James Baldwin (1924-1987) A Fictional Posthumous Interview

This entry uses a fictional, (Posthumous) Interview with James Baldwin;
the purpose is two-fold: To determine if the American Dream is still at the expense of the then Negros now African Americans/Blacks? And also, gauge the evolution of conscientiousness of the human race by gauging acceptance over a time span of a hundred (100) years of the once, and maybe still, oppressed Blacks,Jews,Gays, and Women from a historical perspective as well as to date.

The complexities of being a human being coupled with our characteristics, if not from the perspective of other human beings shouldn’t matter, yet they do.

After the abolishment of slavery (a 154 years ago) in 1865 and the passing of the Civil Rights Bill over 55 years ago, should the then Negro now Black/African American still be the reason for success of other races, while being subjugated to ghettos and inadequate education and death at the hands of police?

After the women’s’ Right movement began in 1848 (a 171 years ago) followed up by the womens’ right to vote in 1920 (99 years ago), why do some women still have to sue a company for back-pay after finding out a man has been paid more, yet does the same job, or worse, may be her subordinate?

40 years later after the Stonewall Inn incidents of gays being beaten and harnessed in New York by police, why is it still not surprising to hear of hate crimes against gays that often end in death.

Why after 90 years after the Holocaust, do we still have terrorist bombing Synagogues and anti-Semitic rhetoric.

Should Race,Gender,Sexuality etc., really matter when we’re all fighting for the same goal–peace on earth.

When, if ever, should a person’s ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation be a discussion in situations?

The interviewer’s monologue begins before interviewing James Baldwin:

“In 1965 James Baldwin debated with William Buckley: Is the American Dream at the expense of the American Negro”?

Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFeoS41xe7w

“Oh, the complexities that must have plagued James Baldwin: To be an international spokesperson for the equality of Blacks during a time (Civil Rights Era) when the adjective “Negro” was used to describe Blacks/African Americans. Furthermore, how perplexing it must have been to endure the whispers from other Blacks as to the nature of his sexual orientation, while he was risking his life for all Negros.”

“And, how some may have viewed his ability to speak so well, as a means distance themselves, to justify their dislike by saying, “he doesn’t speak for me.”

“Audience members, it is both a honor and pleasure to be granted this interview and to be sharing the same space in time with Author, Activist, Mr. James Baldwin.”

“The audience gives a thunderous applause

Interviewer: “Mr. Baldwin?”

Mr. Baldwin interrupts the interviewer…”Please call me, James.”

Interviewer: Thank you, Sir
“James, you traveled around the world speaking about the inequality in America. Sir, I feel that without your international contribution to the Civil Rights movement, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would have taken longer to become a part of legislation.

Interviewer: I won’t ask you to speculate on if my speculation is correct; I’ve seen/heard enough of your interviews Sir to know you don’t really dabble in the speculation.”

James, smiles.

Interviewer: James, I want to broach this next subject matter in a, how shall I say it, “we are the blood in the same vein.”

James: “Well, I’m both flattered and intrigued, explain.”

Well, Mr. Baldwin,
Interviewer catches himself and quickly says:
Well, James, it’s been 31 years since your death, and 55 years since the Civil Rights Act became legislation, and a 100 years since slavery was abolished, and prior to that, 400 years of slavery. I believe we’ve seen enough history to know our past, we live in the now; presently, and collectively we still are not getting long enough to be considered unified. It is because of this lack of unity and exclusiveness, the inability to include all of our people, that we are still the source of the American Dream for all other ethnic groups but our own. I’m concerned for our future.

I feel, if I may say, people like me, who have been gifted to be a voice for all, face the same complexities you did.”

James Baldwin:
‘You may feel as though you want to be an activist for your community, your people, but not everyone is willing to accept the reality that they need help or someone to rally their causes,therefore they will not accept you, your ideologies, your philosophies–it’s nothing personal. If you’re seeking 100 percent approval, you’ll be the first person since the creation of man to achieve it.

Concern yourself not with the brown spots on the banana, because under it is perfection.”

