性视界传媒

Yearlong program celebrates American author James Baldwin

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The at 性视界传媒, in collaboration with a dozen community partners, will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of author James Baldwin with a 13-month series of public events and community readings.

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The Baldin100 was created by Richard L. Heffner, an assistant professor of graphic design in Mason's School of Art.

A novelist, essayist, and famed orator, Baldwin was born in Harlem in 1924 and died 颈苍听St.Paul de Vence, France, in 1987. Known for such works as Giovanni鈥檚 Room, The Fire Next Time, and If Beale Street Could Talk, Baldwin鈥檚 writings have been both banned and widely celebrated, a testimony to his powerful voice.

鈥淭hirty-seven years after his death, James Baldwin still matters as an uncompromising moralist and visionary, a self-proclaimed 鈥榙isturber of the peace鈥 whose art and activism radiated his belief in America and his unstinting desire to help our country honor its foundational principles of liberty and equality without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, class, religion, and other classifications, which have been deployed to marginalize, silence, and dispossess,鈥 said Mason Distinguished University Professor Keith Clark.

Cheuse Center Director Leeya Mehta said she noticed James Baldwin wasn't familiar to her students, only about four out of more than 150, had heard his name, and only one remembered an essay from high school.

鈥淔or Baldwin, leaving America made him see America more clearly. He lived for decades in Turkey and France,鈥 said Mehta. 鈥淭he Mason student community is so diverse, and we hope that this international Baldwin will reiterate how important this diversity is."

The centennial celebration called the kicks off this month and will engage the Mason community, Fairfax County, and the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area in exploring Baldwin鈥檚 works. Program highlights include the following:

  • 鈥淲hy Baldwin Matters鈥 Symposium: April 17, Fairfax Campus, noon-5 p.m.

A day-long symposium featuring Baldwin biographer and longtime friend of Baldwin David Leeming, Baldwin scholar and Mason Distinguished University Professor Keith Clark, Mason student Rae Mitchell, educator and researcher Deborah Tulani Salahu-Din, a museum curator in at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and writer and friend of Baldwin鈥檚, author Nicholas Delbanco.

  • Busboys and Poets Lecture: 鈥淛immy and Me鈥攁nd Our Interconnected Future as Americans, by renowned poet and civil rights activist Nikki Giovanni, April 23, Sherwood Center, Fairfax, 6:30 p.m.

Giovanni will speak to the public about Baldwin鈥檚 legacy, including themes of belonging and exile, friendship, sexuality, community, and interconnected idealism. The lecture is sponsored by independent bookstore chain Busboys and Poets in partnership with several groups.

  • Blues for Mister Charlie, a staged reading, Sept. 9, 7 p.m., Blackbox Theater, Fairfax Campus

In collaboration with Mason鈥檚 School of Theater, theater students will perform a staged reading of Blues for Mister Charlie, one of Baldwin鈥檚 two theatrical works.

  • Baldwin100 Reads

The is a common book list that will allows readers to connect with texts and then have a shared conversational experience.

  • Baldwin100 Watches Films

A related to Baldwin and his life has made these available to Mason students through a partnership with the University Libraries. Public screenings of several films are also planned.

The Baldwin100 is a community partnership with Busboys and Poets, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, the City of Fairfax, Fairfax County Public Library, Maryland Humanities, and the Library of Congress Center for the Book. Within Mason, partners include Mason Exhibitions, University Libraries, the School of Theater, the School of Art, the Department of English, and the African and African American Studies Program. 听

A collaborative curatorial model has brought representatives from these organizations together to create an expanding public humanities and arts initiative, which includes Baldwin鈥檚 friends and contemporaries and Mason students for an intergenerational community experience.

Founded in memory of Mason professor and writer Alan Cheuse and part of Mason鈥檚 Watershed Lit, the Cheuse Center is a global community of writers, translators, and readers. Since its founding in 2016, the center has featured more than 180 international writers and has sent 23 Mason graduate students abroad to research their writing projects.

For updates on additional programming subscribe to the center鈥檚 newsletter at or visit the .

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Cheuse Center Events

| Thursday, Feb. 22, 1:30 pm | Fenwick Library听


| Thursday, Feb. 29, 6:30 pm | Information


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