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James Baldwin, Taking a Hard Look at History

James Baldwin, photographed in 1965.
Philip Townsend
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
James Baldwin, photographed in 1965.

James Baldwin took a long, hard look at race and history in his major poem "Staggerlee Wonders."

Baldwin was among the many poets who visited with Henry Lyman during the nearly 20 years Lyman hosted a public radio program called Poems to a Listener on member station WFCR in Amherst, Mass.

They discussed "Staggerlee Wonders," covering Baldwin's views on race, politics and the dispossessed, in a wide-ranging conversation typical of Lyman's program.

Note: There is language in this segment — and in Baldwin's poem — that some listeners may find offensive.

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