Race in America: Evolution of a Prophecy from Baldwin to Coates *NEW*

With critical reading and discussion of James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time and Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me, we will investigate how the prophecy of a racial reckoning in the United States has evolved over two generations. How is Baldwin present in Coates’ words? Are we moving toward or away from a new Reconstruction or a form of Redemption? Are we “a new nation struggling to be born”? We will explore each author’s meditations on the relationship between power, suffering, and beauty, alongside contemporary critics understandings of their ideas. Where do they, and we, locate hope? Instructor: Joshua Frank