Notes Of A Native Son By James Baldwin Essay

1351 Words Oct 28th, 2015 null Page
Notes of a Native Son was James Baldwin first nonfiction novel and his some of his clearest writing on the issue of racism in America. His exploration of what life in a black body is teased out in rare form in the masterpiece. The myriad of issues that make up the complete person of James Baldwin are laid out as a verbal portrait for all to view in this work. In this autobiographical work Baldwin transitions into what would be become foundational pieces in his plethora of essays.
In Notes of a Native Son Baldwin gives seething critics of some of the major works from well-known authors to the great actors/actresses of his day. He berates the writing of Uncle Tom’s Cabin as a “bad novel” having “virtuous sentimentality.” He goes further to explain that sentimentality is “the ostentatious parading of excessive and spurious emotion…a mark of dishonesty.” He states, later in the essay, that Mrs. Stowe “equates black with evil and white with grace.” This, in his final analysis, concludes with Baldwin’s understanding that because she could not embrace the blackness of people in reality she had to develop characters that would allow “her to be delivered from her ever-present sin.”
Baldwin continues the artistic critique with the movie Carmen Jones. With this movie being one of the first to feature black lead characters, Baldwin is careful but honest in his articulation. He is honest to assert that if blacks were the folks who were in charge of the making of the movie it would…

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