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2.Baldwin’s Blues

2.Baldwin’s Blues - On Race and Baldwins...

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On Race and Baldwin’s Blues (Sep 27) Are we currently post racial? James Baldwin (1924-87) Novelist, essayist, social critic Preacher in his teens , then turned away toward writing Dual influence of art and religion Went to France early in his life distance himself from US Class discussion: How does Baldwin define the blues? Why does Sonny have the blues? Three interrelated narratives The story of two brothers and their family The social context: Harlem after WWII The blues as form and aesthetic vision The story The basic plot Narrator reads about Sonny going to jail They communicate a little over letters Black story of childhood Brotherly differences Difference between brothers is main conflict Narrator Middle class respectability as school teacher Orders the world through math Good son, husband, father social glue Sonny Artist, drug users, just released from jail Not so different? “Perhaps I was thinking about my brother and in them I heard my brother. And myself”104 The two share jokes. On india 111 Both brothers have pain. Narrator sees limits around him; the death of his daughter- the fall of Grace
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