AHA Today

James Baldwin on History

James Grossman | Aug 3, 2016

Today is James Baldwin’s birthday.  Historians might appreciate his observation in 1965:

James Baldwin. 1968. Credit: Allan Warren CC BY-SA 3.0

James Baldwin. 1968. Credit: Allan Warren CC BY-SA 3.0

“History, as nearly no one seems to know, is not merely something to be read.  And it does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past.  On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do.  It could scarcely be otherwise, since it is to history that we owe our frames of reference, our identities, and our aspirations.”

Indeed, everything has a history, and it matters.

 

 

This post first appeared on AHA Today.


Tags: AHA Today African American history


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