Reflections on #Ferguson: Baldwin’s “The American Dream and the American Negro”

Today, in the wake of the grand jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for killing unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, the HBW Blog turns, as so many have done, to the words of the prophet James Baldwin: 
“It comes as a great shock to discover that the country which is your birthplace…has not, in its whole system of reality, evolved any place for you. The disaffection
and the gap between people, only on the basis of their skins, begins there and accelerates
throughout your whole lifetime.”
These words, taken from Baldwin’s “The American Dream and the American Negro,” were delivered in a 1965 debate with William F. Buckley. A clip of Baldwin’s speech is embedded below.