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James Baldwin

One of my great pleasures is reading. I am in the midst of a fantastic biography about one of my personal heroes, James Baldwin. In the picture above he is approximately 24, when he first went to Paris.

The book I am reading is by David Leeming, who served as Baldwin’s secretary for awhile and had the opportunity to collect much of the information first hand. Leeming is an insightful author who does an outstanding job of portraying the many forces that shaped Baldwin, both outer circumstance as well as inner drives and preoccupations.

I am amazed at how Baldwin rose up out of abject poverty and used the tumultuous circumstances of his life including the birth of America’s civil rights movement to become one of the greatest observers of our national gestalt, delivering penetrating insights that we are still digesting to this day.

Baldwin was a prophet, not in the sense of predicting the future, though he did some of that, but in the sense that he diagnosed our issues in ways that provided a way forward for so many.

We are so fortunate to have deeply caring witnesses like Baldwin when our culture goes through such tough and critical junctures.

Is there someone who inspires you that you can turn to this week for spiritual sustenance?


“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
– James Baldwin