The Evidence of Things Not Seen

James A. Baldwin, Author Holt McDougal $0 (125p) ISBN 978-0-03-005529-4
The Atlanta child-murders case, in which Wayne Bertram Williams was arrested in 1981, is the focus of this short, maddeningly discursive book. At the suggestion of a Playboy editor, Baldwin visited Atlanta, attended Williams's trial and spoke to principals, but this book is not a work of reportage on the case against Williams. Rather, it is an extended essay on U.S. race relations. Often Baldwin is vivid and powerful, as when recalling the terrors of his Harlem boyhood and imagining poor black Atlanta children stepping into strangers' cars: ""To be poor and Black in a country so rich and White is to judge oneself very harshly and it means that one has nothing to lose.'' Black Atlanta (its officials, the victims and the defendant) provides a point of departure for Baldwin's ruminations on deep and familiar concerns, but this book lacks the impact of his earlier works. October 31
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
Hardcover - 125 pages - 978-1-56849-575-0
Paperback - 978-0-8050-0138-9
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