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Book Title: If Beale Street Could Talk|
The author of the book: James Baldwin
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 660 KB
Date of issue: 1995
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Read full description of the books If Beale Street Could Talk:I reached the end of this book and didn't know what to do. I didn't know what to do with myself, and I didn't know what to do with the ending. Right now, I don't know how to 'rate' this. I think I will pass on a star rating. I'll just go ahead and say what I feel. What I feel, what I think, and, I suppose, what happened to me during the course of my reading.
You may or may not know this, but I adore James Baldwin. I am enamoured of him and I think he was (one of) the greatest to ever do this art/writing thing. Whenever I get the opportunity, I tell everyone how I love Baldwin and why they ought to read him and love him, too. Baldwin had a beautiful soul, and this showed in the work of his hand.
During my reading, I had a lot to say. Right now, I can't bring my thoughts to life in the written word. I don't know why.
I will say this, though (to quote Nikki Giovanni in the poem titled Nikki-Rosa): “Black love is Black wealth.”
If you know your [African-]American history, you know the depth and profundity of that seemingly simple statement. Black love is Black wealth. Nothing better captures this statement than “If Beale Street Could Talk.”
You know what's funny? As soon as I realised this was a love story (at about page one hundred and something), I remembered that Baldwin once wrote, in a letter to his nephew which can be found in "The Fire Next Time", words to the effect that it was love that helped his (and their) ancestors survive the brutality of White America / white people / Whiteness.
Amid the struggle, amid turmoil, love.
Love. Love. Love.
Even Audre Lorde said similar. Love = survival.
And that's what - I think - Baldwin tried to capture in this book. White America did - and does - everything possible to keep the Black [wo/]man down, and yet, love.
Love is the fuel of survival.
No wonder they say Black love is revolutionary [love]. Loving against all odds.
Black love is Black wealth. Through it all, [we] love. Despite the hardship, we love.
I keep saying "love" because I need people to understand what is happening here - what Baldwin did here.
“Somewhere, in time, Fonny and I had met: somewhere, in time, we had loved; somewhere, no longer in time, but, now, totally, at time's mercy, we loved.”
What the hell, right? What the hell are you doing, Jimmy? Have mercy.
Baldwin, unsurprisingly, also writes beautifully about the "Ars Amatoria". Sex, for Baldwin, was a lot more than mere bodies moving into each other, physically. It was deeper. It was a transcendent act of human interaction, beyond words, beyond what is conceivable by the mind. He even writes, in this book, that when two people love each other, everything seems to have a "sacramental air." *sighs*
Baldwin. Thank you.
I did some thinking regarding the title of the book and people's laments about it being unrelated to the story. I think it possible that people are being myopic about this.
The title is a reference to "Beale Street Blues" by W. C. Handy.
A line goes thus: “If Beale Street could talk...” - the song goes on to list a few things that would happen "if Beale Street could talk."
I thought: hang on. Beale Street Blues. The Blues. Black America. Black people's lives. The birth of the Blues. The *meaning* of the Blues. Someone once said you can't sing the Blues if you ain't ever had the Blues. Again, Black people's lives (good and bad times), the birth of the Blues.
Thus, if "Beale Street" could talk, it would tell you about the daily lives of these Black Americans, trying to get by, through love, with love, and in love. These Black Americans, doing their thing in spite of the brutal wickedness of 'The Man'. Black Americans, trying to survive.
Black love is Black wealth.
And God bless James Baldwin.
Oh, yeah. I'm gonna go on 'head and give this five stars.
Read information about the authorLibrarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. Go Tell It on the Mountain, his first novel, is a partially autobiographical account of his youth. His essay collections Notes of a Native Son, Nobody Knows My Name, and The Fire Next Time were influential in informing a large white audience.
From 1948, Baldwin made his home primarily in the south of France, but often returned to the USA to lecture or teach. In 1957, he began spending half of each year in New York City. His novels include Giovanni's Room, about a white American expatriate who must come to terms with his homosexuality, and Another Country, about racial and gay sexual tensions among New York intellectuals. His inclusion of gay themes resulted in a lot of savage criticism from the Black community. Eldridge Cleaver, of the Black Panthers, stated the Baldwin's writing displayed an "agonizing, total hatred of blacks." Baldwin's play, Blues for Mister Charlie, was produced in 1964. Going to Meet the Man and Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone provided powerful descriptions of American racism. As an openly gay man, he became increasingly outspoken in condemning discrimination against lesbian and gay people.
On November 30, 1987 Baldwin died from stomach cancer in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France.He was buried at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, near New York City.
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