B A L D W I N H O U R
D E V I T A D A V I S O N
Thursday, April 7, 2016, 6-8pm
Urban Consulate, 4470 Second Avenue, Detroit USA
The truth is that the story of America is intertwined with the messy story of racism, and until the entire nation comes to grips with this disturbing fact, it is likely that a resolution to the problem will continue to elude us.
Fifty years ago, Thomas Merton and James Baldwin exchanged “letters” devoted to this topic. If there is any significant lesson to be learned from their “correspondence” it is this: racism in America will not be solved by the nation’s liberals or conservatives, politicians or activists. Rather, change will be brought about by people who can see the problem from a self-critical, but not self-condemning perspective.
What is it, exactly, that makes Baldwin so important, and ever-relevant to who we are as a nation right now?
The Fire Next Time says that if "the relatively conscious whites and the relatively conscious blacks" work together "like lovers" and "insist on, or create, the consciousness of the others … we may be able, handful that we are, to end the racial nightmare, and achieve our country, and change the history of the world."
- A Letter To My Nephew (The Progressive, December 1962)
- A Conversation between James Baldwin & Thomas Merton