The Fire Next Time By James Baldwin Essay

780 Words Aug 16th, 2016 4 Pages
In a society where people are judged by the color of their skin, it is extremely challenging for African Americans to live without fear. In the first section of James Baldwin’s novel, The Fire Next Time, he writes to his nephew to warn him of the dangers of America’s racism. Baldwin’s desire for equality is expressed as he challenges his nephew to be a catalyst of change. Baldwin believes his nephew, along with other African Americans, can unite to “make America what America must become” (Baldwin 10). The author’s choice in using the word ‘must’ instead of ‘should’ further demonstrates his passion for equal rights. Baldwin truly believes this change is imperative to society and must be accomplished as soon as possible. The second section of Baldwin’s novel is a letter from his mind recounting significant experiences throughout his life. In The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin describes the essential revision America must undergo for social equality. Life in Harlem is far from paradise. Baldwin has realized black children living in harsh communities like Harlem are raised much differently than white children. The parents of African Americans feel as though they must prepare their children for their predetermined fate; however, they cannot always hide the fear in their voice. “Behind [parents’] authority stands another, nameless and impersonal, infinitely harder to please, and bottomlessly cruel” (Baldwin 26). This higher authority is society and the people who…

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