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Common Read 2021: The Fire This Time

A guide to provide context and support for Mt. Holyoke's 2021 Common Read

James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time

There are also copies of The Fire Next Time available via the Internet Archive:


James Baldwin, "Fifth Avenue, Uptown," Esquire (Oct 16, 2007), quoted by Garnette Cadogan in The Fire This Time, 143

"I Am Not Your Negro: James Baldwin and Race in America," streaming video on Kanopy (MHC login required), 2016, 94 minutes

Read about James Baldwin's visit to Mount Holyoke in December 1985 (Mount Holyoke News). Search the student newspaper collection for other references to James Baldwin.

Historical and cultural background

Lorraine Hansberry, "The Black Revolution and the White Backlash," 1964 [Sameer Rao, Colorlines, May 16, 2016]

Portsmouth African Burying Ground, Portsmouth, NH, in honor of those forgotten

At God's Little Acre, Clues to the African American History of Newport, RI, a closer look at the intricately carved stones of a centuries-old burying ground

Bob Drinkwater, In Memory of Susan Freedom: Searching for Gravestones of African Americans in Western Massachusetts

David Ruggles Center for History and Education, Florence, MA

Documenting the Early History of Black Lives in Connecticut River Valley, website presented by the Pioneer Valley History Network, the UMass Amherst Public History Program, and the UMass Amherst W.E.B. Du Bois Library, with support from Mass Humanities and the UMass Amherst Public Service Endowment Grant

MHC Accessibility Barriers Form