This essay uses Edward Said’s theory of affiliation to consider the
relationship between James Baldwin and contemporary artists Teju Cole and Glenn
Ligon, both of whom explicitly engage with their predecessor’s writing in
their own work. Specifically, Baldwin’s essay “Stranger in the
Village” (1953) serves a through-line for this discussion, as it is
invoked in Cole’s essay “Black Body” and Ligon’s
visual series, also titled Stranger in the Village. In
juxtaposing these three artists, I argue that they express the dialectical
energy of affiliation by articulating ongoing concerns of race relations in
America while distinguishing themselves from Baldwin in terms of periodization,
medium-specificity, and their broader relationship to Western art practice. In
their adoption of Baldwin, Cole and Ligon also imagine a way beyond his
historical anxieties and writing-based practice, even as they continue to
reinscribe their own work with his arguments about the African-American
experience. This essay is an intermedial study that reads fiction, nonfiction,
language-based conceptual art and mixed media, as well as contemporary politics
and social media in order consider the nuances of the African-American
experience from the postwar period to our contemporary moment. Concerns about
visuality/visibility in the public sphere, narrative voice, and
self-representation, as well as access to cultural artifacts and aesthetic
engagement, all emerge in my discussion of this constellation of artists. As a
result, this essay identifies an emblematic, though not exclusive, strand of
African-American intellectual thinking that has never before been brought
together. It also demonstrates the ongoing relevance of Baldwin’s
thinking for the contemporary political scene in this country.
James Baldwin, William F. Buckley,
Jr., and the 1965 Cambridge Debate
Daniel Robert McClure
The 1965 debate at Cambridge University between James Baldwin and William F. Buckley,
Jr., posed the question: “Has the American Dream been achieved at the Expense of the
American Negro?” Within the contours of the debate, Baldwin and Buckley wrestled with the
ghosts of settler colonialism and slavery in a nation founded on freedom and equality.
Framing the debate within the longue durée, this essay examines the deep cultural currents
related to the American racial paradox at the height of the Civil Rights movement.
Underscoring the changing language of white resistance against black civil rights, the
essay argues that the Baldwin and Buckley debate anticipated the ways the U.S. would
address racial inequality in the aftermath of the civil rights era and the dawn of
neoliberalism in the 1970s.
Artists, scholars, and popular media often describe James Baldwin as
revolutionary, either for his written work or for his role in the civil rights
movement. But what does it mean to be revolutionary? This article contends that
thoughtlessly calling James Baldwin revolutionary obscures and erases the
non-revolutionary strategies and approaches he employed in his contributions to
the civil rights movement and to race relations as a whole. Frequent use of
revolutionary as a synonym for “great” or
“important” creates an association suggesting that all good things
must be revolutionary, and that anything not revolutionary is insufficient,
effectively erasing an entire spectrum of social and political engagement from
view. Baldwin’s increasing relevance to our contemporary moment suggests
that his non-revolutionary tactics are just as important as the revolutionary
approaches employed by civil rights leaders such as Malcolm X or Martin Luther
James Baldwin, William F. Buckley, Jr., and the Civil Rights
Born in New York City only fifteen months apart, the Harlem-raised James Baldwin
and the privileged William F. Buckley, Jr. could not have been more different,
but they both rose to the height of American intellectual life during the civil
rights movement. By the time they met in February 1965 to debate race and the
American Dream at the Cambridge Union, Buckley—a founding father of the
American conservative movement—was determined to sound the alarm about a
man he considered an “eloquent menace.” For his part, Baldwin
viewed Buckley as a deluded reactionary whose popularity revealed the sickness
of the American soul. The stage was set for an epic confrontation that pitted
Baldwin’s call for a moral revolution in race relations against
Buckley’s unabashed elitism and implicit commitment to white supremacy.
In this article I introduce readers to the story at the heart of my new book
about Baldwin and Buckley, The Fire Is Upon Us.
German Responses to the June 2019 Mission of the Sea-Watch 3
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Fekete , L. , Webber , F. and Edmond-Pettitt , A. ( 2017 ), Humanitarianism: The Unacceptable Face of Solidarity ( London : Institute of RaceRelations ).
Fekete , L. , Webber , F. and Edmond-Pettitt , A. ( 2019 ), When Witnesses Won’t Be Silenced: Citizens’ Solidarity and Criminalisation ( London : Institute of RaceRelations ).
Fiori , J. ( 2019 ), ‘ Rescue and Resistance in the Med: An Interview with Caroline Abu Sa’Da, General Director of SOS MEDITERRANEE Suisse ’, Journal of Humanitarian Affairs , 1 : 1
As a technology able to picture and embody the temporality of the past, cinema has become central to the mediation of memory in modern cultural life. The memory of film scenes and movies screens, cinema and cinema-going, has become integral to the placement and location of film within the cultural imagination of this century and the last. This book is a sustained, interdisciplinary perspective on memory and film from early cinema to the present. The first section examines the relationship between official and popular history and the constitution of memory narratives in and around the production and consumption of American cinema. The second section examines the politics of memory in a series of chapters that take as their focus three pivotal sites of national conflict in postwar America. This includes the war in Vietnam, American race relations and the Civil Rights Movement, and the history of marginality in the geographic and cultural borderlands of the US. The book explores the articulation of Vietnam. The final section concentrates on the issue of mediation; it explores how technological and semiotic shifts in the cultural terrain have influenced the coding and experience of memory in contemporary cinema. It considers both the presence of music and colour in nostalgia films of the 1990s and the impact of digital and video technologies on the representational determinants of mediated memory. The book also examines the stakes of cultural remembering in the United States and the means by which memory has been figured through Hollywood cinema.
Issues concerning women
and the multicultural society
➤ The background to racial problems in the UK
➤ Descriptions of the main pieces of race legislation
➤ The features and importance of the Stephen Lawrence case
➤ The importance of the Macpherson and Ousley Reports
➤ The work of the Commission for Racial Equality
➤ The broad issues of racial discrimination
➤ Forms of non-legislative racerelations initiatives
➤ The issue of multiracialism
Although Britain has, throughout its history, assimilated large numbers of
image of reasoned seriousness while also identifying, even if only by
name, influential people whose support could be claimed in the cause of
The League was energetic in confronting the colour bar.
Much of the energy came from Moody himself. Racist language was
challenged whether it was on the BBC, in parliament or in the press;
letters were written to departments of state, and on major
Conservative politics of nationhood under
William Hague, focusing on the ‘English Question’ and the politics of ‘race’.
Policy towards the European Union (EU) is examined in Chapter 8.
The end of Empire, moves towards membership of the European Community (EC), devolution and immigration posed significant challenges to the
dominant One Nation perspective in the 1960s. Two contrasting positions
on how to adapt the Conservative politics of nationhood emerged. Edward
Heath proposed EC membership, Scottish devolution and a liberal perspective
on racerelations. Enoch Powell