Bristol Festival of Ideas: How Can James Baldwin Guide Us Today?

Bristol Festival of Ideas: How Can James Baldwin Guide Us Today?


Drawing on the insights of activist and author James Baldwin, Eddie S. Glaude Jnr reflects on the current racial malaise that has gripped the US.

He explores how Baldwin’s life, work and experience of injustice can help us understand the present moment, and imagine a new future.

This is Glaude’s attempt to hold off despair and disillusionment as his country lurches to the right and black people have to fight against white supremacy.

For Baldwin, a similar attempt to force a confrontation with the truth of America’s racism came in the wake of the Civil Rights Movement, and was answered with the murders of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. In the years from the publication of The Fire Next Time in 1963 to that of No Name in the Street in 1972, Baldwin – often referred to as ‘the poet of the revolution’ – became a more overtly political writer, a change that came at great professional and personal cost. He emerged with a sense of renewed purpose about the necessity of pushing forward for change.

America is at a crossroads. Inspired by Baldwin’s writings, Glaude suggests we can find hope and guidance through our own era of shattered promises and white retrenchment.

6.00pm - 6.45pm

£0 - £8

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