Review: The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin

Rightly considered a classic, this short book was published in the year of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. We should have been able to read it nearly 60 years on and think, “times have changed — we have come a long way” but sadly that is not the case. At the very end of the book, Baldwin writes: “I know that what I am asking is impossible. But in our time, as in every time, the impossible is the least that one can demand …” That remains as true now as it was in 1963.