James Baldwin On Say Yes To Life

24997-img_0661James Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987

I know we often lose, and that the death or destruction of another is infinitely more real and unbearable than one’s own. I think I know how many times one has to start again, and how often one feels that one cannot start again. And yet, on pain of death, one can never remain where one is… It is a mighty heritage, it is the human heritage, and it is all there is to trust….This is why one must say Yes to life and embrace it wherever it is found—and it is found in terrible places; nevertheless, there it is; and if the father can say, “Yes, Lord,” the child can learn that most difficult of words, Amen.

James Baldwin On Race

   James Baldwin   (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987)  James Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987)

My countrymen were my enemy… This country does not know what to do with its black population… The west has no moral authority… The world is not white. White is a metaphor for power… You don’t need numbers. You need passion.


🎂Happy Birthday James Baldwin  (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987) In Memoriam🌹

James Baldwin On Survival

   James Baldwin   (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987)  
James Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987)  

And if you survive it, if you don’t cheat, if you don’t lie, it is not only, you know, your glory, your achievement, it is almost our only hope because only an artist can tell, and only artists have told since we have heard of man, what it is like for anyone who gets to this planet to survive it. What it is like to die, or to have somebody die; what it is like to be glad. Hymns don’t do this, churches really cannot do it. The trouble is that although the artist can do it, the price that he has to pay himself and that you, the audience, must also pay, is a willingness to give up everything, to realize that although you spent twenty-seven years acquiring this house, this furniture, this position, although you spent forty years raising this child, these children, nothing, none of it belongs to you. You can only have it by letting it go. You can only take if you are prepared to give, and giving is not an investment. It is not a day at the bargain counter. It is a total risk of everything, of you and who you think you are, who you think you’d like to be, where you think you’d like to go — everything, and this forever, forever.

James Baldwin On Freedom

In recognition of Black History Month, Transformation Publications will present poems, essays, and other artistic creations by Black artists, musicians, and writers.

   James Baldwin   (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987)
James Baldwin   (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987)

Freedom is not something that anybody can be given; freedom is something people take and people are as free as they want to be. One hasn’t got to have an enormous military machine in order to be un-free when it’s simpler to be asleep, when it’s simpler to be apathetic, when it’s simpler, in fact, not to want to be free, to think that something else is more important.


Photo Credit: Selma to Montgomery, Spider Martin, 1965.



Listen to Beyoncé sing Freedom here.



🎂Happy Birthday Langston Hughes  (February 01, 1902 – May 22, 1967) In Memoriam🌹