An Analysis Of Baldwin's Letter As White People

Decent Essays
Despite the one hundredth year anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, slavery still persists today behind institutional systems. It is used to hide the horrifying fact of controlling a country without letting the people know it; using structures like prisons and ghettos to keep the minority down from achieving their goals or catching up to “them” , referred in the “Letter as White People.” Even with the combined laws of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments, it was only an illusion of freedom. Being a free slave was only the first step, slaves had to struggle to rehabilitate into society and with the Jim Crow laws passing it didn’t help them either. The segregated laws separated the colored folks with the whites folks, and giving low …show more content…
“Like him, you are tough, dark, vulnerable, moody… you want no one to think you are soft” (3): society believes that a “nigger” is supposed to be hard, heartless, and uncaring about anything in the world however, they intend to act this way to show that black people have no weakness and are not hurt by the stereotype and stigma that they were built on. In his views, black people feel pressured as soon as they step outside the house, people are always perceiving them them as if they are criminals because of their tough facade. They also believe that showing fear as minorities will only let the white men “win”, but in reality it does the opposite. Thinking this way does not progress the black community from growing instead it keeps them away from the solution they are desperately trying to find. It has been imbedded into their heads over generations and having a fake persona is of the main downfalls in the African American community: this backfires, instead of helping them race move forward to success it actually holds them back. Having this much of an ego will only lead to bad decisions such as robberies, shooting, and other illegal crimes and the end of this road is only two options; death or in jail. Baldwin feels that it is a war in the streets of America and if his race can just accept the word “defeat” and stop the fake persona of a tough person it will help …show more content…
To “them” they only look at African Americans as low life worker that can be easily be replaced and forgotten. Working under the whites isn 't a bad choice, but some of their mindsets are still stuck in the slavery years and believe that the black individual should be edgar to work for them. He writes, “Your countrymen don’t know she exists, either, though she has been working for them all their lives” (6). White society doesn’t want to believe the African Americans exist, only to make them feel inferior to themselves and so that they can gain control over the black individual. Simply not acknowledging your presence shows a lot of the power white community holds over the blacks. He is explaining this detail to his nephew to try to make him understand about the harsh reality he is going to face in the world. Even when James was born Baldwin explains, “It looked bad hat day, too, yes, we were trembling. We have not stopped trembling yet…” (6); this image that he is trying to paint for the reader is that they were happy that his nephew James was brought to this world but, they were scared for him as they knew about the stereotypes and stigma he had already been born to just because of his skin tone and no other reasons at

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