What it comes to is that if we, who can scarcely be considered a white nation, persist in thinking of ourselves as one, we condemn ourselves, with the truly white nations, to sterility and decay, whereas if we could accept ourselves as we are, we might bring new life to the Western achievements, and transform them . . . The price of this transformation is the unconditional freedom of the Negro . . . He is the key figure in his country, and the American future is precisely as bright or as dark as his.
-- James Baldwin