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James Baldwin and Nikki Giovanni in Conversation


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James Baldwin (age ~47) and Nikki Giovanni (age ~28) in conversation  This conversation was taped in London in 1971 on a TV program called Soul! 


I remember when programming like this were more common and popular here it the US.  Today there is much less focus on intelligent people.  


Nikki Giovanni and Troy JohnsonIt is interesting to consider that i'm almost 10 years older than Baldwin is in the video below.  It is even more interesting to consider that Nikki is now 76 years old.  The photo on the right is one that I took with Giovanni in 2017. 


I really liked the way the interview  filmed; the closeups, the tight shots of a hand or knee — it was really well done.


They are both smoking during the interview — which seems so crazy by today's standard.


Baldwin said during the interview:


“No white critic can judge my work. I’d be a fool if I depended upon that judgement.”
—James Baldwin


Today we are all fools, because unless Black work is validated by white people, we do not value it ourselves.  Part of the reason is that with white validation comes money -- indeed it may be a prerequisite to earning money. The sole pursuit of money, the basis of American culture, has never served us a people.




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