Thursday, December 27, 2012

The timeless and prescient -- Mr. James Baldwin

6 comments:

Carolyn Moon said...

Mr. Baldwin was a force back in the day and those of us who still revere his scholarship and the impact of his ideas must continue to remind and enlighten subsequent generations.

He was a complex individual and an explorer of new paradigms in which to define ourselves and our struggle.

Admiration abound regarding this speech as well as others. I must say that when my daughter forwarded a video of him actually singing "Precious Lord", tears immediately sprung to my eyes. That one is difficult to find now,however, there is one of him singing this classic. For that was a song that I loved as a child and have kept locked in a sacred place in my heart. For you see, I was into a more robust protest songs of fight...fight...and then fight some more! No apologies intended here for liberation theology. As I transition from late fall to early winter; there are some truths that are constant. They became more apparent when listening to the depth of feeling as he sung this song. I'm sure that it may have been of significant comfort as a child and young man interested in the ministry; according to one of his biographies.

Many of us..not all return to our roots in varying ways with a better understanding of the world and humanity. He was a world traveler and many would say of sophisticated taste,however, he too..returned to that sacred place tucked away for some solace.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0Eet937d4I

Thanks Deb for reminding us of this extraordinary human being.

Deb said...

Yes he was, and for many of us -- he still is today! I loved him in all his complexity. He opened up a whole new world for this little, Black, SC girl, thanks to Ms. Alfreda Jenkins, my high school English/freshman French teacher!

This certainly was a good speech. There's a link to an even more direct one under the, "Because Black History..." section in the sidebar. We just don't have critical thinkers like him today. {smdh}

Thanks for the "Precious Lord" link! I'd never heard him sing before, but shouldn't have been surprised since he was a child preacher in his Daddy's church!

Like I told Bro. Amenta in the comments on one of my posts, I'm in a "crisis of Christian faith" kinda place right now (have been for some time actually). I was raised a Black, Southern Baptist (with a brief stint as a Catholic from the 6th grade to the 9th when we had to transfer to public school). And though I see the church in a whole different light these days, our old Negro spirituals and all of our gospel music still course, unabated, through my veins. Like you, they are locked in my heart, and my soul.

"As I transition from late fall to early winter; there are some truths that are constant."

Agreed, and I'm perfectly okay with that!

"Many of us..not all return to our roots in varying ways with a better understanding of the world and humanity."

You're right about that , especially the "not all" part. That, I think, is THE favorite way (among the many) that Baldwin influenced my young life -- for all his travels and sophisticated tastes, he never, ever, forget "from whence he came."

"Thanks Deb for reminding us of this extraordinary human being."

Your welcome my Sister, but no thanks needed really. I'm just trying to do what I feel I'm supposed to do -- honor our ancestors and rich cultural heritage by preserving the how and what they built for us in this place -- so that our children don't forget, on whose shoulders they really stand.

Peace, and Happy Holidays...

Amenta said...

I never knew much about Mr. Baldwin's work other than what my mother would speak about. The advent of the internet enabled me to actually see several of his speeches and thanks to you I have seen more of he and Dr. Clark.

"We just don't have critical thinkers like him today. {smdh}"

Acutally, we do. Some may be like Baldwin and some may be different, but critical thinkers they are.

Dr. Jewell Pookrum

Dr. Yaffa Bey

Dr. Booker T. Coleman

Dr. Sebi

Dr. Phil Valentine

Brotha Polight

Queen Afua

Dr. Jose Pimenta Bey

Dr. Ray Haggins

Sister Renita Valharre Bey

Dr. Africa

Dr. Richard King

There are several more I just cannot think if right now.

Peace!



Amenta said...

"Negro spirituals and all of our gospel music still course, unabated, through my veins..."

Yes, because it is part of your DNA and has less to do with the church than it does to your Soul.

I feel you on this. It was years for me and much my little secret from my family as I was much younger when I began to have the "scales" removed from mine eyes...LOL!

http://supremeultimate.wordpress.com/2011/02/06/491/

On 13:00 minutes until 13:46 has now been dispelled. Check the works of some of the people I presented above as critical thinkers.

