The Evidence of Things Not Seen
Author: James Baldwin; Foreword by Derrick Bell with Janet Dewart Bell
One of America's most important writers takes on the arrest of Wayne Bertram Williams for the murder of twenty-eight black children in Atlanta to offer this searing indictment of the nation's racial stagnation.
This edition of James Baldwin's classic work offers a new foreword by Derrick Bell (with Janet Dewart Bell), and is as meaningful today as it was when it was first published in 1985.
In his searing and moving essay, James Baldwin explores the Atlanta child murders that took place over a period of twenty-two months in 1979 and 1980. Examining this incident with a reporter's skill and an essayist's insight, he notes the significance of Atlanta as the site of these brutal killings—a city that claimed to be "too busy to hate"—and the permeation of race throughout the case: the black administration in Atlanta; the murdered black children; and Wayne Williams, the black man tried for the crimes.
Rummaging through the ruins of American race relations, Baldwin addresses all the hard-to-face issues that have brought us a moment in history where it is terrifying to to be a black child in white America, and where, too often, public officials fail to ask real questions about "justice for all." Baldwin takes a time-specific event and makes it timeless: The Evidence of Things Not Seen offers an incisive look at race in America through a lens at once disturbing and profoundly revealing.