Viewing page 16 of 18

00:44:02
00:46:27
00:44:02

Transcription: [00:44:02]
{SPEAKER name="James Baldwin"}
There is tremendous kind of vitality, a tremendous kind of virility, a tremendous kind of dignity and elegance

[00:44:02]
coming all the way, from the auction block, down to 1963.

[00:44:19]
There is something stunning about the fact that this virility, this vitality, this elegance and this dignity

[00:44:26]
which has been so long maligned, denied and spat upon by this entire country has now become this country's only hope.

[00:44:37]
During all these generations,

[00:44:40]
when we were singing and dancing down on the levee,

[00:44:44]
when we were happy, as Mr Charlie put it, in our place,

[00:44:51]
and singing 'Steal away to Jesus', and eating all those greens, and doing all that funky dancing,

[00:44:59]
white people actively cultivated

[00:45:03]
in themselves, the expensive delusion,

[00:45:07]
that my songs, my greens and my dances

[00:45:17]
and the sorrow and the beauty and the force,

[00:45:23]
that they heard in these songs

[00:45:28]
they cultivated in themselves the delusion that these,

[00:45:31]
things apply to something which they called nigger, but do not apply to man, and, in any case, did not apply to them.

[00:45:44]
That what happened to me, in my slave quarters, and later in my relevated slave quarters,

[00:45:51]
and later in my relevated slave quarters in the North,

[00:45:59]
that all of these things, which I endured, was happening to someone else.

[00:46:09]
and the danger in which I stood,

[00:46:11]
the danger in which my children stood,

[00:46:15]
the destruction we encountered, every day and every hour of every day, for generation upon generation,

[00:46:25]
this was happened to colored people.

Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact transcribe@si.edu.