Chinua Achebe & James Baldwin
Reading through a recent article on BrainPickings, I was delighted to learn that African American Author, James Baldwin, and Nigerian Author, Chinua Achebe had not only crossed paths, but in fact had a very enlightened conversation about art, race, and morality among other things. In 1980 the two Writers met during the annual African Literature Association, held in Florida that year. They both had been invited as Keynote Speakers and their dialogue to each other delved into art, the Artist, and society within the context of race, beauty, and morality. The moment was iconic, as one would imagine, having two of the most prominent writers of their respective communities. Apparently, Achebe mentioned on Pen.org that Baldwin had also read his book, “Things Fall Apart” while in France, noting that Achebe’s main character, Okonkwo, reminded him of his Father. The two were set to meet again in 1987 at the University of Massachusetts, though unfortunately Baldwin became ill and passed around that time.