James Baldwin is a writer with an intellect, a skillful prose, and an urgent compassion for others that gives his work a lasting relevance for people marginalized by a society whose hypocrisies are as apparent as Jimmy’s brilliance. The MahoganyBooks | Very Smart Brothas book club is excited to discuss James Baldwin essay, Nothing Personal, in this new stand-alone edition. Join us on Friday, July 2, 2021 at 6:00PM via Zoom for both a celebration James work as well as a heartfelt conversation about the lived experiences of his words.
Let the debate (?) begin!
About the Book
James Baldwin’s critique of American society at the height of the civil rights movement brings his prescient thoughts on social isolation, race, and police brutality to a new generation of readers.
Available for the first time in a stand-alone edition, Nothing Personal is Baldwin’s deep probe into the American condition. Considering the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020 – which were met with tear gas and rubber bullets the same year white supremacists entered the US Capitol with little resistance, openly toting flags of the Confederacy – Baldwin’s documentation of his own troubled times cuts to the core of where we find ourselves today.
Baldwin’s thoughts move through an interconnected range of questions, from America’s fixation on eternal youth, to its refusal to recognize the past, its addiction to consumerism, and the lovelessness that fuels it in its cities and popular culture. He recounts his own encounter with police in a scene disturbingly similar to those we see today documented with ever increasing immediacy. This edition also includes a new foreword from interdisciplinary scholar Imani Perry and an afterword from noted Baldwin scholar Eddie S. Glaude Jr. Both explore and situate the essay within the broader context of Baldwin’s work, the Movement for Black Lives, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the presidency of Donald Trump.
Nothing Personal is both a eulogy and a declaration of will. In bringing this work into the twenty-first century, readers new and old will take away fundamental and recurring truths about life in the US. It is both a call to action, and an appeal to love and to life.
Discussion Day Info
All participants must register via Zoom for the book club discussion. The discussion will take place on July 2nd at 6PM EST.