Last week, I spent a few days reading James Baldwin’s No Name in the Street. I knew immediately that I was going to have to write a post about this, but I was at a loss, initially, as to what to say.
That’s because No Name in the Street is so good that I was afraid any attempt to explain why would devolve into block quote after block quote, followed up by commentary that basically amounted to “and isn’t that amazing?!?”
Fortunately, I found a focus to rope together my unwieldy enthusiasm, for I am planning on using No Name in the Street for teaching, and I think there are several things about it that highly recommend its use for any course that explores in part or in whole either the history of American racism or the post-war period more generally.