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Logan Center
for the Arts
915 E 60th Street

Stan West recalls the “Baldwin Chronicles IV”

Stan West

My favorite Logan Center moment occurred June 2, 2022 when composer Renee Baker invited me to open her brilliant “Baldwin Chronicles IV: The Art of Being Black” opera with a poem she wrote to author James Baldwin. The Chicago Modern Orchestra Project, conducted by Maestra Baker, played beautifully as I “spit” terse verse. The crowd roared as I sat next to talented lyric soprano Kim Jones. She smiled as I “turned up!” Two weeks later, I lectured on literature, love & liberation at Baldwin’s former home in Nice, France. As a young reporter, I interviewed Baldwin a year before the famous Black gay self-exiled author died; & I later wrote about him in my “James Baldwin’s Black Lives Blues Are Mine” (Kendall Hunt).