Je suis “Blues for Mr Charlie”

By Thomas L Blair ©copyright reserved 21 2015

In all the global permutations of “je suis charlie” it is interesting to note that  James Baldwin’s award-winning tragedy in three acts turned a common slang term for “the white man,” “Mr Charlie,” into a stinging indictment of America’s racial bigotry and hatred in the 1960s.

Baldwin reveals centuries of brutality and fear, patronage and contempt that erupt in a moment of truth as devastating as a shotgun blast. Bravely, for a Black playwright on the Broadway stage,  Baldwin turns a murder and its aftermath into an inquest in which even the most well intentioned whites are implicated–and in which even a killer receives his share of compassion, according to critics.