Bearing Witness from Another Place shares rarely seen photographs of James Baldwin in Turkey, taken by his friend Sedat Pakay. Piercingly intimate and beautifully candid, these images capture the vibrant world of acquaintances, friends, and collaborators Baldwin cultivated while living intermittently in Turkey from 1961 to 1971. Following publication of Notes of a Native Son and The Fire Next Time, James Baldwins literary star approached its peak during the turbulent 1960s. His burgeoning role as celebrity, prophet, and leader heaped an unsustainable amount of pressure and responsibility onto his slight frame in an American landscape that doubly punished Baldwin for being both black and gay, and he often turned to Turkey for sanctuary. Bearing Witness to Another Place includes essays by writers and scholars who use his sojourns to Turkey as a lens to understand Baldwin as a human being and his need for sanctuary in order to continue to bear witness to Americas dream of racial equality.
Charles Johnson is the author of Middle Passage and professor emeritus at the University of Washington. Other contributors include Brian J. Carter, Michael S. Harper, Resat Kasaba, David Leeming, Howard Norman, Nancy Rawles, and Magdalena J. Zaborowska.