“I have never accepted the notion that you keep a Cadillac or a yacht or anything at all, except perhaps for convenience.

“I have always had a quarrel with this country not only about race but about the standards by which it appears to live.

“People are drowning in things. They don’t even know what they want them for. They are actually useless.

“You can’t sleep with a yacht. You can’t make love to a Cadillac, though everyone appears to be trying to. … I think the great emotional or psychological or effective lack of love and touching is the key to the American or even the Western disease.”

Go Tell It on the Mountain author James Baldwin, in conversation with cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead in 1970.