Interviewer: I viewed your interview with Mavis on Four on Youtube:

Aside from your never admitting to your sexual orientation because you believe Love is Love–I agree. So, 55 years later I won’t ask–yet some people want to know. You still spoke of inequality for all people, especially Negros. But you could have easily turned your back on Negros and simply became a self promoter of your books, despite the rumors of your sexuality. Why did you still feel compelled to continue to speak about the inequality of the oppressed?”

James: Because the more collective voices one has behind him/her, the more likely the voices will be heard.

Interviewer: James, you’re my idol. I look up to you. And, I seek your advice, your counsel. Sir, should I live my truth via my media platform?

James: Are you seeking to be freed by revealing your truth or are you seeking others to set you free by revealing your truth? If the later is your goal, you will never be free. Salvation is a admission ticket for only one person:you gain it by your quest for the knowledge, after you attain it, it’s your fate through your faith that you must live by. No one person or people will in totality be in unison of your fate through your faith–your Salvation. If your goal, is as you say, to be a voice for all, especially Blacks/African Americans; youth, then let that “pride” be your guide.” People “have been”, and are, and “will be” distracted by your truth; when you speak, they won’t hear what you’re saying, they will be distracted by your “truth,” which will be totally different that what you’ve said. Which is I advice you to follow my counsel: focus on the goal at hand, while removing as many as possibly distractions. The goal is not about you, so your truth is personal and private and should remain as such.

Interviewer: Thank you, James. Do you feel as though the African American consciousness has evolved?

African American/Blacks must strive to evolve both their individual and collective consciousness just like they do when they go to church to develop both their individual spiritual conscientiousness and their fellowship consciousness, it does not occur unless they seek it out.

furthermore, to answer your question, “Do I feel as though African American’s conscientiousness’s has evolved?”
Let me say this first, I believe, as I have witnessed it for myself over the years: There has been, is, and will forever be a two steps forwards and three steps back phenomenon in the American Social struggle to achieve equality by all groups of people. However, it is not until a significant amount of turmoil has occurred for a group of people to collectively have their consciousnesses awakened, and more importantly take action to bring about resolve and evolve their collective conscientiousness.

Now, I will answer your question: Has the African American’s conscientiousness evolved?”
The answer is: “It is now evolving,” after the collective conscientiousness has been awakened due to Black lives being lost to police shootings.
This phenomena is two fold: African Americans/Blacks need to address their devolution:
Black men who wear their pants below their ass (I realize that it is a thought that it’s a youth statement to rebel against traditional values of the generation before them, but it is also a mentality that ages out like kindergarten) At what age do you pull your pants up?

The Black woman is not a Thot (we can come up with new words to disrespect women but can’t do fractions)

The Black man is not a Bitch ass Nigga

The Black dollar should not be “Everyone else’s dollar except a Black business owner

As long as the mentality is low level, the police and others will view the African American as less than human.

Our young people have been rats following the Pied Piper of Hip Hop music into the ocean to drown, a music that devalues human life for the profit of a dollar through fake gangsters, drug selling music videos, with a backdrop of gun shots as a sound track for three generations–having produced nothing but dead bodies and prison inmates, and the new targets for shooting practice for the police.

Be awakened: you’ve seen the past, you know present, now what are you going to do to save your future now the your conscientiousness had been called to evolve?

James: Oprah said it in and interview: One would think that the evolution of consciousness is linear, but it is not–we have not been moving consistently forward, we have indeed taken steps back.

Justin Faerman, author of Mapping the Evolution of consciousness, suggest, from what I gather, is that our consciousness evolves when our needs are met holistically. I don’t believe African Americans/Blacks have the resources to know where to start.

James Baldwin: Let me go back to something you asked earlier: You asked me if you should use your media platform to reveal your truth. I don’t believe that one’s job is the place to live their truth. The place of employment, whether it be your platform or someone else’s place of business is the place where business is supposed to take place.

Yes, the American work place has been fraught with lack of production because not only do co-workers date and bring issues back to the work place, but the inability of the races to co-exist slows production as well.
Not to mention the influx of new races and religious beliefs. It’s no wonder why jobs are out-sourced. America wants to be “great again” but that will only be accomplished once the majority of people work collectively to live in peace, through tolerance, led by a spirit of inclusiveness.


creator of UMI

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