There’s nothing I love more than discovering new artists, and it often happens in the most unexpected ways.
Last week I was listening to the Nerdist Podcast and the guest was Fear the Walking Dead’s Colman Domingo. I have never seen FTWD and had no real idea who Colman Domingo was, but I listened anyways.
Near the middle of the podcast he mentioned how he would like to make a movie about a man named James Baldwin. He talked a bit about it but then they moved on.
The kick in the pants came at the very end of the podcast when Colman Domingo in his incredible voice recited a piece of an essay by Baldwin that sent chills down my spine. Immediately I began to google more of the man’s work and can say that James Baldwin is a name that more people should know, and a man whose work should be even more widely known. His words are beautiful.
If you have just a few minutes, listen to Domingo’s recitation here
Nerdist Podcast – Colman Domingo it starts at the 1hr 14min mark.
I have slept on rooftops and in basements and subways, have been cold and hungry all my life; have felt that no fire would ever warm me, and no arms would ever hold me. I have been, as the song says, ‘buked and scorned and know that I always will be. But, my God, in that darkness, which was the lot of my ancestors and my own state, what a mighty fire burned! In that darkness of rape and degradation, that fine flying froth and mist of blood, through all that terror and in all that helplessness, a living soul moved and refused to die. We really emptied oceans with a home-made spoon and tore down mountains with our hands. And if love was in Hong Kong, we learned how to swim.
It is a mighty heritage, it is the human heritage, and it is all there is to trust. And I learned this through descending, as it were, into the eyes of my father and my mother. I wondered, when I was little, how they bore it-for I knew that they had much to bear. It had not yet occurred to me that I also would have much to bear; but they knew it, and the unimaginable rigors of their journey helped them to prepare me for mine. This is why one must say Yes to life and embrace it wherever it is found-and it is found in terrible places; nevertheless, there it is; and if the father can say, Yes. Lord. the child can learn that most difficult of words, Amen.
For nothing is fixed, forever and forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have. The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.
The entire essay can be read HERE
I truly hope Colman Domingo is able to bring this man’s life to the screen. His story is incredible. PBS has a great in depth bio found HERE