James Baldwin's America

Jesse James

James Baldwin was one of the most important writers and activists of the 20th century. In James Baldwin's America, Jesse James will discuss the importance of Baldwin's work in our current social and political climate. Baldwin's reach in society was far and wide, and to gain a complete picture of Baldwin a variety of subjects will be continually addressed including music, religion, and the world Baldwin struggled against daily for over 60 years.

All Episodes

Jesse spends this week previewing the upcoming Presidential election in America and playing some clips of Baldwin talking about America, hope, and progress.You can also make a donation to Jesse and the show via PayPal at: Baldwins.America@gmail.com. All donations will be used to offset the production costs of the show and are greatly appreciated.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/JamesBaldwinsAmerica?fan_landing=true)

Nov 2020

18 min 30 sec

Jesse talks about the upcoming presidential election in the United States and how the outcome needs to unify us regardless of who holds office. He then dives back into Baldwin's essay, 'A Talk to Teachers' and how and why it is still so relevant in 2020. Songs of the Week:Public Enemy: Fight the Power 2020Billie Holiday: Strange FruitSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/JamesBaldwinsAmerica?fan_landing=true)

Oct 2020

36 min 57 sec

This week Jesse talks about Baldwin's essay, 'A Talk to Teachers' and the relevance it still holds to this day. He then uses his platform (microphone) to discuss the burden of being Black that children in this country face at far too young of an age. He also talks about the importance of the upcoming election in the United States.Song of the Week:Louis Armstrong: West End BluesSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/JamesBaldwinsAmerica?fan_landing=true)

Oct 2020

31 min 20 sec

Jesse is joined this week by dancer Solomon Roller. The two discuss The Fire Next Time, growing up in a bi-racial family, the importance of finding 'a tribe,' dancing as freedom, and happiness. Jesse then talks about a Baldwin passage from The Price of the Ticket and the difficulties Baldwin faced as he tried to bear witness to America.Songs of the Week: Michael Jackson: Remember the TimeBruce Springsteen: Born in the U.S.A. - Acoustic versionSolomon Roller on InstagramSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/JamesBaldwinsAmerica?fan_landing=true)


Oct 2020

51 min 28 sec

Jesse is joined by writer and filmmaker, Bre Dioni. The two discuss how adversity affects creativity, being Black in Wisconsin, and film. Jesse then talks about his new Patreon Page for the podcast as well as the songs of the week and an important passage from No Name in the Street.Songs of the Week: Mary J. Blige: No More Drama John Lennon: Instant Karma Bre Dioni PageSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/JamesBaldwinsAmerica?fan_landing=true)

Oct 2020

36 min 40 sec

Jesse drops in with a quick bonus episode to update you about some new features coming to the show soon.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/JamesBaldwinsAmerica?fan_landing=true)

Oct 2020

7 min 51 sec

Jesse is joined this week by photographer RJ Page. The two discuss several of Baldwin's works including: Giovanni's Room, Another Country, and If Beale Street Could Talk. The two also discuss Page's work as a photographer, jazz music and artists, as well as the power of music in one's life.Songs of the Week: N.W.A.: F Tha PoliceIce Cube: It Was a Good DayRJ Page's Photography PageRJ Page's InstagramSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/JamesBaldwinsAmerica?fan_landing=true)

Sep 2020

39 min 37 sec

Jesse is joined by Professor Bill V. Mullen and talk about his Baldwin biography, Living In Fire. They discuss James Baldwin's role as an activist and agitator of the state in the 1960's and the toll that takes on a person mentally and spiritually. They talk about Baldwin works, Nobody Knows My Name, No Name in the Street, and Blue's for Mister Charlie. Jesse goes on to talk about the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and a recent talk he had with author and activist, Charles Reese.Songs of the Week:Janelle Monaé: TurntablesJohn Coltrane: AlabamaBill V. Mullen Personal PageJames Baldwin 1963 Speech at New York Community ChurchSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/JamesBaldwinsAmerica?fan_landing=true)

Sep 2020

39 min 55 sec

Jesse is joined this week by Krump dancer, Traviance Witherspoon. The two discuss the origins of Krump, its popularity, and how creativity can be stifled in an oppressed system. Jesse then talks about Tupac Shakur and his lasting legacy on the anniversary of his murder. Songs of the Week:Tupac Shakur: Dear Mama, Brenda's Got a Baby Women Krump Wednesday YoutubeWomen Krump Wednesday IG PageTraviance Witherspoon IG PageSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/JamesBaldwinsAmerica?fan_landing=true)

Sep 2020

40 min 25 sec

Jesse plays an excerpt from James Baldwin's talk about the artist's struggle for integrity. He then talks to poet, singer, and dancer, Jamie Dawson. Jamie discusses her struggle for integrity as an artist and how her life in Florida and schooling in Wisconsin affected her. She talks about her creative process, learning from White professors, and why The Bible is a banger!James Baldwin: The Artist's Struggle for IntegritySongs of the Week:A Tribe Called Quest: We the PeopleMarvin Gaye: Can I Get a WitnessJamie Dawson's artist pageSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/JamesBaldwinsAmerica?fan_landing=true)

