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James Baldwin

    SpeakySpokey: WritersMosaic Live Events

To be a black person in America, James Baldwin once said, was to be “in a state of rage almost all of the  time.” Decades after his death, that sentiment, echoed in many countries in the West, still resonates.

In collaboration with the Eccles Institute at the British Library, WritersMosaic  presented an evening of writers and music celebrating James Baldwin’s centenary. Colin Grant was joined by the writers Mendez, Chitra Ramaswamy and Vanessa Kisuule to reflect on Baldwin’s prescience, and how his writing was informed by love, political activism, religion and the Blues.

 Missohio created a slideshow journeying around Baldwin.The singer, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Angeline Morrison also performed on the night. Selected extracts from Baldwin’s writing were read by Burt Caesar, an actor and director working extensively across theatre, television, and film, and a broadcaster on BBCR4.


Burt Caesar is a former Associate Director at the Royal Court Theatre and an Artistic Adviser at RADA. Burt played the role of Meridian in the British premiere of Baldwin’s Civil Rights era tragedy, Blues for Mr Charlie (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield) and curated the programme The Price of Baldwin’s Ticket at the BFI. Burt has contributed to previous SpeakySpokey salons including performances of Derek Walcott’s epic poem ‘The Schooner ‘Flight’.