James baldwins letter to my nephew

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james baldwins letter to my nephew

Letter to my Nephew by James Baldwin


Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

James Arthur Baldwin was an American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic.

James Baldwin offered a vital literary voice during the era of civil rights activism in the 1950s and 60s. He was the eldest of nine children; his stepfather was a minister. At age 14, Baldwin became a preacher at the small Fireside Pentecostal Church in Harlem. In the early 1940s, he transferred his faith from religion to literature. Critics, however, note the impassioned cadences of Black churches are still evident in his writing. Go Tell It on the Mountain, his first novel, is a partially autobiographical account of his youth. His essay collections Notes of a Native Son, Nobody Knows My Name, and The Fire Next Time were influential in informing a large white audience.

From 1948, Baldwin made his home primarily in the south of France, but often returned to the USA to lecture or teach. In 1957, he began spending half of each year in New York City. His novels include Giovannis Room, about a white American expatriate who must come to terms with his homosexuality, and Another Country, about racial and gay sexual tensions among New York intellectuals. His inclusion of gay themes resulted in a lot of savage criticism from the Black community. Eldridge Cleaver, of the Black Panthers, stated the Baldwins writing displayed an agonizing, total hatred of blacks. Baldwins play, Blues for Mister Charlie, was produced in 1964. Going to Meet the Man and Tell Me How Long the Trains Been Gone provided powerful descriptions of American racism. As an openly gay man, he became increasingly outspoken in condemning discrimination against lesbian and gay people.

On November 30, 1987 Baldwin died from stomach cancer in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France. He was buried at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, near New York City.

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Letter to My Nephew

The Fire Next Time | Study Guide. "My Dungeon Shook: Letter to My Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Emancipation" is Baldwin's message to his namesake about the importance of love in the quest for racial equality. "My Dungeon Shook: Letter to My Nephew on the One.
James Baldwin

Baldwin's My Dungeon Shook: A Letter to my Nephew Essay

You know, and I know, that the country is celebrating one hundred years of freedom one hundred years too soon. We cannot be free until they are free. James Baldwin, My Dungeon Shook It would be obvious and appropriate to quote Martin Luther King Jr. For those who keep track of such things, the book has earned Amazon reviews, with a rating of 4.

Baldwin begins his text in the form of a letter. The face of the person he is addressing it to haunts him. It is soon revealed to be that of his nephew James. Baldwin notes that his own father had these stubborn qualities as well. This new period is characterized by a move away from agricultural work and into cities, and is partly defined by a rejection of religious sentiments. He remembers carrying him as a child, and emphasizes how many different phases of life he has seen his brother through.

James Baldwin

Rating: Strong Essays. - James Baldwin's thoughts on his nephew's future—in a country with a terrible history of racism— first appeared in The Progressive magazine in

Dear James:. I have begun this letter five times and torn it up five times. I keep seeing your face, which is also the face of your father and my brother. I have known both of you all your lives and have carried your daddy in my arms and on my shoulders, kissed him and spanked him and watched him learn to walk. You gain a strange perspective on time and human pain and effort. Let him laugh and I see a cellar your father does not remember and a house he does not remember and I hear in his present laughter his laughter as a child.


  1. Ramesh W. says:

    James Baldwin's thoughts on his nephew's future—in a country with a terrible history of racism— first appeared in The Progressive magazine in Over 50 .

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