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James Baldwin on the "Incredible Humiliation" of Black People in America

Apr. 16, 2018|by Jessica Pupovac

James Baldwin, 1955. Photo by Carl Van Vechten, Library of Congress.
James Baldwin, 1955. Photo by Carl Van Vechten, Library of Congress.

In 1961, author James Baldwin sat down with Studs Terkel to discuss his collection of essays, "Nobody Knows My Name: More Notes of a Native Son." Their conversation delved deeply into the anguish of the black experience in America.

Listen to a brief excerpt from their conversation on how white people never truly "see" black people, and "what terrible price this country has paid" for its racism:

 

Later in their conversation, the author discusses the particular tragedy of many well-meaning white people, many of whom are unwilling to truly reckon with the anguish of the black experience in America. Listen: