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The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks…
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The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race (2016)

by Jesmyn Ward (Editor & Contributor)

Other authors: Carol Anderson (Contributor), Jericho Brown (Contributor), Garnette Cadogan (Contributor), Edwidge Danticat (Contributor), Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah (Contributor)12 more, Mitchell S. Jackson (Contributor), Honorée Fanonne Jeffers (Contributor), Kima Jones (Contributor), Kiese Laymon (Contributor), Daniel José Older (Contributor), Emily Raboteau (Contributor), Claudia Rankine (Contributor), Clint Smith (Contributor), Natasha Trethewey (Contributor), Wendy S. Walters (Contributor), Isabel Wilkerson (Contributor), Kevin Young (Contributor)

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» See also 40 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
As a white person, I will never fully understand what it means to be a person of color in America. The best I can do is to educate myself, and pay attention to what the people who have those experiences have to say. This is an excellent collection of essays and poems about race, inspired by James Baldwin's similarly-titled work. Highly recommended reading for all. ( )
  kaylaraeintheway | May 31, 2018 |
From page 61: "There was a lynching every four days in the early decades of the 20th century. It's been estimated that an African American is now killed by police every two to three days."

This collection of essays does not hide in white professional tactics of "gently breaking news to your racist neighbor". Edited by the Award-winning Jesmyn Ward, these authors of color share thoughts on race, relations, and police brutality, for people who are willing to listen and none other.

A must-read. ( )
  m_mozeleski | May 13, 2018 |
"To think, I remember telling my husband, our daughters will never know a world in which the president of their country has never been black. Indeed, as we watched President Obama's inauguration speech,... the world ahead for my girls seemed full of greater possibility.... Many more doors suddenly seemed open to my girls, and the 'joyous daybreak' evoked by Martin Luther King, Jr., in his 'I Have a Dream' speech, a kind of jubilee, seemed to have emerged. However, it quickly became clear that this one man was not going to take all of us with him into the postracial promised land. Or that he even had full access to it. Constant talk of 'wanting him to fail' was racially tinged, as were the 'birther' investigations, and the bigoted commentaries and jokes by both elected officials and ordinary folk.

Like Barack Obama's father, many of us had brought our black bodies to America from somewhere else. Some of us, like the president, were the children of such people. We are people who need to have two different talks with our black offspring: one about why we're here and the other about why it's not always a promised land for people who look like us."
- Edwidge Danticat, "Message to My Daughters"

My copy of this anthology is littered with post-it flags. Danticat's poignant message to her daughters is the final entry and it concludes a reading experience full of insight and challenge. The authors were asked by Jesmyn Ward to write a piece for the anthology with an eye toward the experience of living while black in America post Trayvon Martin and the dozens of other black men and women killed and denied justice by a society that fears the color of their skin and justifies violence based on that fear. Some pieces are angry, most are thoughtful and forthright and moving. Claudia Rankine's "The Condition of Black Life Is One of Mourning" is exquisite. "Know Your Rights!" by Emily Raboteau includes photographs of street art in various New York City neighborhoods, beautiful murals designed to educate those who walk by of their Miranda rights and their right not to be capriciously searched.

