Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Late, Great James Baldwin...

I have spent the last 4 hours listening to audio recordings of the late, great author, essayist, and public intellectual, James Baldwin. Baldwin, to me, personifies Mari Evan's philosophy that "Clarity is more than a concept; it's a way of life". He was a fearless "truth-teller" as Cornel West puts it, and his words have resonated with something deep and indescribable within me. Here are a few of my favorite Baldwin quotes:

"Drive to the heart of every answer and expose the question that answer hides".

"To defend one's self against fear is simply to ensure that one will, one day, be conquered by it; fears must be faced".

"The questions which one asks oneself begin, at least, to illuminate the world, and become one's key to the experiences of others".

"It is very nearly impossible to become an educated person in a country so distrustful of the independent mind".

"It is certain, in any case, that ignorance allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have".

When you get some time, listen to some of Baldwin's interviews and speeches at: