Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., on the Urgency of James Baldwin's Lessons

Friday, Sep 25, 2020

Hosted by Paul Holdengräber, The Quarantine Tapes chronicle shifting paradigms in the age of social distancing. Each day, Paul calls a guest for a brief discussion about how they are experiencing the global pandemic.

Paul Holdengräber is joined by Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., on Episode 104 of The Quarantine Tapes. Eddie’s latest book, Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own, looks to Baldwin’s writing for guidance for our own moment. Paul and Eddie’s conversation opens up Eddie’s experience of writing this book, discussing how he grappled with the form of biography, literary criticism, and social criticism. Eddie tells Paul about how emotionally intense he found writing this book. They dig into how the themes of honesty, rage, and despair resonate in the book and discuss how this moment in America has the potential to be something new while also feeling incredibly familiar.

From the Episode: 

Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.: We have to tell the truth about the stories that we tell ourselves to protect us, to protect our innocence, our so-called innocence. We have to, in some ways, grab the country by the collar and pull it into maturity. That’s going to require an honest reckoning with what we’ve done.

[Originally published on September 24, 2020 via Literary Hub]

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