National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward takes James Baldwin's 1963 examination of race in America, The Fire Next Time, as a jumping-off point for this groundbreaking collection of essays and poems about race from the most important voices of her generation and our time.
In light of recent tragedies and widespread protests across the nation, The Progressive magazine republished one of its most famous pieces: James Baldwin's 1962 "Letter to My Nephew", which was later published in his landmark book, The Fire Next Time. Addressing his 15-year-old namesake on the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Baldwin wrote, "You know and I know that the country is celebrating 100 years of freedom 100 years too soon."
Award-winning author Jesmyn Ward knows that Baldwin's words ring as true as ever today. In response she has gathered short essays, memoir, and a few essential poems to engage the question of race in the United States. And she has turned to some of her generation's most original thinkers and writers to give voice to their concerns.
©2016 Jesmyn Ward (P)2016 Recorded Books
I am a live storyteller who devours huge amounts of audio books to study classics and new books so I can tell new stories.
What made the experience of listening to The Fire This Time the most enjoyable was the quality, the depth, and the variety of the essays. It thrilled me to hear so many voices speak eloquently and forcefully on the subject of race in America.
I would compare The Fire This Time to the book of the same title by James Baldwin. The essayists expanded upon and updated his book for a new generation. They reexamined the premises that Baldwin had written about.
I do not know the name of either the essay or the essayist but I coined the essay "Walking While Black" because the author recounts all the ways he is profiled and discriminated against just by walking in a white neighborhood. As a person who walks, this essay resonated with me.
This is a spectacular collection. I look forward to rereading Baldwin's The Fire This Time and W.E.B. Du Bois The Souls of Black Folks which inspired the recent collection of essays. I highly recommend all of them.
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