Lorraine Hansberry at the Summit, No. 4, 1979
James Baldwin describes here a meeting with Attorney General Robert Kennedy that took place in 1963. A noted essayist and novelist, Baldwin was a contributing editor to Freedomways.
I must, now, for various reasons -- some of which, I hope, will presently become apparent -- do something which I have very deliberately never done before: Sketch the famous Bobby Kennedy meeting. I have talked about it or around it, and a day is coming when I will be compelled to deliver my entire testimony. But, for the moment, I want merely to suggest something of Lorraine Hansberry's beauty and power on that day; and what the incomprehension that day's encounter was to cause the nation and, presently, and until this hour, the world.
Let us say that we all live through more than we can say or see. A life, in retrospect, can seem like the torrent of water opening or closing over one's head and, in retrospect, is blurred, swift, kaleidoscopic like that. One does not wish to remember -- one is perhaps not able to remember -- the holding of one's breath under water, the miracle