James Baldwin Documentary Has Relevance in the United States Today


James Baldwin

Within the theater while the documentary was running people began to applaud Baldwin’s words which were spoken nearly five decades ago.

Race and the American Crisis in the 21st Century

Consequently, the evoking of these searing questions still has much relevance for the current period in the U.S. The ascendancy of the Trump administration has made many whites comfortable to express their greatest fears through racist demagogy and practices.

This film by Peck makes an important contribution in fostering a dialogue about race, class and social justice. It is good to see Baldwin, who was a highly visible figure in the 1960s and 1970s both through the print media and mass communications outlets, almost resurrected through this documentary. Baldwin died from cancer in France on December 1, 1987.

Similar voices such as Baldwin’s are needed today. This film raises the question as to who are the public intellectuals in the America of the second decade of the 21st century; those activists and thinkers that are immersed in the burning and pressing issues of the day.

This inquiry can only be answered by the younger generation which has recognized the need to continue the revolution to its completion. How this is to be done remains a chapter to be written for the annals of the future.

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