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Going to Meet the Man: Stories Paperback – April 25, 1995
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From the Inside Flap
By turns haunting, heartbreaking, and horrifying--and informed throughout by Baldwin's uncanny knowledge of the wounds racism has left in both its victims and its perpetrators--Going to Meet the Man is a major work by one of our most important writers.
About the Author
Dion Graham, from HBO's The Wire, is a multiple Audie Award-winning narrator and critically acclaimed actor. His performances have been praised as thoughtful and compelling, vivid, and full of life. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Of course many will argue these stories are badly dated. And true, America has moved on (generally for the better) since the early 1950s. But it would be unfortunate to overlook these stories for this reason. Baldwin captures the essence of where American society has come from, and we can all learn from history. I also feel it is unfortunate that nearly all the readers of "Going to Meet The Man' will be African-Americans, unlike myself (..who have the most to learn).
Bottom line: terrific tidbits showing Baldwin's brilliance. A worthy read.
Upon reading this collection, I think I am really beginning to understand what must have been going through his mind. Read "Previous Condition" where a young African American man keeps being thrown out of hotels and denied jobs simply because of the color of his skin. There is nowhere he can go without meeting the hostile glances and conspiratorial whispers of people on the street simply because of his skin color. And there is a moment where it all came into focus for me, standing in the kitchen of his Jewish friend's Jules' apartment. And I quote:
"Oh," I cried, "I know you think I'm making it dramatic, that I'm paranoiac and just inventing trouble! Maybe I think so sometimes, how can I tell? You get so used to being hit you find you're always waiting for it. Oh, I know, you're Jewish, you get kicked around, too, but you can walk into a bar and nobody knows you're Jewish and if you go looking for job you'll get a better job than mine!" (78)
It is deeply disturbing to think that a person has the suspicion and rage of the world cocked against their temple, but that was how it was (and still is). I have read much about the Civil Rights struggle and as a Jew myself, have listened to many stories from members of my family about prejudice but these stories, they uncover something. After seeing what happened in New Orleans with Katrina and listening to the empty discussions of "good schools", No Child Left Behind and test score mania, it opens your eyes to the fact that performance, optimism and opportunity are perceptions that, when absent, can ruin lives in ways that are hard to qualify.
I highly recommend these stories but be prepared to become deeply uncomfortable because Baldwin had a powerful case to make about American hypocrisy and he makes it.