I remember the first time I heard him

Speaking so intelligently to men

Men who were white and sophisticated

His voice was so calm and deliberate

Happy to hear a black man speak his voice

Of courtesy and without contempt

A man so calm, so poised, so forged

Could deliver such a furious truth

To a panel of small opposing men

A soft voice clear with reason and logic

I remember the first time I heard him

The voice of a man from Harlem New York

I said, “Who is that man, that man speaking?”

You don’t know who that is? That’s James Baldwin

Todd ‘Das’ Fuerst is an Air Force Combat Veteran studying Visual Effects Compositing in the Computer Arts and Animation Department at SVA. He will release his short film “When Fire Flies” in May 2020.