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Transcription: [00:41:23]
{SPEAKER name="James Baldwin"}
I don't know if I can make this clear.

But I was born in a church and spent most of my life, being dragged, like a dishrag through various pulpits.

and singing in frnt of areas, church audiences because my father liked that kind of thing.

And I left when I was 17 and, uhm, I haven't been back to church since.

But, as I got older and I began to,

to deal with my own life in a way which I couldn't ? as a child or as an adolescent.

I began to try to find out, as everybody does have to at some point, find out,

who he is, and what he wants and where he really comes from

and what really nourishes him, what really ? him

how he was put together and now that he is put together this way

what is he going to do with it

Then I began to realize that,

in all those years,

that I spent cursing out the organist and pianist and wishing to God the minister would stop talking.

All those terrible Sundays, taught me something which I could not have learned in any other way,

And what it taught me is almost impossible to say,

but, heard it, just a few minutes ago and you did too.

When these people, when these children are singing

When I say children or I say kids, by the way, I don't mean it patronizingly,at all

I mean, I'm just a little older than you, that's all.

Now, it occurs to me that there's something in this which is, of great value, to this entire country.

For me, it's something of a miracle and I think I can use that word.

That the songs which we created in privacy, and in anguish and in darkness.

by black, pagans, captive on these shores.

The music they evolved, created.

Who sustain themselves in the most terrible, terrible oppression that has ever been,

that have ever happened, in any case, in the Western world.

That these songs have somehow come down

all these bloodstained ages and now metaphosed, metaphosed

become, changed into a vehicle, to liberate,

not only, the Negro of this country, but all the people in