Sep 2020

42 min 25 sec

Professor Ed Pavlić is back again this week to talk more Baldwin, specifically about how to use Baldwin in the classroom and Black music. Jesse then talks about the death of Black Panther actor, Chadwick Boseman, and the importance of representation for Black folks.Songs of the Week: Kendrick Lamar and SZA: All the StarsJames Brown: Living in AmericaLink to Ed Pavlić's reading materialSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/JamesBaldwinsAmerica?fan_landing=true)

Aug 2020

50 min 59 sec

Jesse discusses the breaking news of another Black man (Jacob Blake) being shot by police officers. He also talks about why Jemele Hill would compare the United States to Nazi Germany. Jesse is then joined by Professor Ed Pavlić from the University of Georgia. The two discuss Baldwin's last major novel, Just Above My Head, and the explore the subject of identity, both personally and how Baldwin viewed the topic as well. Songs of the Week:Mariah Carey: https://youtu.be/BNgT_WWmS44James Brown: https://youtu.be/9bJA6W9CqvESupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/JamesBaldwinsAmerica?fan_landing=true)

Aug 2020

39 min 59 sec

Professor Emeritus of African American Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Craig Werner, joins Jesse this week. They discuss Craig's favorite work by Baldwin, how he came to Baldwin in the first place as well as Baldwin's importance still resonating today. They also talk about the three impulses of Black music, the importance of the church to the history of Black music, and finally, the upcoming book about the 1960's that Craig is currently working on. Songs of the Week: Kendrick Lamar - Alright. https://youtu.be/Z-48u_uWMHYCurtis Mayfield and the Impressions - People Get Ready. https://youtu.be/l04yM7-BWbgCraig Werner's Website: https://afroamericanstudies.wisc.edu/staff/craig-werner/Other artists discussed this week include: Miles Davis, Booker T and the MGs, The Sharelles, Darlene Love, The Crystals, and Ruby and the RomanticsSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/JamesBaldwinsAmerica?fan_landing=true)

Aug 2020

36 min

This week, Jesse talks about his Master's Thesis work, focusing on what he calls a Baldwinian Pedagogy. It looks a Baldwin through many lens and breaks down his work to individual topics that can then be used as building blocks for a proper humanities-based education.Songs of the WeekThis is America, Childish Gambino https://youtu.be/VYOjWnS4cMYAcknowledgement, John Coltrane https://youtu.be/TMvbUKqWYEsSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/JamesBaldwinsAmerica?fan_landing=true)

Aug 2020

40 min 59 sec

This week Jesse reviews the 1989 documentary, "The Price of The Ticket." The documentary covers Baldwin's life in his own words and the words of those closest to him. Songs of the week: Neil Young, "Lookin for a Leader 2020": https://youtu.be/HFACj_BfFTgNina Simone, "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free": https://youtu.be/vq3sdF0YXkM--- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/jamesbaldwin/supportSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/JamesBaldwinsAmerica?fan_landing=true)

Aug 2020

32 min 22 sec

This week Jesse reviews the 2020 documentary: John Lewis: Good Trouble. Jesse also talks about Black music, introducing two new segments to the show. J. Cole "The Climb Back": https://youtu.be/oVaBgcJwkI4Martha and the Vandellas "Dancing in the Streets": https://youtu.be/CdvITn5cAVc--- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/jamesbaldwin/supportSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/JamesBaldwinsAmerica?fan_landing=true)

Jul 2020

30 min 37 sec

In this episode Jesse talks about love, loss, and heroes. Link to John Lewis speech: https://youtu.be/QV_8zSA3pyULink to both John Lewis speeches from the March on Washington: https://billmoyers.com/content/two-versions-of-john-lewis-speech/Link to James Baldwin singing Precious Lord: https://youtu.be/51Kms22pd6Q--- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/jamesbaldwin/supportSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/JamesBaldwinsAmerica?fan_landing=true)

Jul 2020

21 min 58 sec

Jesse talks about where he's been the last month and the profound impact the events he's dealt with have had on him. He also reviews Raoul Peck's 2016 documentary on James Baldwin, "I Am Not Your Negro". So many similarities exist between the current Black Lives Matter movement and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Yet there are key differences that may make what's happening in America now stronger in the long run. Baldwin foretold of so much that is happening to those involved with Black Lives Matter and his solution to solving race relations in America is the same now as it was in the 1960s. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/jamesbaldwin/supportSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/JamesBaldwinsAmerica?fan_landing=true)

Jul 2020

34 min 6 sec

With the death of George Floyd, there seems to be progress being made in America for police reform. But what is progress really? Is police reform enough? What did Baldwin think about progress? White supremacy is addressed by Jesse James and the now infamous speech by Kimberly Jones is discussed to close out the episode. You can view Ms. Jones' speech here: https://youtu.be/llci8MVh8J4--- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/jamesbaldwin/supportSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/JamesBaldwinsAmerica?fan_landing=true)

Jun 2020

34 min 32 sec

In this episode Jesse James listens to some clips of James Baldwin and introduces himself and Baldwin to the listeners. Artist Jamie Dawson sings a moving rendition of Strange Fruit to end the show. You can contact the show by email at Baldwins.America@gmail.com, follow on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JamesBaldwinsAmerica/ or on twitter at James_Baldwins. You can hear and read more about Jamie Dawson at https://www.dawsontheartist.com/.--- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/jamesbaldwin/supportSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/JamesBaldwinsAmerica?fan_landing=true)

Jun 2020

29 min 58 sec