Monday, November 28, 2016

Coffee with James Baldwin

James Baldwin was an American author, who moved to France when he was 24 and lived there much of the rest of his life. He found the prejudice in the USA against African Americans and homosexuals frustrating and sought a more congenial environment. He died of cancer on December 1, 1987, when he was 63 years old. The photo above was taken in France.

from his 1956 novel Giovanni's Room:
Sometimes, in the days which are coming -God grant me the grace to live them- in the glare of the grey morning, sour-mouthed, eyelids raw and red, hair tangled and damp from my stormy sleep, facing, over coffee and cigarette smoke, last night's impenetrable, meaningless boy who will shortly rise and vanish like the smoke, I will see Giovanni again, as he was that night, so vivid, so winning, all of the light of that gloomy tunnel trapped around his head.
from "A Negro Assays on the Negro Mood," The New York Times, 12 March 1961:
At the rate things are going here, all of Africa will be free before we can get a lousy cup of coffee.
I think the coffee maker in the photo here is of an espresso maker. One of these days, I think I'd enjoy having an espresso machine to play with. I don't want to spend money on an expensive electric contraption, and the only stovetop units I've seen work better on a gas stove. I've quit actively searching for one, but perhaps I'll come across something someday.

Please join the T Tuesday gathering hosted by Bleubeard and Elizabeth and share your beverage of choice with us.


  1. To think James Baldwin moved to France in the late 1940s, and nothing has changed, and may even get worse over the next few years, especially since many homophobes will more than likely be part of the White House.

    Speaking of homophobe, it's ironic that today was the day Harvey Milk was killed. I watched a tv show called Execution of Justice, which was the story that focused on Dan White, the person who killed both Milk and Muscone. I had NO idea that's where the Twinkie Defense was born.

    I had an espresso on Thanksgiving. My friend made it from an electric machine she has. I would never go to that kind of trouble of a small cup of coffee. I hope you find something you like because this one was a very expensive looking machine.

    Thanks for sharing this look at James Baldwin and his coffee maker with us for T this week. I somehow doubt all of Africa will ever be free, even if we do get a lousy cup of coffee!

  2. What Elizabeth wrote is so true - we seem to be going backwards in time just now. I have 2 coffee makers, I NEED them! Happy T Day, hugs, Valerie

  3. i bought such a coffee maker in greece a Million years ago... i wonder where it ended up, in the cellar most likely...
    oh yes, the new politics and homophobes... sad Story...
    wishing you a happy t-day anyway!

  4. I used to have one of those coffee makers and they are still the best--not sure where it went?

    A sad state of affairs and the world hasn't changed unfortunately-maybe on day---

    Happy T Day

    Love Chrissie xx

  5. We have one of those coffee makers and my husband uses it daily.
    It is a sad world we live in, progress, seems to be a forgotten word these days.
    Happy T day
    Yvonne xx

  6. Great photo of James Baldwin. I haven't read any of his books (why not? I ask myself)but I do like his quotes:
    "Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced."
    "Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them."
    I think James Baldwin would turn around in his grave if he knew Trump was going to be president!
    The coffee machine is a typical southern European coffee maker. The one in the picture makes 6 little (strong) espressos. It works on gas but also on electric. I have them in all sizes, plus a pretty stainless steel (one cup) one for my husband.
    Happy T-Day,

  7. thank you for introducing me to this man. Yes, sad state of affairs we still live in...
    I'm familiar with that pot as several of my family in France have them but I don't have one here. Now that you're not looking I bet one of those pots shows up for you:) Happy T day!

  8. The photo has a lot of emotion in it. I like Baldwins thoughts but can only read them in small doses, there is so much to think about in his writing and much of it sad. We seem to be returning to the worst of our history. I think I need one of those coffee pots. I'm afraid I'm going to need stronger coffee to make it through the year.

  9. Oh yes - those cooffee makers were the best- I loved the smell in the kitchen when my grandma brewed her coffee in it!
    Happy T-Day!

  10. A stunning vintage the coffee maker, and the atmosphere of the picture. Enjoy your tea/coffee today!

  11. I'e never read James Baldwin, although I had heard about him. His style is wonderful. Thanks for sharing. :) Happy T day. Hugs-Erika

  12. Such a poigniant story, I do hope he found peace in France. The photo looks so atmospheric and I've seen that type of Espresso coffee pot before on my travels. Thanks for sharing and wishing you a Happy T Day! J :-)

  13. I always learn something when i visit you Divers!! Happy happy T day! Hugs! deb

  14. What an interesting post! The coffee machine looks as though it would produce a good cup! Hugs, Chrisx

  15. What an interesting post! The coffee machine looks as though it would produce a good cup! Hugs, Chrisx

  16. Very interesting! I have added a couple of his books to my amazon wish list and perhaps the winter months will give me time to read them. Thanks for sharing.