The fire this time : a new generation speaks about race / edited by Jesmyn Ward.

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  • Additional Information
    • Publication Information:
      First Scribner hardcover edition.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: "National Book Award-winner Jesmyn Ward takes James Baldwin's 1963 examination of race in America, The Fire Next Time, as a jumping off point for this groundbreaking collection of essays and poems about race from the most important voices of her generation and our time. In light of recent tragedies and widespread protests across the nation, The Progressive magazine republished one of its most famous pieces: James Baldwin's 1962 "Letter to My Nephew," which was later published in his landmark book, The Fire Next Time. Addressing his fifteen-year-old namesake on the one hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Baldwin wrote: "You know and I know, that the country is celebrating one hundred years of freedom one hundred years too soon." Award-winning author Jesmyn Ward knows that Baldwin's words ring as true as ever today. In response, she has gathered short essays, memoir, and a few essential poems to engage the question of race in the United States. And she has turned to some of her generation's most original thinkers and writers to give voice to their concerns. The Fire This Time is divided into three parts that shine a light on the darkest corners of our history, wrestle with our current predicament, and envision a better future. Of the eighteen pieces, ten were written specifically for this volume. In the fifty-odd years since Baldwin's essay was published, entire generations have dared everything and made significant progress. But the idea that we are living in the post-Civil Rights era, that we are a "post-racial" society is an inaccurate and harmful reflection of a truth the country must confront. Baldwin's "fire next time" is now upon us, and it needs to be talked about. Contributors include Carol Anderson, Jericho Brown, Garnette Cadogan, Edwidge Danticat, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Mitchell S. Jackson, Honoree Jeffers, Kima Jones, Kiese Laymon, Daniel Jose Older, Emily Raboteau, Claudia Rankine, Clint Smith, Natasha Trethewey, Wendy S. Walters, Isabel Wilkerson, and Kevin Young"-- Provided by publisher.
    • Content Notes:
      The Tradition / by Jericho Brown -- Introduction / by Jesmyn Ward -- Part I: Legacy -- Homegoing, AD / by Kima Jones -- The Weight / by Rachel Ghansah -- Lonely in America / by Wendy S. Walters -- Where Do We Go from Here? / by Isabel Wilkerson -- "The Dear Pledges of Our Love": A Defense of Phillis Wheatley's Husband / Honoree Fanonne Jeffers -- White Rage / by Carol Anderson -- Cracking the Code / by Jesmyn Ward -- Part II: Reckoning -- Queries of Unrest / by Clint Smith -- Blacker Than Thou / by Kevin Young -- Da Art of Storytellin' (a prequel) / by Kiese Laymon -- Black and Blue / by Garnette Cadogan -- The Condition of Black Life is One of Mourning / by Claudia Rankine -- Know Your Rights! / by Emily Raboteau -- Composite Pops / by Mitchell Jackson -- Part III: Jubilee -- Theories of Time and Space / by Natasha Trethewey -- Far: Notes on Love and Revolution / by Daniel Jose Older -- Message to My Daughters / by Edwidge Danticat.
    • ISBN:
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Booklist Reviews 2016 July #1

*Starred Review* James Baldwin's famous book of essays, The Fire Next Time (1963), brilliantly examines the interrelated roles of race, history, and religion in the U.S. Building on Baldwin's title, editor Ward has assembled poetry, essays, and flash nonfiction to address the renewed racial tensions that continue to boil in America in the twenty-first century. The author of two award-winning novels and the critically acclaimed memoir Men We Reaped (2013), Ward divides the volume into three sections: "Legacy," "Reckoning," and "Jubilee." The result is a powerfully striking collection, from Honorée Jeffers' illuminating and exhaustive efforts to correct the legacy of Phillis Wheatley, the first African American woman to publish a book of poetry in the U.S., to poet Kevin Young's insightful consideration of the humor and tragedy at the heart of the racial hoax perpetrated by the former president of a chapter of the NAACP, Rachel Dolezal. "White Rage," a short piece by Carol Anderson, deftly reconfigures the outrage and violence of Ferguson, Missouri, as the result of calculated oppression, and poems by Jericho Brown, Natasha Tretheway, and Clint Smith punctuate the book. An absolutely indispensable anthology that should be read alongside other recent, equally transformative works, including Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me (2015) and Claudia Rankine's Citizen (2014). Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2016 March #1

In the 1962 essay "Letter to My Nephew," published in the Progressive and later reprinted in the groundbreaking The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin said, "You know and I know, that the country is celebrating one hundred years of freedom one hundred years too soon." Recent events show that it's still too soon. Here, National Book Award winner Ward (for the bar-setting Salvage the Bones) springboards from Baldwin's essay to collect 19 essays and poems—15 written for this volume—addressing race in America. Including authors like Edwidge Danticat, Kevin Young, Isabel Wilkerson, and Roxane Gay; with a five-city tour.

[Page 83]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

LJ Reviews 2016 June #2

Using James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time as inspiration, this collection by National Book Award winner Ward (English, Tulane Univ.; Salvage the Bones) explores what it means to be black in America, past and present. A stellar cast of writers and poets ruminate on contemporary events such as the racially motivated church shooting in Charleston, SC, in 2015. Especially enlightening is the excerpt from Carol Anderson's White Rage, noting white backlash to Brown v. Board of Education. Novelist Edwidge Danticat parallels black mourning today to the events of the 1999 Amadou Diallo case, wondering how to explain injustice to her children. Poet Claudia Rankine describes the anxiety that mothers of black sons face, while cultural critic Garnette Cadogan relays the danger of walking as a black man (no hoodies or standing on street corners). Writer Kiese Layman mesmerizes with a reflection of hip hop duo Outkast, and Mitchell S. Jackson eloquently narrates the father figures in his life. Many black families will relate as Ward laments the difficulties of constructing a family tree or Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah's experience as the sole employee of color. VERDICT This relevant anthology illuminates the fears, hopes, and joys of blackness and will spark interest in the contributors' previous works. [See Prepub Alert, 2/8/16.]—Stephanie Sendaula, Library Journal

[Page 91]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

PW Reviews 2016 June #1

In this timely collection of essays and poems, Ward (Men We Reaped) gathers the voices of a new generation whose essays work together as one to present a kaleidoscopic performance of race in America. The 18 contributions (10 of which were written specifically for this collection) cover topics deep in history as well as those in the current culture. One, for example, reveals fresh insight about Phillis Wheatley, the first published African-American poet, and her husband, while other essays are situated in the present, taking readers on a tour of street murals in N.Y.C. and exploring the music of hip-hop duo OutKast. One entry evokes the experience of a young college student exploring the streets of a new city as he learns "what no one had told me was that I was the one who would be considered a threat." Over the course of the collection, readers engage with the challenge of white rage, and learn about the painful links between Emmet Till's open casket and the black bodies on today's streets. The two concluding pieces provide a profoundly moving view of the future deeply affected by the past, through a husband's letter to his expectant wife, followed by a mother's message to her daughters. Ward's remarkable achievement is the gift of freshly minted perspectives on a tale that may seem old and twice-told. Readers in search of conversations about race in America should start here. (Aug.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC