A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 19, 2015
“Not everything that is faced can be changed”

American novelist James Baldwin (1924-1987) wrote in the New York (NY) Times on January 14, 1962:

“Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

Baldwin’s message has been printed on many posters since at least 1970.


Wikipedia: James Baldwin
James Arthur Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987) was an American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic. His essays, as collected in Notes of a Native Son (1955), explore palpable yet unspoken intricacies of racial, sexual, and class distinctions in Western societies, most notably in mid-20th-century America, and their inevitable if unnameable tensions. Some Baldwin essays are book-length, for instance The Fire Next Time (1963), No Name in the Street (1972), and The Devil Finds Work (1976).

New York (NY) Times
AS MUCH TRUTH AS ONE CAN BEAR; To Speak Out About the World as It Is, Says James Baldwin, Is the Writer’s Job As Much of the Truth as One Can Bear
PERMISSIONS
By JAMES BALDWIN
January 14, 1962,
Section The New York Times Book Review, Page BR11
Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced. The principal fact that we must now face, and that a handful of writers are trying to dramatize, is that the time has now come for us to turn our backs forever on the big two-hearted river.

Google Books
January 1963, Negro Digest, pg. 28, col. 1:
“Not everything that is faced can be changed,” James Baldwin has written, “but nothing can be changed until it is faced. The time has now come for us to turn our backs forever on the big two-hearted river.”

Google News Archive
19 December 1970, The Evening News (Newburgh, NY), “Be Honest with Yourself, Addicts Told at Moody House: by Ward Poche, pg. 3A, col. 3:
Prominent in the office they occupy is a sign: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

20 January 1971, The Evening Star (Washington, DC), “An ‘Average Guy’ Ends His LSD Trip With Bullet” by William Taaffe, pg. B1, col. 8:
It was a poster with a James Baldwin saying: “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

Google Books
Treasury of Black Quotations
By Donnie E. Wilson
Lincoln, NE: Authors Choice Press
2004
Pg. 24:
Not everything that is faced can be changed at once, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.—James Baldwin

Google Books
Quotable Quotes:
Wit and Wisdom from the Greatest Minds of Our Time

By Editors of Reader’s Digest
White Plains, NY: The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc.
2013
Pg. ?:
Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced. —JAMES BALDWIN

Google Books
Bartlett’s Familiar Black Quotations:
5,000 Years of Literature, Lyrics, Poems, Passage, Phrases, and Proverbs from Voices Around the World

By Retha Powers, general editor
Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Cimpany
2013
Pg. ?:
James [Arthur] Baldwin 1924-1987
Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.
As Much Truth As One Can Bear. New York Times [January 14, 1962]

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Sunday, April 19, 2015 • Permalink