This article expounds the idea of having James Baldwin as a figurehead for the hashtag black lives matter movement. There is no clear responder to who this excerpt is too, although, some may say that this excerpt is to all the people who discount, discredit, or goes against the movement itself. The author first goes into the metrics of how James Baldwin was included in the black lives matter protests and conversation. Using the metrics of the number of times James Baldwin himself or his words were mentioned through Twitter tweets and the number of retweets those tweets received, we can see that his words correlated with the ideas of today’s society.
The author pulled more than 32,000,000 available tweets that were between 2014 and 2015, given by researchers for free, and filtered to only the ones that mentioned James Baldwin. “Revealing that “James Baldwin” had been referenced in at least 7,326 tweets and retweets, more times than the intersectional black feminist poet Audre Lorde (1,634 tweets); the iconic Harlem Renaissance voice Langston Hughes (1,401 tweets); the inspirational poet and memoirist Maya Angelou (1,236 tweets); the Nobel Prize–winning novelist Toni Morrison (843 tweets); the MacArthur Fellow and New York Times best-selling poet Claudia Rankine (556 tweets); the Black Panthers Huey Newton (536 tweets) and Eldridge Cleaver (373 tweets); Baldwin’s older mentor and adversary Richard Wright (126 tweets); and his contemporary and fellow Wright-rival Ralph Ellison (116 tweets).” The author gives a bar chart indicating the amount of times James Baldwin was referenced with a quotation or with some other complementing source. Other graphs depict a bar chart that would show the amount of times one quote was used between 2014 and 2015 by Twitter accounts using the years of the quote itself as the x axis.
We should care about this because the impact of one man’s words can lead onto other generations. As we could see, James Baldwin’s most of his quotes are within a 13 year time span of 1960 to 1973 which was used heavily in 2014 to 2015 in arguments and in a way to convey a message.