"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
--James Baldwin from "As Much Truth As One Can Bear" in The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings
James Baldwin was living comfortably and productively in France as a successful expatriate writer when the American Civil Rights Movement kicked into high gear in the early 1960s. Spurred by the violent repression of peaceful demonstrations, racial violence, and widespread job and housing discrimination in America, he returned home to witness for himself what was tearing America apart. He traveled throughout the country to engage student activists, religious and community leaders, and politicians to hear what they thought about the turbulent state of affairs. Most notably, Baldwin used his fame as a celebrated writer to speak out about racism and its corrosive effect on both its victims and perpetrators. It was during these years that he wrote one of his most famous works, "