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Thread: JAMES BALDWIN and ME

  1. #1
    Mr RonPrice Ron Price's Avatar
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    JAMES BALDWIN and ME

    JAMES BALDWIN and ME

    Part 1:

    James Baldwin returned to the United States from Paris in the summer of 1957 while the Civil Rights Act of that year was being debated in Congress. In the spring of 1960 the Partisan Review editor Philip Rahv suggested to Baldwin(1924-1987) that he report on what was happening in the American south. I was in grade 10 at the time, in love with a girl around the corner from my house, and had just joined the Baha’i Faith. I knew nothing of James Baldwin.

    Baldwin, an American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic published an essay in 1962 in the New Yorker. The New Yorker called the essay "Letter from a Region of My Mind". Baldwin also published a shorter essay The Fire Next Time.(1)

    In Baldwin’s first five years back in the USA, from 1957 to 1962, as I say, I had not heard of him. These were my high school years, and in 1962 I was gearing-up for the most demanding year of my academic life, grade 13 in Ontario with its nine subjects. In 1962-63 four hours of nightly homework were required if I wanted to get into university in 1963. The year 1962 was also my last year of organized baseball for the Burlington All-Stars on the mound. It was also my first year of travelling-pioneering for the Canadian Baha’i community.

    Part 2:

    In the early 1960s Baldwin aligned himself with the ideals of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee(SNCC). In 1964/65 I had become involved with SNCC while at university in southern Ontario. I got my photo on the front page of The Hamilton Spectator due to my taking part in a protest rally in Toronto, my involvement at the time with SNCC, and my being a student at McMaster university in Hamilton. For a comprehensive and succinct overview of SNCC in the 1960s go to this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Student...ting_Committee -Ron Price with thanks to (1)Carol Polsgrove, Divided Minds: Intellectuals and the Civil Rights Movement, 2001, pp. 94-99, and 155-156.

    By 1965, when I was finishing
    2nd year of history-philosophy,
    SNCC fielded the largest staff
    of any civil rights organization
    in the South organizing direct
    action-non-violence….against
    all segregated facilities…..and
    voter-registration projects, in:

    Alabama, Arkansas, Maryland,
    Missouri, Louisiana, Virginia,
    Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois,
    N. & S. Carolina, Georgia, &
    Mississippi/It inspired-trained
    activists in….that "New Left."

    SNCC wanted all sorts of change
    in American society. But by 1966
    I was completing my degree in
    sociology; SNCC had changed
    its policy of non-violence to a
    black supremacist hatred of all
    whites1 platform…..And I was
    ensconced in a wider, a global
    ideology with a different policy
    agenda that would determine the
    direction of my remaining years
    from Canada to the antipodes!!!2

    1 Go to this link for a description of the transition from non-violence to violence:
    http://www.aavw.org/protest/carmicha...ct06_full.html SNCC can no longer be n civil
    2 By the late summer of 1966 I had decided to be a part of the Baha’i teaching program in the Canadian Arctic. In September 1966 I was the vice-chairman of the elected body of the Baha’is of Windsor Ontario, and was being mentored by Jameson Bond, a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Windsor. This was part of my commitment to being a primary school teacher in the District of Franklin and a Canadian pioneer to that region.

    Ron Price
    16/1/’13.
    Last edited by Ron Price; 01-15-2013 at 09:39 PM. Reason: to highlight a book
    Ron Price is a Canadian who has been living in Australia for 42 years(in 2013). He is married to a Tasmanian and has been for 37 years after 8 years in a first marriage. At the age of 69 he now spends most of his time as an author and writer, poet and publisher. editor and researcher, online blogger, essayist, journalist and engaging in independent scholarship. He has been associated with the Baha'i Faith for 60 years and a member for 53 years.cool:

  2. #2
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    Your mountain seems not to have been high enough here. Maybe no one spotted a point to reply to. Baldwin was an amazingly good writer. Too tied to religion for the peelie-wallie shrinking violets of today. Are you ok? Not seen many recent posts

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