Why Blues for Mister Charlie must stay!

Last week in class Professor Eversley talked about dropping one of the novels in the James Baldwin course the next time she teaches it. Somewhere in the mini-discussion a lot of you suggested that Professor Eversley drop Blues for Mister Charlie from the James Baldwin course, all I have to say is Nooooooooooo!

Blues for Mister Charlie is James Baldwin’s best play’s, well its only one of two play that he wrote. The other play James Baldwin wrote is called The Amen Corner published in 1954, but still, the novel has something to offer.

An important theme in this play is Power,

Power is a binary that Baldwin believes should be surrendered as an identity. With power over another person Baldwin believes no one can be equal to one another. Power barriers are obstacles that people must surrender so a vast array of people can come together, and with power barriers serving as an obstacle between individuals and groups of people, power cannot be unifying. Baldwin describes power in its entirety not as people having more money than one another, but he describes it as a preferred identity. The power in binaries prevents people from coming together because people let the power of their binary symbolize their identity. As Baldwin exhibits in Blues for Mister Charlie, power—the preferred identity of a person in America—can be demonstrated in a persons race, manhood, and white privilege, and within the context, Baldwin exhibits in the play blackness has no power.” (My Research Paper)

For the content of the class, and to the point that Blues for Mister Charlie makes, this drama is too important to leave out from the class.

About Jailain Hollon

This entry was posted in Blues for Mister Charlie. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Why Blues for Mister Charlie must stay!

  1. I agree, this play should stay in Eversley’s Baldwin course. I wish we went more in depth about it, because it was the only work in this course that was based on something real.

  2. That’s true, I found it interesting that he loosely based Richard’s character off of Emmett Till and elaborated more on in my final research paper on how the illusion of the black and white race is personified in the characters of Blues for Mister Charlie.

    think Baldwin was really trying to create a horror in the play that is so believable, it reads as absolute reality.

  3. @Kamelia Kilawan Your research paper sounds really interesting, and I agree, in a way the Emmett Till murder is so grizzly and horrifying that it seems unfathomable.

    James Baldwin makes Blues for Mister Charlie almost a timeless drama with its concepts of race and power.

Comments are closed.