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The Interviewer Asks Him About Despair. His Smile Says Even More Than His Words.

Wow, these are good words to hear at the end of a rough year in the world.

The Interviewer Asks Him About Despair. His Smile Says Even More Than His Words.

This is James Baldwin.

To introduce him as a writer — or even a great writer — might be selling him a bit short.


He was born in the 1920s and grew up in Harlem. Because he was black and gay, he found living in the U.S. pretty damn hard. He lived much of his adult life in France.

You may know or have read some of his books, which include such wildly famous titles as "Go Tell It on the Mountain" and "Notes of a Native Son."

He wrote about the big issues.

And he was involved in the civil rights movement.

I'm guessing all this dealing with the challenges and struggles of America from the 1930s through the 1960s was pretty tough work, and a lot of people would be overwhelmed or numbed by the sheer difficulty of all that was facing black Americans, gay Americans, and all Americans.

But not Baldwin.


That message is incredible. Especially at a time when it feels like the movement for true civil rights and equality is so far from over.

That smile tells me that his answer has a flavor of bitter irony to it. But he is sincere, too. He puts it plain and simple.

This montage is less a minute long. Watch, and learn from a master.

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This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

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Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
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