Emerson College will celebrate the life and legacy of writer James Baldwin at its Los Angeles campus with a special event that will include a performance, discussion, and a reception on February 23.
Baldwin was a novelist, playwright, essayist and activist, who wrote about race relations, sexuality and class distinctions. He was born in New York City in 1924, and his 1953 novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, was well received. His novel Giovanni’s Room, as well his essays like Notes of a Native Son and The Fire Next Time, also gained accolades.
This free event will feature a performance by actor and author Charles Reese, who earned critical acclaim for his off-Broadway performance in 2000 of Howard Simon’s production of James Baldwin: A Soul on Fire. More than a decade later, Reese released a book of the same title, which he will sign copies of after the performance. Reese first met Baldwin at Morehouse College where Baldwin told Reese, “My you have eyes like mine.”
Reese was a guest speaker at the 2016 International James Baldwin Conference at the American University in Paris, France. He was also the 2018 Artist in Residence/Cultural Architect for Public Engagement for the inaugural James Baldwin Writer’s Colony at Emerson’s Kasteel Well campus in the Netherlands.
A discussion about Reese’s performance will be led by Dr. Anthony L. Pinder, Emerson College’s Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs – Internalization and Global Engagement. Pinder will also speak about the College’s global footprint.
This special event is part of Emerson College LA’s Black History Month programming.