When the sacred geometry of the Persian carpet was replaced by tanks, weapons, and bombs, Westerners were fascinated. But how do the women who weave them feel?
The faith Willie had in me to protect him from anything untoward, even from being hurt by the elements, mirrors the faith I had in my grandfather to protect me from the street gangs when he took me to a game over fifty years ago.
The suit, with its travels and meanings—an object imbued with memories of love and trauma, a symbol of rupture and connection between self and other, self and personal past, self and national history—represents a fitting way to frame a group of essays about Baldwin and democracy.
With the possible exception of Walt Whitman, no other writer has given the foundational matter of love and democratic life in America such probing attention.
Baldwin’s closeness to his nephew, and the hope and great sadness housed within that bond, reminded me of my connection to my youngest niece. Both bookish. Both black. Both broke.
Apparently, Jimmy had been given an advance of $100,000 for If Beale Street Could Talk with the promise of another $200,000 on completion. I gathered that he was anxious to get it done. It seemed as if he needed the seclusion of this special place to write about the tragic life of black Americans.
We have always had much more than our simple notions of who we are and what this world has made us. For Americans, Baldwin pushes us towards the “hard to bear.”
Like Baldwin, Manning seemed to recognize the appeal to security, along with the stories we tell ourselves about how that security was won, as costly fantasies enacted through both the explicit suppression of information and a deep denial of who we are, or have become, as a nation.