James Baldwin was born in 1924 in Harlem and was a novelist, essayist, playwright, and civil rights activist. In Search of a Majority is an adaptation from an address Baldwin made at Kalamazoo College in 1960 that discusses American cultural standards of race, class, and ethnicity. This speech inspires discussion on privilege, power, social structures, ethnicity, and history’s influence on current race relations.
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Address at Kalamazoo College (1960)
What are the barriers to building democracy?What does it mean to be American?What makes a "good" citizen?How do we connect with those who are different from us?How do we learn to have dialogue across difference? What does it look like?Is difference a problem, an opportunity, a challenge or a gift?Why is difference sometimes threatening?What do people gain from joining a group? What do they lose?Who gets left out and why?Can our heritage and our traditions be a source of division?How do I understand my heritage and traditions?How have my past and heritage shaped me?What do we inherit from our ancestors?How do we define who we are?How do you understand your own identity? How does it relate to the communities you are a part of?Can there be justice without equality?What are the causes of injustice and inequality?How does my race, culture or ethnicity shape who I am?Why do racial disparities exist and how do we change them?