Down at the Cross
Art Edition of The Fire Next Time with print of author James Baldwin
Winner of the 2017 Lucie Award, Book Publisher of the Year for a Limited Edition.
First published in 1963, James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time stabbed at the heart of America’s so-called “Negro problem.”
As remarkable for its masterful prose as it is for its frank and personal account of the black experience in the United States, it is considered one of the most passionate and influential explorations of 1960s race relations
, weaving thematic threads of love, faith, and family into a candid assault on the hypocrisy of the “land of the free.”
This Art Edition presents James Baldwin’s rich, raw, and ever relevant prose in letterpress with more than 100 photographs from Steve Schapiro
, who traveled the American South with Baldwin for Life
magazine. The encounter thrust Schapiro into the thick of the movement, allowing for vital, often iconic, images
both of civil rights leaders—including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Fred Shuttlesworth,
and Jerome Smith
—and such landmark events as the March on Washington
and the Selma March
.Schapiro first met up with Baldwin in Harlem in 1963, where they visited a church near the author’s childhood home.
As James Baldwin recalls in The Fire Next Time
, he had two paths to choose from as an adolescent in Harlem: the turbulent avenue and all of its social ills or the church. The choice was simple, and Baldwin excelled as a young minister—although adulthood would bring on a painful disillusionment with his religion. The prolific writer had overcome so much in his own life to become the voice of a generation
, and though he left the church by age 17, love continued to define his civil rights work and worldview
.Marking the year of original publication, The Fire Next Time is limited to 1,963 copies, each signed by Steve Schapiro. Copies No. 51–100 come with the signed gelatin silver print God Is Love, James Baldwin (1963).
Also available as:
Art Edition (No. 1–50) with an alternative print, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Selma, Alabama (1965).
Art Edition (No. 101–150) with an alternative print, March for Freedom, Selma to Montgomery (1965).
Collector’s Edition (No. 151–1,963).
The Fire Next Time, Art Edition No. 51–100, Steve Schapiro ‘James Baldwin’
Edition of 50
Black-and-white gelatin silver print
, 8 x 12 in. on 11 x 14 in. paper; hardcover volume in a slipcase, letterpress
-printed text, two different paper stocks, and tip-ins, 9.4 x 13.4 in., 272 pages