33 Readers
16 Sages

shell pebble

The Fire Next Time - James Baldwin

First read in 2008.

This book is so beautiful and clear. Baldwin has forced himself, against all the violence heaped upon him and those around him, not to see through hatred and think through hatred, which would be just after all. He outlines and touches on so many of the issues that are still real and painful in America and in the UK too, where white supremacy persists like a weed that keeps springing back up. It's almost depressing to read his words in 1963, words of courageous optimism and hope, and see that we have failed, White people have failed to 'end the racial nightmare'

Baldwin's formulation of the issues here is brief, poetic, rich and heartfelt, and the ideas are still instrumental. If all of this book were history, that would be a good thing. Sadly, it is very much vital and needed.