Lorraine Hansberry, James Baldwin, and Bayard Rustin – recommended listening, reading, and viewing for the weekend from Jeremy Cohan

Posted by on Jul 3, 2020 in Faculty, Other | No Comments

UPDATE, 7/1/2020: the SVA library now has access to Brother Outsider: The Life of Freedom Fighter Bayard Rustin on Kanopy. You can watch it at this link. The post below has been edited to reflect the film’s availability.


In addition to being Director of the Honors Program at SVA, Jeremy Cohan has been acting as custodian of the VCS Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts over the last few months. This Tuesday, he sent me the following message about a series of posts he was planning for all three platforms this week:

In (somewhat belated) honor of Pride month, as well as Black Lives Matter, I’m thinking of posting for the next few days about a trinity of people very close to my heart that I would love for students to learn a little bit more about – Lorraine Hansberry, James Baldwin, and Bayard Rustin. Just posted a great Studs Terkel interview with Hansberry today. Dunno exactly if this makes a blog post, but thought I’d send the idea – something like “recommended reading for this time and for all year, three glorious African-American gay writers and activists.”

The project sounded like an excellent idea, so I’m posting about here to encourage all of you to check out Jeremy’s selections, which include a 1971 radio interview with Hansberry in which she talks with writer and historian Studs Terkel about her play “A Raisin in the Sun”; Baldwin’s 1962 essay “The Creative Process” (which I’ve assigned in all three of my VCS writing classes at one point or another); and a link to the 2002 documentary Brother Outsider: The Life of Freedom Fighter Bayard Rustin, directed by Bennett Singer and Nancy Kates.

All three posts are now up, so be sure to check them out on our social media accounts or at the links directly above.




Visual & Critical Studies