Essay about Analysis Of James Baldwin 's ' The Fire Next Time '

784 Words Nov 16th, 2015 4 Pages
The U.S. has had its fair share of violent and oppressive history. The darkest times in history for the U.S. is not often highlighted because it criticizes white dominance. It necessarily does not put America in a negative light, but it becomes critical of whites. In James Baldwin’s “The Fire Next Time”, the claim that white people are “slightly mad victims of their own brainwashing” is due to the misunderstanding of their own history and social situation. This can be illustrated through the social and political control of conflict leasing and the War on Drugs. There are countless examples in history that showcases the grave control that white people had over black people. One example is of convict leasing, mentioned in Slavery by Another Name. By the end of the 1880s, thousands of black men across the South were imprisoned in work camps for crimes that were simply petty, such as vagrancy. Sheriffs were incentivised to arrest and obtain convictions of as many people as possible because the state and local government depended on it financially. The convicts were leased to work under harsh treatments and were only of value as long as their physical strength lasted. Many of the prisoners were young, uneducated, and at most law abiding. Convict leasing provided an economy for whites in every former Confederate State except Virginia. Not only has this system slavery and debt peonage lasted 70 years but it has not been given much attention. This results in the called…

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