Going to Meet the Man, James Baldwin, 1965

Baldwin has written an incredibly powerful set of stories throwing into high relief the situation of the Black American in the 1960’s. Fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, and most of all, men and women struggle in the oppression of the legacy of slavery, the second class citizenship, the abuse both direct and subtle. The final eponymous story is painful in its depiction of a lynching of a Black man in the south, his mutilation and burning witnessed by a young child brought to the ‘picnic’ by his parents who grows up to be a deputy sheriff dealing with the civil rights demonstrators of the ’60’s. Baldwin is back in fashion, but reading this collection of fiction and The Fire Last Time last year and listening to Trump and Sessions, one is left discouraged and saddened by America’s inability to look, learn, and change. Baldwin is incredibly powerful!