James Arthur Baldwin (1924-1987) was an American novelist, playwright, essayist, poet, and activist. His novels, plays and essays explore intricacies of racial, sexual, and class distinctions in the United States during the mid twentieth-century and the psychological implications of racism for both the oppressed and the oppressor.
As Juan Williams noted in the Washington Post, long before Baldwin’s death: "Black people reading Baldwin knew he wrote the truth. White people reading Baldwin sensed his truth about the lives of black people and the sins of a racist nation.”
The quotation on this tea towel comes from a 1962 essay Baldwin wrote for the New York Times, just one of an incredible amount of wise quotes that are still relevant today amidst calls for change and equality at a time when the US political scene is in turmoil and the Black Lives Matter Movement is demanding change in the face of police brutality and racially motivated violence against black people.