'The Price of the Ticket': James Baldwin, a true literary and community hero

James Baldwin documentary focus of ASU Humanities Lecture Series at ASU Downtown Phoenix campus

ASU faculty member and author Venita Blackburn kicks off the spring portion of ASU's Humanities Lecture Series at the Downtown Phoenix campus with this film viewing and discussion.

"James Baldwin became the voice of a people and, in many ways, a nation, eloquently articulating realities that went otherwise misunderstood. Dominant cultures will often distort the stories of others, romanticizing horrors or erasing them completely from history, vilifying heroes and sanctifying villains," said Blackburn. "The documentary 'James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket' is the narrative of Baldwin's life as a person but also as an author and spokesperson for the twentieth-century African American experience as he lived it from within, closing the gap between cultures while making room for understanding."  

Works by Venita Blackburn have appeared in American Short Fiction, the Georgia Review, Pleiades, Madison Review, Bat City Review, Nashville Review, Smoke Long Quarterly, Café Irreal, Santa Monica Review, and elsewhere. Blackburn was awarded a Bread Loaf Fellowship in 2014 and three Pushcart Prize nominations. In 2016 she won the Prairie Schooner book prize in fiction, which will result in the publication of her collected stories, “Black Jesus and Other Superheroes,” in 2017. Her hometown is Compton, Calif., and she now teaches writing courses at ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus as an instructor in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts. Blackburn earned her MFA from ASU and is finishing a new novel, “Guts.”  

Faculty of Languages and Cultures, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts
Mirna Lattouf
Cronkite Building, Room 128, Downtown Phoenix campus
Downtown Phoenix campus

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