Thursday, November 30, 2017

James Baldwin on History and Optimism and Agency

"History is not the past. It is the present.  We carry our history with us. We are our history.  To pretend otherwise, we literally are criminals. . . . I can't be a pessimist because I am alive.  To be a pessimist means that you have agreed that human life is an academic matter.  So I'm forced to be an optimist.  I'm forced to believe we can survive. . . .  The future of the negro in this country is precisely as bright or as dark as the future of the country.  It is entirely up to the American people . . ."  From the film, I am Not Your Negro.  Photo by Allen Warren.

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