Blues for Mister Charlie: a play

Front Cover
Dial Press, 1964 - Drama - 121 pages
1 Review
In a small Southern town, a white man murders a black man, then throws his body in the weeds. With this act of violence--which is loosely based on the notorious 1955 killing of Emmett Till--James Baldwin launches an unsparing and at times agonizing probe of the wounds of race. For where once a white storekeeper could have shot a "boy" like Richard Henry with impunity, times have changed. And centuries of brutality and fear, patronage and contempt, are about to erupt in a moment of truth as devastating as a shotgun blast. In his award-winning play, Baldwin turns a murder and its aftermath into an inquest in which even the most well-intentioned whites are implicated--and in which even a killer receives his share of compassion.

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BLUES FOR MISTER CHARLIE

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

There will be firm literary as well as theatrical interest in Baldwin's new play which examines prejudice in a small Southern town responsible for the murder of a young Negro. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - whitewavedarling - LibraryThing

Inspired by the case of Emmett Till, this is a dramatic look at southern small-town race relations at the mid-century point. As a play, though, it doesn't capture the usual power of Baldwin's prose. I ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
32
Section 3
45
Copyright

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About the author (1964)

James Baldwin was born on August 2, 1924, in New York. Baldwin's father was a pastor who subjected his children to poverty, abuse, and religious fanaticism. As a result, many of Baldwin's recurring themes, such as alienation and rejection, are attributable to his upbringing. Living the life of a starving artist, Baldwin went through numerous jobs, including dishwasher, office boy, factory worker, and waiter. In 1948, he moved to France, where much work originated. Baldwin published Go Tell It on the Mountain in 1953. A largely autobiographical work, it tells of the religious awakening of a fourteen-year-old. In addition to his childhood experiences, his experiences as a black man and a homosexual provided inspiration for such works as Giovanni's Room, Nobody Knows My Name, and Another Country. Baldwin holds a distinguished place in American history as one of the foremost writers of both black and gay literature. He was an active participant in the Civil Rights movement. Baldwin succumbed to cancer on December 1, 1987.