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When James Baldwin Went South

Document Analysis NLP IA

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Subjectivity0.39929052429052
probably it's an affirmation
Affirmation0.30633802816901

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Summary (IA Generated)

In 1979, James Baldwin approached The New Yorker with an idea for a long essay: he would travel to the cities in the South that were central to the civil-rights struggle—Selma, Birmingham, Atlanta, and elsewhere—and consider what the fallen heroes of the movement, including Martin Luther King, Jr.

The project soon swelled into a proposal for a book that would be called “Remember This House,” which Hilton Als refers to as “a book that he does not want to write but knows he must write.

Instead, what came out of Baldwin’s trip was the documentaryI Heard It Through the Grapevine,” directed by Dick Fontaine and Pat Hartley and released in 1982, which tells a story not of the dead but of those who lived to see many of the gains of the movement undone by an increasingly punitive criminal-justice system and the rise of Reaganism.

(The Harvard Film Archive is restoring the documentary for a digital release early next year.

“You should know that nobody wanted to see the film,” Hartley says, of its initial release.

“Nobody wanted to know that nothing was actually achieved.


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