James Baldwin


20/20's never-aired 1979 profile of James Baldwin is now available to watch

Producer Joseph Lovett was a few months into his job at the ABC News program in 1979 when he scored an interview with the iconic novelist, playwright, essayist, poet and activist. But it's taken until 2021 for Baldwin's interview to see the light of day. After filming the interview, conducted by the late 20/20 correspondent Sylvia Chase, Lovett was surprised when his 20/20 bosses opted to scrap the profile because, he says he was told, “Who wants to listen to a Black gay has-been?" “I was stunned,” Lovett tells Esquire. “I was absolutely stunned, because in my mind, James Baldwin was no has-been. He was a classic American writer, translated into every language in the world, who would live on forever, and indeed he has. His courage and his eloquence continue to inspire us today.” A portion of the interview is now available to watch online.
Picture for 20/20's never-aired 1979 profile of James Baldwin is now available to watch
Books & LiteratureEsquire

Watch a Never-Before-Aired James Baldwin Interview From 1979

In 1979, up-and-coming television producer Joseph Lovett scored the opportunity of a lifetime. Just a few months into his stint at 20/20, ABC’s upstart television news magazine, Lovett was assigned a profile of James Baldwin, pegged to the publication of Baldwin’s nineteenth novel, Just Above My Head. Lovett was “beyond thrilled” to tell the titanic American writer’s story—but it’s taken until 2021 for that interview to see the light of day. Buried by ABC at the time, the segment has resurfaced over four decades later, revealing a unique glimpse into Baldwin’s private life—as well as his resounding criticism about white fragility, as blisteringly relevant today as it was in 1979.
CelebritiesLiterary Hub

Watch this never-aired ABC television profile of James Baldwin.

Thank goodness for archives. A Closer Look, Inc., a project of storied producer and documentarian Joseph Lovett, has made it their mission to promote health- and social justice-related historical materials through film—and among said materials is an unaired ABC 20/20 profile on James Baldwin from 1979, when the show was still new.

Watch a Never-Aired TV Profile of James Baldwin (1979)

In 1979, just a couple of months into his stint with 20/20, ABC’s fledgling television news magazine, producer and documentarian Joseph Lovett was “beyond thrilled” to be assigned an interview with author James Baldwin, whose work he had discovered as a teen. Knowing that Baldwin liked to break out the...
Books & LiteratureBrain Pickings

James Baldwin on Love, the Illusion of Choice, and the Paradox of Freedom

We, none of us, choose the century we are born in, or the skin we are born in, or the chromosomes we are born with. We don’t choose the incredibly narrow band of homeostasis within which we can be alive at all — in bodies that die when their temperature rises above 40 degrees Celsius or drops below 20, living on a planet that would be the volcanic inferno of Venus or the frigid desert of Mars if it were just a little closer to or farther from its star.
Books & LiteratureHyperallergic

An Intimate Look at James Baldwin and His Rarely Discussed Suicide Attempts

Harmony Holiday had been preparing to stage a one-person play as her contribution to Made in LA: A Version, the Hammer Museum biennial. But, like so many plans made and unmade over the past year, she had to readjust the direction of her piece in the wake of COVID-19 closures. Holiday — a writer, dancer, archivist, and experimental director, and author of numerous poetry books, including Hollywood Forever (2017) — switched up mediums, turning an excerpt of the text into an impressionistic short film. With the reopening of museums in April, audience members can finally experience “God’s Suicide,” an elegiac loop inspired by James Baldwin’s five suicide attempts.
Books & Literatureinterviewmagazine.com

Jamal Jordan Wants to Have Dinner with Maya Angelou and James Baldwin

——— JULIANA UKIOMOGBE: Describe your ideal writing atmosphere. JAMAL JORDAN: I’m a really messy person, but when I actually need to get work done, there’s nothing better than cleaning up my space. So my first rule: cleanliness. I’m lucky enough to have a home office. When I started working on Queer Love in Color, I made a hard rule against ever working in bed, so I set up a room with great natural light, a gamer chair, and a hanging desk. It’s been perfect. I wish I was the kind of person who could set up his computer under some shade on a beach, but working in beautiful spaces is too distracting for me.

How Racism Forced James Baldwin And Other Black Figures To Move Abroad

Long before the term “Blaxit” was coined to explain the repatriation of African Descendants back to Africa to escape racism, notable figures like James Baldwin, were ahead of the game. While they all went to different places around the world, it seems that their reasoning was very similar. Here is...