I was inspired to get a copy of James Baldwin: Collected Essays (1998), after seeing Raoul Peck's provocative film I Am Not Your Negro in which passages from Baldwin's letters, notes, and other writings are paired with various images depicting racial strife in America over time as well as today. I had realized that although I had read a few novels by Baldwin, I had not read any of his nonfiction. Baldwin's tone in these essays is angry, defiant, indignant, and ultimately consequential. The first collection is Notes of a Native Son (1955) which is primarily concerned with the issue of race in America and Europe. The next collection was Nobody Knows My Name (1961), which has a variety of essays several of which are related to literature. I was surprise to learn that he didn't get on with Richard Wright, but he was friendly with Norman Mailer. The Fire Next Time (1963) has "My Dungeon Shook — Letter to my Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of Emancipation," and "Down At The Cross — Letter from a Region of My Mind." The first essay, written in the form of a letter to Baldwin's 14-year-old nephew, discusses the central role of race in American history. The second essay deals with the relations between race and religion, focusing in particular on Baldwin's experiences with the Christian church as a youth, as well as the Islamic ideas of others in Harlem. No Name in the Street (1971) was more interesting to me since it was concerned with world events of the 60s such as people involved in the civil rights movement such as Bobby Seale, Malcolm X、Huey Newton, and Eldridge Cleaver as well as the Algerian war and Albert Camus' attitude about it. The final essay collection was The Devil Finds Work (1976), which is essentially a book length essay that is a memoir of his experiences watching movies and a critique of the racial politics of American cinema. The last section,"Other Essays" has several interesting previously uncollected essays such as "Nothing Personal" (an essay about the civil rights movement), "A report from Occupied Territory (about the race races riots in the summer of 1964), "Negroes Are Anti-Semitic Because They Are Anti-White" (which helps explain the distrust of Jews who worked in the civil rights movement), and "The Price of the Ticket" (about all the people who mentored and supported Baldwin in his struggle to become a writer). This collection is a powerful body of push back and resistance against the country that claims equality for all.