In February 1965, two of America's most towering public intellectuals faced off at the University of Cambridge in England. They were there to debate the proposition: "The American Dream is at the expense of the American Negro."
Novelist and essayist James Baldwin argued in favor. He did so by pointing to the experience of the Black man in America. He said the legacy of slavery and white supremacy had in effect "destroy[ed] his sense of reality." Black fathers have no authority over their sons, Baldwin said, because a Black boy's "father has no power in the world."