A Dialogue

Front Cover
Lippincott, 1973 - African Americans - 112 pages
2 Reviews
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Thanks to the television program Soul!, a remarkable encounter between two of America's foremost Black writers was aired on public TV. Here, the transcript of that meeting between James Baldwin and Nikki Giovanni forms an engrossing document. Probing, searching, made dramatic by the recognition of sudden, subtle levels of confrontation, the Baldwin/Giovanni exchange is a freewheeling conversation ranging over many topics. A Dialogue explores problems facing Americans, black and white, as well as troubles besetting the world. Representing two different generations, the two writers discussed, argued, and communicated some painful truths. Addressing themselves particularly to the changing roles of men and women in modern society, they paid special attention to the consequences of these new modes of behavior on the already complex relationship between the Black man and the Black woman. The talk is stimulating, provocative, deeply felt, making this dialogue a rare, shared experience for the reader. --From publisher description.

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User Review  - whitewavedarling - LibraryThing

This is a straightforward discussion between two leading and revolutionary writers who are passionate about both causes and writing. The book is just as smart, intriguing, passionate, and provocative ... Read full review


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About the author (1973)

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.

Nikki Giovanni is one of the most prominent black poets of her generation. Born on June 7, 1943, in Knoxville, Tenn., she graduated from Fisk University and later studied at Columbia University. Giovanni creates strongly written poems to convey messages of love, frustration, alienation, and the black experience. She gained national fame with the publication of Black Feeling, Black Talk, Black Judgement in 1970. Full of the spirit of the black community during this era, her works captured the anger and frustration of many of its members. Giovanni has been the recipient of grants from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ford Foundation. She has taught English at Rutgers University, Ohio State University, and Queens College and has given frequent poetry readings. She is also known for several sound recordings of her poetry, including Truth Is On Its Way. She has also been a Professor of English at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

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