The Fire This Time
A New Generation Speaks About RaceBook - 2016
In light of recent tragedies and widespread protests across the nation, The Progressive magazine republished one of its most famous pieces: James Baldwin's 1962 "Letter to My Nephew," which was later published in his landmark book, The Fire Next Time . Addressing his fifteen-year-old namesake on the one hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Baldwin wrote: "You know and I know, that the country is celebrating one hundred years of freedom one hundred years too soon."
Award-winning author Jesmyn Ward knows that Baldwin's words ring as true as ever today. In response, she has gathered short essays, memoir, and a few essential poems to engage the question of race in the United States. And she has turned to some of her generation's most original thinkers and writers to give voice to their concerns.
The Fire This Time is divided into three parts that shine a light on the darkest corners of our history, wrestle with our current predicament, and envision a better future. Of the eighteen pieces, ten were written specifically for this volume.
In the fifty-odd years since Baldwin's essay was published, entire generations have dared everything and made significant progress. But the idea that we are living in the post-Civil Rights era, that we are a "post-racial" society is an inaccurate and harmful reflection of a truth the country must confront. Baldwin's "fire next time" is now upon us, and it needs to be talked about.
Contributors include Carol Anderson, Jericho Brown, Garnette Cadogan, Edwidge Danticat, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Mitchell S. Jackson, Honoree Jeffers, Kima Jones, Kiese Laymon, Daniel Jose Older, Emily Raboteau, Claudia Rankine, Clint Smith, Natasha Trethewey, Wendy S. Walters, Isabel Wilkerson, and Kevin Young.
Featured Blogs and Events
The Book Squad Podcast a collaboration with AudioReader. Episode 1: Pilot! Two Book Minimum: Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough - Available Jan 2017 | Amazon (pre-order) The Fire This Time by Jesmyn Ward - Links: Lawrence Public Library | Amazon Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton - Links: Lawrence Public Library | Amazon Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Cailtin Doughty - Links: L... (more)
Hey listeners, what's your sign? Your BOOK sign, that is! We took the "Universe of Stories" summer reading theme and astrologified it... or bookstrologified? Either way, check out this episode for a ton of recommendations, even if you're on the cusp! Bookish News: Edwidge Danticat, who came to KU last year, returns to stories in her highly anticipated upcoming collection, Everything… (more)
From Library Staff
"[A] continuation of James Baldwin's 1963 The Fire Next Time that examines race issues from the past half century through essays, poems and memoir pieces by some of her generation's most original thinkers and writers."
LPL_PolliK Sep 29, 2017
April 2017 -
LPL_ReadersServices Aug 11, 2017
Also available as Book Club in a Bag
LPL_KateG Aug 10, 2016
I highly, highly, highly (highly!) recommend getting on the holds list for this. Jesmyn Ward is an author I already liked, and she has edited a truly wonderful collection of essays. There is a fantastic variety of voices and topics, each speaking to the experiences of black Americans. I've found ... Read More »
From the critics
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Following the death of Trayvon Martin, only the latest in a long history of black deaths excused by the state, Jesamyn Ward turned to Twitter to raise her voice. She “needed words” in the face of this tragedy, but “the ephemera of Twitter, the way the voices of the outraged public rose and sank so quickly,” left her disappointed, and looking for more. The medium’s immediacy, so powerful and important in the heat of the moment, lacked permanency. So she turned to the work of James Baldwin, and from there reached out to gather the voices of a new generation of writers on race in America today. The result is this collection of seventeen essays and poems by writers as various as Kevin Young, Claudia Rankine, Garnette Cadogan, Daniel José Older, Edwidge Danticat, and Honorée Fannon Jeffers.
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