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Steve Schapiro - Coffee Table Curator: April 2017 - Interview Magazine

In 1963 the Harlem-born writer James Baldwin published The Fire Next Time, a pairing of essays addressing the history of the African American experience in the United States (in the form of a letter addressed to his nephew) and Baldwin's understanding of the role of religion in his home borough. In November of the year prior, a portion of the text was published in The New Yorker and read by Life magazine photographer Steve Schapiro, who promptly asked his editors if he could photograph Baldwin. He traveled with Baldwin for four weeks in June of 1964, documenting his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, a time that Congressman John Lewis aptly refers to as "the struggle for human dignity in America."