The Patron-Scholar Match program for the 2020 Conference on James Baldwin is expanding access to this important gathering by arranging for registration waivers and local hosts for ten percent of attendees--40 people. As of today, 25 generous patrons have come forward with a gift of $185 to help a scholar attend the conference. To sponsor Prince Shakur, follow this link.
How has James Baldwin influenced your life? When did you first read his work and what did it mean to you?
I first read Baldwin's work during my last year of college and his words stuck with me so much that I went to France the following year, then again two more times. I started dating a boy there and turned 24 in Paris as a sort of homage to him. His work has literally changed the trajectory of my heart, my life, and my creative outlook.
What are your expectations for the conference? What do you hope to learn, to share, to experience?
I’m hoping to meet other like minded writers and delve into what it means for black and political writer to exist in the politics of the day. My work is very much the intersection of anti-capitalism, queerness, blackness, and what it means to radically live.
What would you like to say to people who are considering becoming a sponsor, either on your behalf or for one of your peers? What would it mean personally for you to attend the conference?
Since I was 13, I’ve wanted to live the dream of building myself up as a writer. This conference is a chance for me to do that and to live in spirit of James Baldwin.
Prince Shakur is a queer, Jamaican American writer born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He has a BA in Creative Writing from Ohio University and since graduating in 2015 has participated in social movements ranging from Standing Rock, BLM, and anti-Duterte protests in the Philippines. His activism is present throughout his essays and articles on queer culture, black masculinity represented in media, youth social movements, police brutality and the complexities of black travel.
He is a GLAAD Rising Star (2017), Vision for Ohio Fellow (2019, SFJ Diversity Fellow (2019), and writer in residence at Sangam House (2019). He is currently writing/editing his debut novel and non-fiction book.