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“No label, no slogan, no party, no skin color, and no religion is more important than the human being.”—James Baldwin


A project inspired by James Baldwin’s truth-telling treatise on justice in America, The Fire Next Time, and our endlessly changing world. Chapter & Verse: The Gospel of James Baldwin is a 21st century ritual tool kit for justice. A call for revolution. A gift during turbulent times. 

“Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word "love" here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace - not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.”—James Baldwin


Each month, September–December 2020, we offer gifts—music, thoughts, meditations, and visual testimonies of resilience—inspired by James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time.


“This is my offering to you. This is a different experience so I hope you have an open mind or at least an open heart. I see James Baldwin as an Orisha, his writing as the living word. I wanted to pay homage to him and to the time and effort it took to sit, to physically and emotionally fill the page with a truth that made my own sorrow feel less lonely. He put me on a path of empathy  and humility towards my parents. It humbled me towards my mother born in 1944 and my father born in 1939—a time I can’t imagine living in while black.”—Meshell Ndegeocello



Visit each month to access these gifts:


1. Call: Dial a toll-free telephone number (call 06 44 60 74 72 from France or visit the international call page for international dialing) and discover songs, meditations, and chants to ease your mind any time, day or night, when you need it most.


2. See: Experience visual testimonies of Baldwin’s text, with original music created by Meshell and artistic collaborators, including Suné Woods, Nicholas Galanin, and Charlotte Brathwaite.


3. Read:  Sign up for our monthly broadsheet, featuring Baldwin’s words and calls to action, available by mail on demand and pdf online




Coproduced by Festival de Marseille


Practical information



Register here to receive the toolkits in the mail


Meshell Ndegeocello



Inspired by the writing of James Baldwin Created by Meshell Ndegeocello In collaboration with Charlotte Brathwaite Featuring the contributions of Staceyann Chin, Suné Woods, Nicholas Galanin, and others to be announced Graphic Design by Rebecca Meek A Co-Production of Bismillah, LLC and Fisher Center at Bard Co-Commissioned by Live Arts Bard, UCLA's Center for the Art of Performance, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre, and Festival de Marseille.

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