Highly recommended. ( )
2 vote EBT1002 | Apr 16, 2017 |
Reading this book was an eyeopening experience. As a white woman, I sympathized with the "Black Lives Matter" movement and supported it verbally when possible, but I couldn't truly understand what it was like to live everyday in a black person's skin. This book, more than any other, gave me a hint of what that experience is like. This collection of poems, recollections, and essays was fascinating to read and digest. They gave me the perspective of looking at life through the eyes of these various black authors. Each has their own view to illustrate and share, and that is part of what I most enjoyed about the book. I loved to see what each person was going to write about and how they would use their words to open the reader's understanding and comprehension of the issues facing people of color today.
Ms. Ward's purpose in collecting and sharing these works was to offer a current and varied perspective on race as a retrospective of James Baldwin's work, "The Fire Next Time". It is an incredibly timely and impactful book that I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who wants to better understand what it means to be black in America today.
I thank the publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this title. ( )
  c.archer | Sep 8, 2016 |
Splendid is a very apt word to describe this very timely collection of essays/poems that will sooth the soul, nourish the spirit and rouse the mind!
Editor Jesmyn Ward competently gathered an illustrious group of contributors to continue the discussion/update/reflect on what James Baldwin so poignantly expressed in his 1963, “The Fire Next Time”.
As I normally do with collections, I read only a story or two per day so I could savor and reflect on each contribution. As expected some of the essays/poems resounded more with me than others and there is something here for everyone. I found all of the contributions to be wonderfully potent writings expressing genuine feelings with grace and sensitivity.
As I smiled, sighed, shook my head, felt outrage, diligently took notes, and occasionally called someone to read aloud a statement I knew I would not only be highly recommending this book but seeking the works of the contributors that were new to me.
This is a must read for everyone and should be considered for community-wide reads and book clubs.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

#cillasbookmanics
@jesmimi
@ScribnerBooks ( )
  bookmuse56 | Aug 27, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ward, JesmynEditor & Contributorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anderson, CarolContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brown, JerichoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cadogan, GarnetteContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Danticat, EdwidgeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ghansah, Rachel KaadziContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jackson, Mitchell S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jeffers, Honorée FanonneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jones, KimaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Laymon, KieseContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Older, Daniel JoséContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Raboteau, EmilyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rankine, ClaudiaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, ClintContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Trethewey, NatashaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Walters, Wendy S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wilkerson, IsabelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Young, KevinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The Tradition: Jericho Brown: Aster. Nasturtium. Delphinium. We thought / Fingers in dirt meant it was our dirt, learning / Names in heat, in elements classical / Philosophers said could change us. Star Gazer. / Foxglove. Summer seemed to bloom against the will / Of the sun, which news reports claimed flamed hotter / On this planet than when our dead fathers / Wiped sweat from their necks. Cosmos. Baby's Breath. / Men like me and my brothers filmed what we / Planted for proof we existed before / Too late, sped the video to see blossoms / Brought in seconds, colors you expect in poems / Where the world ends, everything cut down. / John Crawford. Eric Garner. Mike Brown.
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After George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012, I took to twitter.
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"National Book Award-winner Jesmyn Ward takes James Baldwin's 1963 examination of race in America, The Fire Next Time, as a jumping off point for this groundbreaking collection of essays and poems about race from the most important voices of her generation and our time. In light of recent tragedies and widespread protests across the nation, The Progressive magazine republished one of its most famous pieces: James Baldwin's 1962 "Letter to My Nephew," which was later published in his landmark book, The Fire Next Time. Addressing his fifteen-year-old namesake on the one hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Baldwin wrote: "You know and I know, that the country is celebrating one hundred years of freedom one hundred years too soon." Award-winning author Jesmyn Ward knows that Baldwin's words ring as true as ever today. In response, she has gathered short essays, memoir, and a few essential poems to engage the question of race in the United States. And she has turned to some of her generation's most original thinkers and writers to give voice to their concerns. The Fire This Time is divided into three parts that shine a light on the darkest corners of our history, wrestle with our current predicament, and envision a better future. Of the eighteen pieces, ten were written specifically for this volume. In the fifty-odd years since Baldwin's essay was published, entire generations have dared everything and made significant progress. But the idea that we are living in the post-Civil Rights era, that we are a "post-racial" society is an inaccurate and harmful reflection of a truth the country must confront. Baldwin's "fire next time" is now upon us, and it needs to be talked about. Contributors include Carol Anderson, Jericho Brown, Garnette Cadogan, Edwidge Danticat, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Mitchell S. Jackson, Honoree Jeffers, Kima Jones, Kiese Laymon, Daniel Jose Older, Emily Raboteau, Claudia Rankine, Clint Smith, Natasha Trethewey, Wendy S. Walters, Isabel Wilkerson, and Kevin Young"--… (more)

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