The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race

The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race

National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward takes James Baldwin’s 1963 examination of race in America, The Fire Next Time, as a jumping off point for this groundbreaking collection of essays and poems about race from the most important voices of her generation and our time.

In light of recent tragedies and widespread protests across the nation, The Progressive magazine republished one of its most famous pieces: James Baldwin’s 1962 “Letter to My Nephew,” which was later published in his landmark book, The Fire Next Time. Addressing his fifteen-year-old namesake on the one hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Baldwin wrote: “You know and I know, that the country is celebrating one hundred years of freedom one hundred years too soon.”

Award-winning author Jesmyn Ward knows that Baldwin’s words ring as true as ever today. In response, she has gathered short essays, memoir, and a few essential poems to engage the question of race in the United States. And she has turned to some of her generation’s most original thinkers and writers to give voice to their concerns.

The Fire This Time is divided into three parts that shine a light on the darkest corners of our history, wrestle with our current predicament, and envision a better future. Of the eighteen pieces, ten were written specifically for this volume.

In the fifty-odd years since Baldwin’s essay was published, entire generations have dared everything and made significant progress. But the idea that we are living in the post-Civil Rights era, that we are a “postracial” society, is an inaccurate and harmful reflection of a truth the country must confront. Baldwin’s “fire next time” is now upon us, and it needs to be talked about.

Title:The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781501126345
Format Type:

    The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race Reviews

  • Michael

    Encompassing many subjects, styles, and tones, The Fire This Time aims to spark thoughtful conversation about the current state of race relations in America, as well as theorize what forms Black ident...

  • Diane S ?

    it is hard, if not I possible, for person born white to enter the skin of a person of color, to understand how they see things. No matter how sympathetic we are to their plight, no matter how regretfu...

  • Alienor ? French Frowner ?

    4.5 stars. TRUE STORY : I had so many articulated thoughts (I swear, humor me) to explain why I loved this collection of essays and why I thought it was very important to read it - of course if yo...

  • Esil

    The Fire This Time blew me away. It’s an odd experience to read a collection of essays that’s hard to put down – reading past my bedtime, early in the morning, and at my desk at lunch. Why? The ...

  • Trish

    In the Introduction to this collection of essays by an impressive roster of writers known for thoughtful and articulate discussion of their experience with race in America, Jesmyn Ward explains that s...

  • Rincey

    Read this one slowly over the course of the month and man, it was good. Like any anthology, some essays are significantly stronger than others. But when those essays hit, they HIT.A lot of them are on...

  • Monica

    This is perhaps the best essay collection that I have read thus far. Not that I've read a significant number of essay collections; but it's becoming an appealing genre for me. I approached this book w...

  • HBalikov

    “A New Generation Speaks about Race” is the subtitle of this collection of essays, memoirs, poetry, etc. A number of my GR friends have reflected on the powerful nature of this material. I agree w...

  • Hannah

    While I loved some of these essays, very many did not work for me all that much. I know I am not the target audience for this, so please do take my rating with a grain of salt. For one thing, I am not...

  • Cheri

    4.5 StarsI’m very grateful for the opportunity to read this collection of essays, a topic that seems to be everywhere, in the news, as well as nonfiction and fiction books. The Fire This Time by Jes...