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The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks…

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

by Jesmyn Ward (Editor)

Other authors: Carol Anderson (Contributor), Jericho Brown (Contributor), Garnette Cadogan (Contributor), Edwidge Danticat (Contributor), Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah (Contributor)13 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), Jesmyn Ward (Contributor), Isabel Wilkerson (Contributor), Kevin Young (Contributor)

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4491637,258 (4.4)66
"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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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
James Baldwin’s creative nonfiction in “The Fire Next Time” was the inspiration for this book. Believing in the power of words to make sense of the experience of African Americans in the US today, Ward solicited works from “great thinkers and extraordinary voices” of her own generation who responded with poems, essays and images. The book is divided into three sections: Part I Legacy, about the past; Part II Reckoning, about the present; and Part III Jubilee, looking to the future. Every piece in this slim volume is wonderful. Some writers ponder how and when to talk to their children, some pieces are a meditation on race, some are historical. The emotions they elicit range from anger for still-evident racism, to beauty and, even humor. The reader cannot fail to be moved by these eloquent authors. And that is a powerful reason to hope for the future. ( )
  steller0707 | Aug 25, 2019 |
“Though the white liberal imagination likes to feel temporarily bad about black suffering, there really is no mode of empathy that can replicate the daily strain of knowing that as a black person you can be killed for simply being black.”

Using James Baldwin's landmark, The Fire Next Time, his examination of race in America, as a starting point, Jesmyn Ward has compiled a group of essays and poems from prominent writers, to show how little has changed since Baldwin wrote that piece in the early 60s and may have even accelerated, in regards to senseless police shootings of African Americans.
Some of the essays are stronger than others, but they all bring their message across. ( )
  msf59 | Apr 21, 2019 |
Highly recommended for all Americans. So much incredible writing in this collection. ( )
  viviennestrauss | Apr 16, 2019 |
The essay by Wendy S. Williams, "Lonely in America," is extraordinary.
  ryanleigh | Jan 18, 2019 |
A good collection of poetry and essays on the experience of being black in America. Overall, the essays were well-written and provided great insight on this timely and important topic. Authors included both Americans and non-Americans who either moved or lived in the country as adults. The essays by non-Americans helped to set out contrasts between white America and black America even more. ( )
  redwritinghood38 | Nov 6, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ward, JesmynEditorprimary 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
Ward, JesmynContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wilkerson, IsabelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Young, KevinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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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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