After reading a couple of James Baldwin’s books, I began experiencing that continuous delight one feels upon discovering a fascinating, brilliant talent on the scene, a talent capable of penetrating so profoundly into one’s own little world that one knows oneself to have been unalterably changed and liberated, liberated from the frustrating grasp of whatever devils happen to possess one. Being a Negro, I have found this to be a rare and infrequent experience, for few of my black brothers and sisters here in America have achieved the power, which James Baldwin calls his revenge, which outlasts kingdoms: the power of doing whatever cats like Baldwin do when combining the alphabet with the volatile elements of his soul.

(And, like it or not, a black man, unless he has become irretrievably “white-minded,” responds with an additional dimension of his being to the articulated experience of another black–in spite of the universality of human experience.)