We now know that Christopher Colon (Columbus) was from a family of assasins. All those that carried the name Colon from Genoa were assasins or from the family that has a history of being assassins. We now understand that Crisopher Colon knew exactly where he was going since he had sailed with the Moors from an early age of 14 or 17. We now know the Moors has been teaching the Earth was round in Spain for more than 700 years. We also know Abu Bakari had been coming to the Americas since the 1300's. We know that Chris Colon purposfully went to Angola to hire the Pinzon brothes of Angola to navigate to the Americas.
We now understand there was no country called India during those times therefore they could be looking for a place called India or the Indies.
David MacRitchie in his book Ancient and Moderns Britons notes that people of Scotland, Ireland and Britain referred to people that inhabited islands no matter where those islands were in the world, were called Indians by virtue of living on an island. These are things we know now that further research has revealed to us.

Please absolve me for taking up so much space.

Peace!

Deb said...

Amenta...Hey, Man!

"...and thanks to you I have seen more of he and Dr. Clark."

Glad to hear I'm doing my part!

"Actually, we do. Some may be like Baldwin and some may be different, but critical thinkers they are."

Thanks for the list -- you always keep in "homework!" :-D I can't argue your point because I'm not familiar with those on the list, but I don't doubt you.

My point though, was that Baldwin's intellectualism did not come from the "hallowed halls" of American universities as I recall. He has no title before, nor alphabets after, his name. His critical observations came from living his life AWAKE, both in these alleged United States and abroad.

He realized early on that he had to be awake, unlike some of us, so happy to be free to integrate ourselves into a system that never had, and still doesn't have OUR best interests in mind (to them, we remain less than human -- easily manipulated psychologically, and certainly, easily abused physically with no fear of retribution from other "real Americans" forthcoming -- hardly ever).

Don't get me wrong, formal education is necessary to be competitive (real education that is, not just biased "programming" in favor of, and for the benefit of, the White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy), but in addition to that education, one must have -- some damned common sense!!

Baldwin's common sense, coupled with his ability to express it so eloquently and unequivocally, is another one of those things about him that I find captivating. Time and again, one could see that, to Baldwin -- titles be damned! No matter to whom he was speaking, he told the truth as he saw it whether they wanted to hear it or not.

And because he lived his life awake, concerning himself deeply with humanity (or the lack thereof) -- his observations of our society could not then, nor now, IMHO, be either challenged or marginalized. He was a way better man than many! When you have some time, check out the link in the sidebar under his picture for another great offering in full, on CSPAN. The entire video wasn't embeddable or I sure would have put it there!

Peace back atcha Brother...

Deb said...

Amenta..."Yes, because it is part of your DNA and has less to do with the church than it does to your Soul."

Yes! That's precisely it!

You know, I read that post you linked to before! It was very late one night when I was immersed in a "How much more Lord," confused, pity party. I got up and started perusing my links and ended up there! Again, plenty homework, but your, "God IS Spirit, God IS Love" was extremely helpful in my flailing (Juan's comment, warning you against witchcraft was interesting. Was he talking about Yoruba? Vodun? Santeria?).

"On 13:00 minutes until 13:46 has now been dispelled. Check the works of some of the people I presented above as critical thinkers."

I believe Baldwin's "adventurer" was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. But I gotta tell you, I went from the spoon-fed line in elementary school that he "discovered" some shit; to believing he got lost and didn't discover a damned thing; to agreeing with Dr. Clarke that he was heavily involved in the slave trade. I didn't know he was an assassin, nor that he'd sought out Angolan navigators (see what I mean about that, "biased programming" in favor of, and for the benefit of, the White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy?")!

She-e-et, I got a shit-load of reading to do! Since it seems my ass is slowly going blind (never wore any kind of glasses in my life til I was about 49 or 50!), I wonder if I can get some of these in audiobooks?

No absolution required, Brother! You are always welcome to share as much as you like (besides, it ain't like there's a line of folk waiting to comment)! :-D

Peace -- and thanks for the "homework!"


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...