‘God gave Noah the rainbow sign, no more water, the fire next time.’
Comprised of two letters on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Baldwin challenges white and black Americans to live up to its promise. He talks about his childhood in Harlem, the role of the church, a disturbing visit with Elijah Muhammad, and comes to the conclusion that whites can only be as free as black people are. Published in 1963, this is extraordinary both as a historic document, and a timely one.