One of America's most important writers takes on the arrest of Wayne Bertram Williams for the murder of twenty-eight black children in Atlanta to offer this searing indictment of the nation's racial stagnation.
This edition of James Baldwin's classic work offers a new foreword by Derrick Bell (with Janet Dewart Bell), and is as meaningful today as it was when it was first published in 1985.
In his searing and moving essay, James Baldwin explores the Atlanta child murders that took place over a period of twenty-two months in 1979 and 1980. Examining this incident with a reporter's skill and an essayist's insight, he notes the significance of Atlanta as the site of these brutal killings—a city that claimed to be "too busy to hate"—and the permeation of race throughout the case: the black administration in Atlanta; the murdered black children; and Wayne Williams, the black man tried for the crimes.
Rummaging through the ruins of American race relations, Baldwin addresses all the hard-to-face issues that have brought us a moment in history where it is terrifying to to be a black child in white America, and where, too often, public officials fail to ask real questions about "justice for all." Baldwin takes a time-specific event and makes it timeless: The Evidence of Things Not Seen offers an incisive look at race in America through a lens at once disturbing and profoundly revealing.
About the Author
James Baldwin's celebrated works of fiction include Go Tell It on the Mountain, Giovanni's Room, Another Century, Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone, If Beale Street Could Talk, Just Above My Head, and the short story collection Going to Meet the Man. He was also the author of a book of poetry, Jimmy's Blues, two dramatic works, Blues for Mister Charlie and The Amen Corner, and many works of nonfiction, including Nobody Knows My Name, The Fire Next Time, and Notes of a Native Son. Born in Harlem in 1924, he lived for many years in France, where he died in 1987.
“Unique . . . [Baldwin] speaks as great gospel music speaks, through metaphor, parable, rhythm.” —John Edgar Wideman, USA Today