Essay on Analysis Of James Baldwin 's ' The Village '

803 Words Oct 8th, 2015 4 Pages
In the short story “Stranger in the Village” by James Baldwin, he talks about being the first black man to ever have stepped foot in the tiny Swiss village. He describes how the villagers make him feel distant and alone despite the numerous conversations and interactions with natives. He talks about the different attitudes toward black people between America and Switzerland because of white supremacy.
As Baldwin arrives in the small town in Switzerland, with a population of roughly six hundred, he learns that they are unaware of the Black history in America. As children would shout “Neger! Neger!” as he walked along the streets, he tried to react in the best way possible, simply smiling. His features were uncommon to them, leaving them wondering about his complexion and facial features, some even touching his hair, others trying to rub the black off his hands. He felt as if he was a living wonder rather than a human. The custom in the village was to “buy” African natives for the purpose of converting them Christianity. As Baldwin was told this, he thought back to the first time white men first arrived in an African village to convert the natives. He says the astonishment he would have greeted them with would have joyed their hearts, but the astonishment they greeted him with only poisoned his. Baldwin goes on to talk about that if Americans were to accept blacks, then their white social status would be endangered, but denying blacks would be denying them mankind. Blacks…

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