If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin | WaterstonesThe narrator of Baldwin's novel is Tish nineteen, and pregnant. Her lover Fonny, father of her child, is in jail accused of rape. Flashbacks from their love affair are woven into the compelling struggle of two families to win justice for Fonny. To this love story James Baldwin brings a spare and impassioned intensity, charging it with universal resonance and power. Racial injustice may flatten "the black experience" into one single, fearful, constantly undermined way of life - but black life, black love, is so much larger than that It's one of the signature lessons of Baldwin's work that blackness contains multitudes.
Barry Jenkins on adapting James Baldwin's novel "If Beale Street Could Talk"
If Beale Street Could Talk
If childhood is often characterized somewhat idealistically in literature as a move from youthful innocence to adult experience, Baldwin appeared to be indicating that he had moved abruptly, sharply from one to another. He said this to the journalist the same year he published what I consider his masterwork, If Beale Street Could Talk , a late novel about black Americans in love, systemic racism, and the injustice of the prison system. A black child, the lesson seems to be, must often grow up quicker than other children. All of this, to me, made Beale Street astonishing. It had despair, but it also, importantly, had love.
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His fifth novel  and 13th book overall  , it is a love story set in Harlem in the early s.
the storytellers secret a novel
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American film, mirroring the stratifications of American society, evolved to distort the sexuality of black men and women, either neutering it entirely or grotesquely overstating it. This recovered footage, by contrast, shows a moment of uncomplicated attraction between black people, with no trace of prank or meanness or midnight-colored paint.