Awesome stuff from Ed Pavlić on his must read article on James Baldwin at 90:
The questions which connect Baldwin’s meetings with Kennedy and with the people on the streets of San Francisco are still unasked. The American idiom to ask and answer them in still eludes us. Today, huge numbers of people assume they can avoid—are clueless as to how connect to—such questions. Post-Racialists. Others, trapped inside the questions, can’t afford to suspect they don’t know the answers. Racial essentialists. The result is widespread dues unpaid as much American experience occurs in denied territory, being uncharted within and un-communicated between people. Panic stricken vacuums abound. What changes, what constants and what illusions made the United States the place that elects a black President? What does black President actually mean? And, for whom does what change, exactly? And, what then? No one engaged these questions and sought terms that would force still deeper ones more intensely than James Baldwin. If we’re serious about what Baldwin’s work can mean in the contemporary world—and evidence mounts indicating that we aren’t[ix]—the place to begin is with a brief look at the structure of the constant changes and changing constants in the musically inflected dimensions of Baldwin’s thought. After that, we’ll examine a few moments in the contemporary culture: a viral Youtube film of street dancers in East Oakland and President Obama’s joking comments about his Predator Drone campaign in the war on terror.
Isn't reassuring to realize that blackness, whatever it may mean, doesn't diminish/sublimate/transform/ affect/eradicate Americanness, however one defines it ?