Baldwin’s Letter to Harry Bridges

Against the Current No. 18, January/February 1989

James Baldwin

Dear Mr. Bridges:

I am writing this letter because I have been a friend of Stan Weir’s for nearly twenty years, and I know him to be incapable of dishonesty. This is an enormous statement: but it is impossible to know a man as long as I have known Stan without recognizing the man’s essential quality. If he is anti-progressive and anti-labor, then I am a dues-paying member of the Birch society.

We know each other from very far back — I was a waiter. He is not much older than I am now: but when l was a kid, the three or four years difference in our ages made an enormous difference, and I used him as a kind of moral model, a kind of moral older brother. He has never betrayed me, in any way whatever, and he is one of the people I have in mind when I write, when I speak — it comforts me to know that he is in the world.

I beg you, do not betray him. Good men are rare.

Very Sincerely, James Baldwin
(June 28, 1963)

January-February 1989, ATC 18

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