James Baldwin and the Moral Crisis of American Democracy

A public lecture by Eddie Glaude Jr.

Professor Glaude examines Baldwin’s insistence that America’s race problem is a result of moral choices.



Graham Chapel Washington University in St. Louis

One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130


  • James Baldwin and the Moral Crisis of American Democracy: A Public Lecture by Eddie Glaude

    Eddie Glaude Jr. (October 24, 2019)

James Baldwin, one of America’s most insightful critics, insisted that we understand the race problem in the United States as fundamentally a moral one. Choices had been made, and were continually made, to believe that ours was a country where white people were valued more than others. That choice distorted our individual characters and the character of the nation. That choice is the source, along with the lies that sustain it, of the ongoing moral crisis at the heart of American democracy. Baldwin thought carefully about all of this, especially in a moment when the country turned its back on the black freedom struggle. What he said then has particular relevance now as we face a choice of own: will we choose, once again, to believe that white people matter more than others or will we finally choose to be otherwise?

Please join us for this public lecture by Eddie Glaude, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University and frequent MSNBC contributor. Professor Glaude will draw from his research for his forthcoming book, Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own, to be published in April 2020. There will be audience Q&A and a reception immediately following for all attendees.

Your RSVP to rap@wustl.edu or (314) 935-9345 is appreciated and allows us to send event and parking updates.

Free and open to all.


  • Eddie Glaude

  • R. Marie Griffith

    Director and John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities