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Publisher's Summary

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

What listeners say about The Fire This Time

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  • Overall
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Delusion shattering

The Fire This Time is a beautiful and heart-wrenching introduction for the uncomfortable conversations that need to occur in our nation.

1 person found this helpful

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An extremely powerful examination of race in America

Absolutely fantastic collection of essays and the myriad of performances here really bring them to life. 5/5 across the board.

1 person found this helpful

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Better Than Expected

At first I had trouble listening but after sitting down and paying attention I could not turn it off.

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strong voices, witness to our times

the last essay is head & shoulders best above the rest. I'll be listening to it again

1 person found this helpful

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Truly tragic

When will these horrible occurrences end? Will there ever be true equity in the USA for all citizens?

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Driving while Pondering

Everyone should read this book and in particular anyone who is in denial of systemic racism. The morning I finished I was driving my son to work and we saw police lights. Someone was pulled over in front of us. A second police car also there and officer returned to his vehicle. Thank goodness it appeared to be a mask he was grabbing. The driver was a black male. My son couldn’t figure out why there would be two cars. I immediately returned after the ten minutes it took to drop my son and felt such relief no one was still there. I willed myself to believe it was “okay.”

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The most useful book I have ever read about race

This book brought me to tears, raised my awareness, and change my understanding about what it means to be black in America.

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Must Read!

Must read if you want to understand the victories and struggles of blackness. It is a journey that is transformative.

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Please Please READ!!!

This book changed my perspective, My world, My life. Appreciative and so grateful! I've been recommending to all of my friends

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must listen

this is an important book to read. it details struggles of race. it needs to be read.