The View from the Riverbank:
James Baldwin and The Evidence of
Things Not Seen
Holly Lowe Jones University of Oregon
This article illustrates the multi-generational influence of Baldwin’s The Evidence of Things Not Seen on my path as a Black scholar and draws connections between representation, identity, kinship, and the interdependence of Black writers in the fight for social justice. Through tracing Baldwin’s working relationship with my father, former editor of Playboy magazine Walter Lowe Jr., I hope to illuminate the
relational underpinnings of Baldwin’s work on the Atlanta child murders, thereby foregrounding the complexities of Black life. This article recognizes Baldwin’s work in Evidence as more than just a new-wave logistical, strategic, textual model of resistance but also as a mode of artistic production arising from a tradition that is deeply felt, collaborative, improvisational, and ancestrally rooted.