James Baldwin and the Beauty of Solitude

In the name of the #31WriteNow challenge,  but more honestly my general fatigue, my evening resulted in a long nap instead of time out galavanting.  This would not have happened if I came home ready and rearing to write, because then I would have written and proceeded on my merrymaking ways. Instead I slept, missed the calls to go out, and woke up wondering how and what exactly I was to set pen to paper about, or in this case- fingertips to keypad.

Solitude is a blessing in disguise. Happy Birthday James Baldwin!
Source: Esquire

James Baldwin's  essay on the creative process is page 1 of the manual for the Creatives,  and is especially sacrosanct for the  BCC (black creative class) and us #fakeCreative wannabe members of the BCC. It  was published in 1962's collection, Creative America, full of stock articles for the happening thinkers of America. In this essay, Baldwin writes on the importance of solitude and the irony of the artist's life. The artist is hated while alive, and yet revered after death. Their truth is not recognized in life, but accepted afterwards as clairvoyance. To end, Baldwin describes the life as a war that's engaged between the artist and society as a result of the artist's own love for society. A torrid love affair that any Creative can write a catalog worth of lyrics about.

Go hug Kanye West. It is true, we fear what we do not know.

Any retrospective on Baldwin's work takes you through the highs and lows of his popularity: the movement to revere his views, the lows and abandoning of his viewpoint and his acceptance and his cannonization as one of the heroes.Baldwin's own creative process took him through a wealth of production that is still relevant today and has an impact. In the wake of the Trayvon Martin trial, people are still singing Blues for Mister Charlie, the church still has lessons to learn from Amen Corner, movie critiques don't get deeper than "The Devil Finds Work", and "The Fire Next Time" is as pertinent on the 150th Anniversary of Emancipation as it was when Baldwin penned it for the 100th.

PBS shared this wonderful documentary for Mr. Baldwin's birthday, and since I have no issues with re-gifting, I share it with you:


Watch Take This Hammer on PBS.  See more from WNET.


Happy Birthday Boo!

Edit: 8/2/2017- new PDF link
Also, since the documentary is down, new recommendation: Raoul Peck's I Am Not Your Negro available on Amazon and iTunes



Comments