Sherbro Son

City by the Bay


James Baldwin is one of my heroes.  His book Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone is one of my favorites.  In 1963 he took a trip to San Francisco to analyze the deeper aspects of the Black community in a city that professes (still to this day) to be a stronghold of progressive thought, but can’t always deliver on that promise.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Take This Hammer – DIVA at SF State“, posted with vodpod

This documentary is amazing (fullscreen version here).  I’ve never seen video of James until I saw this video posted at Africa is a Country blog. It’s also amazing to see the old film footage of San Francisco, in neighborhoods that I work in today, dealing with some of the same issues.

This is San Francisco at the start of the redevelopment project, a project that has left a deep scar on the face of the city. It’s not necessarily a visible scar unless you knew what was there before, but you can get an idea of where we’re at right now by watching this and this.

One comment

  1. Rob Tuck

    Thanks so much for this. Buffering as I type!

    I have been lucky enough to read and study quite a bit of Baldwin’s work and have written a final year essay about his views on exile, transatlantic movements and diaspora etc. What an amazing man!

    There is another film of Baldwin available, check out Horace Ove’s (who made that great film called ‘Pressure’) documentary footage of Baldwin delivering a talk to an African Carribean community center in London, the friction between him and the audience is worth the watch!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: