“If you’re black, you say, ‘Yeah that’s the way it is,’ ” Schapiro says of Baldwin’s work. “If you’re white, you have to open your eyes. Any immigrant is going to feel what Baldwin or any black people felt at that time.”

Only a few years ago, some fretted that Baldwin was too fiery, too controversial to teach to American youth.

Koritha Mitchell, an associate professor of English at Ohio State University, recently began teaching seminars on Baldwin. And she has a reason for why it seemed urgent.

“Baldwin was expert in exposing the unearned privilege of white men,” she says. “It’s a subject that we became silent on during the Obama presidency. And that’s part of what enabled Trump.”

“I think that Baldwin has always been relevant,” adds Young. “But I think he seems especially prophetic now.”