James Baldwin’s landmark essay “Letter From a Region in My Mind” was published half a century ago, two years before the 1964 Civil Rights Act was signed into law, but the great writer’s formidable insights are as relevant today as they were then. A solution to racial inequality in the United States, Baldwin suggested, lay not just in ending segregation, but in “releasing” white Americans from their “unadmitted — and apparently… unspeakable — private fears and longings.” Love, for Baldwin, depends on letting go of fear: “I use the word ‘love’ here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace,” he said. “In the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.”