruit, it was linked to “human rights abuses and drought.”
Not everyone agreed Meghan was a victim. Some members of the British commentariat, many of them middle-aged and white, not only saw the allegations of racism as overblown, but also often turned the claims on their head.
“To call me a white, privileged male is to be racist,” the British actor Laurence Fox said during a BBC TV debate, when one audience member suggested he might be blind to such prejudices.
“It’s not racism,” he said of the headlines. “We’re the most tolerant, lovely country in Europe.”
It’s true that the United Kingdom does have among the most positive attitudes toward immigration of any country in the world, pollster Ipsos MORI found last year. And for its part, the tabloid press insisted its initially positive view of Meghan only turned negative in response to what it saw as the couple’s hypocrisy.
This included the Sussexes taking private jets while proselytizing about climate change, and using $3 million in public funds to renovate their residence, while demanding a level of privacy that’s unprecedented for the taxpayer-bankrolled royals.
“It’s laughable,” Dan Wootton, executive editor at The Sun, told the British broadcaster ITV News. “The criticism of Meghan has got nothing to do with her race.”
Blinded by privilege
In the diverse London neighborhood of Hackney, a group of black high-school girls erupted with laughter at the idea Meghan’s treatment was fair.
“Of course, no one is going to call her an f—— N-word in a headline,” Peace Ogbuani, 15, said censoring herself in real time. “Maybe in America they would write that, but in Britain they are more subtly racist. Instead, you can see it in their mannerisms and the way they treat people.”
Her friend, Rhoda Sakate, 16, chimed in: “They are blinded by their white privilege. It’s the older, white men” — her friends joining in, unprompted, to enunciate those words in unison — “who are the ones that are chatting the most.”
This discussion at a local community college was organized by the London-based charity Voyage, which says it “aims to empower marginalized black young people” through workshops and other activities. For most of the group, Meghan was the first royal to pique their interest.
“If you see a representation of yourself in something, you’re more likely to be interested in it,” Rachael Oloyede, 15, said. “I can still remember how multicultural the wedding was and how it reached out to everyone,” Jannelle Afram, also 15, added.
Now that fairy tale is over, and the message couldn’t be clearer for these high-schoolers.
“Even if you’re rich and of a certain status, you’re still black,” Ogbuani said. “You’re black first and foremost before you’re rich.”
JAMES Baldwin on Racism on Dick Cavette Show:
James Baldwin Debates William F Buckley:
James Baldwin – ABC Tried to Bury this Footage:- 4 decades later it is still relevant:-
Conversation With a Native Son: Maya Angelou and James Baldwin:-
One of my personal favourites. James Baldwin speech at Cambridge University:-
Civil Rights 1963: James Baldwin and Marlon Brando (and others you will recognise):-
11 Sept 2022
James Baldwin’s Life Story
Relevance to The Sussexes experience