In Esquire‘s July 1968 issue, published just after the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., the magazine talked to James Baldwin about the state of race relations in the country. On what would be the author’s 93rd birthday, we’ve republished the interview in full—and his words are incredibly relevant today.
ESQ: How can we get the black people to cool it?
JAMES BALDWIN: It is not for us to cool it.
ESQ: But aren’t you the ones who are getting hurt the most?
JAMES BALDWIN: No, we are only the ones who are dying fastest.