No Name in the Street
An extraordinary history of the turbulent sixties and early seventies that displays James Baldwin's fury and despair more deeply than any of his other works, and powerfully speaks to contemporary conversations around racism.
"It contains truth that cannot be denied.” — The Atlantic Monthly
In this stunningly personal document, James…
Why read it?
2 authors picked No Name in the Street as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
A key work in the last part of Baldwin's life, as he was reassessing everything after the murders of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert Kennedy, and others in 1965-68. The reader can sense the aching effort Baldwin makes to retain hope and his sense of the worth of engagement with a world that so often rejected the essential him. Letting us, as his readers, into that doubt and pain and torment was an act of great honesty and, at bottom, love. Very few people could use the English language as powerfully as Baldwin (and he could do it…
Unlike the well-known The Fire Next Time, this fourth essay collection published in 1972 received relatively little attention, despite being a turning point in Baldwin’s career. I love it because it is nakedly personal and shows Baldwin’s vulnerability as he traveled in the American South in the 1950s and as he grappled with being perceived as a “freak” by the heterosexist members of the Black Power movement while working on that book. Its homage to the power of memory and truth entwines with the homage to the writer's mother, Berdis, and highlights Baldwin’s deepening, and still underappreciated, commitment to…
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