Symposium: God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin


December 9, 2023    
2:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY

Tickets to only the talks are $25 ($15 for Members). Tickets to only the performance are $40 ($24 for Members). Tickets for the talks and performance are $50 ($30 for Members). Discounts are applied at checkout. Not a Member? Join today!

Register in advance and pay what you wish to join us on YouTube for the 2–5 pm programming (the performance will not be livestreamed). Your contribution supports our dynamic public programs.

This program will include ASL interpretation. For access needs, email us at

Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium and Beaux-Arts Court, 3rd Floor

Celebrate the new publication God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin, edited by acclaimed curator, author, and educator Hilton Als, during this symposium. Art historians and fellow artists will gather to reflect on Baldwin’s profound legacy through a full afternoon of talks. The day culminates with a performance by bassist, vocalist, and songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello and her band of The Gospel of James Baldwin, a tribute that at once evokes a church service, celebration, and call to action.


2 pm: Welcome
Auditorium, 3rd Floor
Anne Pasternak, Brooklyn Museum, and Darren Walker, Ford Foundation

2:15 pm Opening invocation
Auditorium, 3rd Floor
Jacqueline Woodson

2:30–3:30 pm: Sex in the City: James Baldwin and the Politics of the Queer Life Then and Now
Auditorium, 3rd Floor
Stephen Best, Daphne Brooks, John Keene, and Hilton Als

3:30–4:30 pm: God Made My Face: Visual Artists on Baldwin
Auditorium, 3rd Floor
Garrett Bradley, Glenn Ligon, Kandis Williams, and Thelma Golden

4:30 pm: Closing remarks
Auditorium, 3rd Floor

5–6:30 pm: Reception and book signing 
Beaux-Arts Court, 3rd Floor

7–8:30 pm: Performance: The Gospel of James Baldwin
Beaux-Arts Court, 3rd Floor
Meshell Ndegeocello

The publication and symposium are made possible through leadership support from

Add a copy of God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin at checkout.

Image caption and credit: Glenn Ligon (American, born 1960). [Untitled] (Crowd/The Fire Next Time), 2000. Screenprint with coal crystals on paper, 12 × 18 1/8 in. (30.5 × 46 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Alfred T. White Fund, 2000.56. © Glenn Ligon, Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York, Regen Projects, Los Angeles. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)