The Fire Next Time By James Baldwin Essay examples

810 Words Oct 22nd, 2015 4 Pages
James Baldwin’s essay The Fire Next Time came out during a time in which American racism was reaching a boiling point. Along with providing an account of what it’s like to live as a black male in Harlem in the 1960s, Baldwin’s essay offers two possible resolutions to end racism in America; one is with peace and understanding, while the other is with hatred, fear, and confusion.
Despite growing up in a racist environment, Baldwin’s solution to racism itself is very progressive. Baldwin believes that the only way for peaceful coexistence is through mutual respect and responsibility. He wants white people to start to treat their black counterparts with the same praise and dignity that they give each other. Baldwin declares that white people also need to speak up and take responsibility for their actions. He claims that when it comes to racism, “many of them, indeed, know better, but, as you will discover, people find it difficult to act on what they know“ (9). Baldwin is also not interested in role reversal because he knows that if one group has the upper hand, then there will never be peace and love. Lastly, he concludes that white people are only ignorant and neglectful because they do not want to change things as they are. They do not wish to see what might happen if the black man, or “fixed star,” were to move out of it’s place.
Even though Baldwin stands firmly as a peaceful activist when it comes to racism reform, he does admit that there are numerous reasons for why…

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