A house facing demolition

 

“Last spring, I went to Saint-Paul and wandered down the Route de la Colle to see Baldwin’s home for myself. Both wings of the farmhouse have been razed to the ground, with birds flying in and out of the second floor, yet his writing room below remained intact. « You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read, he noted, It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive. » As I peered inside and imagined Jimmy, as he was always called, hard at work on those books that would change so many of our lives, the thought that one of the quintessential black Americans in France would soon be stripped of his only geographical footprint, that his only genuine home—like those of so many nameless black families who never get to pass on a legacy—would now be wiped away, struck me as unbearably sad.”

« France must save James Baldwin’s house » by  Thomas Chatterton Williams in Le Monde

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