• Title: The Fire This Time
  • Author: Randall Kenan
  • ISBN: 9781933633244
  • Page: 332
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Fire This Time James Baldwin s The Fire Next Time was one of the essential books of the sixties and one of the most galvanizing statements of the American civil rights movement Now in the wake of Hurricane Katrina
    James Baldwin s The Fire Next Time was one of the essential books of the sixties, and one of the most galvanizing statements of the American civil rights movement Now, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, with a new generation of Americans confronting what Baldwin called our racial nightmare, acclaimed writer Randall Kenan asks How far have we come Combining elements oJames Baldwin s The Fire Next Time was one of the essential books of the sixties, and one of the most galvanizing statements of the American civil rights movement Now, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, with a new generation of Americans confronting what Baldwin called our racial nightmare, acclaimed writer Randall Kenan asks How far have we come Combining elements of memoir and commentary, Kenan s critical eye ranges from his childhood to the present to observe that, while there have been dramatic advances, some old issues have combined with new ones to bedevil us Nigger has become a hip usage the African Americans that have finally attained prominent political positions are, often than not, arch conservatives the Christian and Muslim religions so central to the civil rights movement have become intolerant, while the stirring spiritual music that inspired it has been replaced by an aggressive form of hip hop Starting with W E B Du Bois and Martin Luther King, Jr Kenan expands the discussion to include many of today s most powerful personalities, such as Oprah Winfrey, O J Simpson, Clarence Thomas, Rodney King, Sean Puffy Combs, George Foreman, and Barack Obama Published to mark the forty fifth anniversary of James Baldwin s epochal work, this homage by novelist, essayist, and Baldwin biographer Kenan is itself a piercing consideration of the times, and an impassioned call to transcend them.

    One Reply to “The Fire This Time”

    1. Finishing this rounds out my trio of reading letters/essays about race in America:The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin (1963)The Fire This Time by Randall Kenan (2007)Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (2015)I have to say that this book resonated the most with me of the three. Perhaps it is because the author & I are closest in age/time growing up, perhaps it is that we both spent part of our childhoods in rural North Carolina (he lived there; I had extended family that lived there [...]

    2. Combining elements of memoir and commentary, Kenan’s critical eye ranges from his childhood to the present to observe that, while there have been dramatic advances, some old issues have combined with new ones to bedevil us: “Nigger” has become a hip usage; the African-Americans that have finally attained prominent political positions are, more often than not, arch-conservatives; the Christian and Muslim religions so central to the civil rights movement have become more intolerant, while th [...]

    3. I bought this book because I have recently been doing some research on James Baldwin. It is an interesting book on the present United States. Still, I couldn't relate to the tendency of unification which Randall Kenan seems to argue. On the one hand, there is great diversity and otherness in American culture, on the other hand, he suggests there is no 'real' difference because of similar religious beliefs. (Perhaps it's my fault, and I don't have confidence in mankind.)There is an effort in goin [...]

    4. He writes with the lucid prose that would evoke comparisons toJames Baldwin. He raises all the right questions but sometimes doesn't complete the cycle, and lets go right before the hook is sunk. All in all, a very good starting point for the "where do we go from here," thought process.

    5. An excellent mix of cultural criticism and memoir (maybe my new favorite kind of writing). I think the mantle can truly be passed on to Kenan from James Baldwin.

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