The Brilliant and Prophetic Life of James Baldwin




Class Description

Susan Swan leads this four-week study of James Baldwin for avid readers who wish to know more about the famous writer and activist. “Whatever white people do not know about Negroes reveals, precisely and inexorably, what they do not know about themselves”. [James Baldwin, New Yorker, 11/17/1962]. We will read and discuss his first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain in four parts, along with several of his compelling essays and what I think is his best short story: “Sonny’s Blues”. Along the way we will view several clips of his powerful addresses in the 1970s as well as learn a bit about his expatriate life and activist work in the U.S. Civil Rights movement. Please have read and bring to class Part One (The Seventh Day) of Go Tell It on the Mountain for the first class discussion:

Four, 2-hour sessions: Wednesdays, 10:00 a.m. – noon.
Begins October 16, 2019. Class meets in the upstairs
Grimes Room at the Central Congregational Church,
14 Titcomb St. Newburyport.
Cost: $50.

Susan Swan has led a number of Lyceum classes. A former high school English teacher, Susan has a keen interest in literary subjects – particularly interpretations that include expression in music, film, theatre, history, and the visual arts.