Monday, December 22, 2008

Kenneth Clark Interviews James Baldwin (1963)

What white people have to do is try to find out in their own hearts why it was necessary to have a nigger in the first place. Because I am not a nigger; I am a man. But if you think I'm a nigger, it means you need it. And the question you've got to ask yourself -- the white population of this country has got to ask itself -- north and south, because it's one country, and for a negro there is no difference between the north and south; it's just a difference in the way they castrate you, but the fact of the castration is the American fact. If I'm not a nigger here and you, the white people invented him, then you've got to find otu why. And the future of the country depends on that. Whether or not it's able to ask that question.
Kudos to antihostile for the YouTube upload.

Thanks to Google Books, you can read the full transcript of this interview.