Monday, May 20, 2019


… James Baldwin: “No writer can judge his work. I don’t think I’ve ever tried to judge mine.” | The Book Haven.

I was a black kid and was expected to write from that perspective. Yet I had to realize the black perspective was dictated by the white imagination. Since I wouldn’t write from the perspective, essentially, of the victim, I had to find what my own perspective was and then use it. I couldn’t talk about “them” and “us.” So I had to use “we” and let the reader figure out who “we” is. That was the only possible choice of pronoun. It had to be “we.” And we had to figure out who “we” was, or who “we” is. That was very liberating for me.

1 comment:

  1. Yup. Jimmy was quite the perspicacious man. If you're making any kind of art and you're essentially being that clever kid in the room who wants to be commended for being "all-knowing," you're doing it for the wrong reasons. I've had greater revelations in my life and my art ever since I started letting the audience and my collaborators figure out what it is. As I've said before, name a single piece of great art that DIDN'T contain ambiguity. You can't!