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Fathers and Uncles: Baldwin and Coates

I had never really thought of James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time (1963) as a queer text before—at least not in any deeper sense than that it was a book written by an author who wrote about queer themes and who himself had both male and female partners. But by putting Fire alongside Between the World and Me, the new book by Ta-Nehisi Coates, I was struck by the significance of the fact that Baldwin’s book is addressed to his nephew and Coates’s is addressed to his son.[1] One of the more tedious aspects of the reception of Coates’s Between Read more