Author and civil rights activist James Baldwin was born 92 years ago today. His life ended, but his voice and views live on. The 1989 Karen Thorsen documentary, James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket, offers a poignant personal portrait of the life, times and brilliant voice of Baldwin from his Harlem home to his global retreats. Intermixing archival footage, excerpts from major Baldwin books, and commentary from the writer and other writers of his time, the film celebrates the social critic who challenged America on racial justice, sexuality and religious issues.
Almost three decades after Baldwin’s death, in an America fueled by racial and immigration tensions and raging election rhetoric, the time is right to revisit Baldwin’s legacy and his relevance today. The Price of the Ticket is a good starting point.