Black History Month: James Baldwin

February 27, 2018

A writer with a passion and devotion to telling the world what it was really like to live as a black man here in the United States. James Baldwin grew up in Harlem, NYC during the Renaissances. With a mother, seven younger siblings, and a deceased stepfather, Mr. Baldwin would have to find a way to help out and make ends meets. During this hard time, college was put aside and working hard came first. However, he soon came to realize that working hard seemed to not be working. He experienced a growing amount of discrimination and prejudices which, I believe, along with his love for words, sparked his writing skills and he ran with it.

Mentored by Richard Wright, he was able to write more and more and newer opportunities came his way. He ventured out from the basics of storytelling and decided to try a new take at discussing the issue of racial injustice and social issues. James Baldwin, in his young years, had so much hope of a new world where blacks and whites and any other race could come together and live as one. He wrote his stories, including “Go Tell It To The Mountain” and “Just Above My Head”, which was a love story about a same-sex couple, in order to raise discussion about change in society. However, it seemed like hope could only last so long. As Mr. Baldwin continued to write, the older he got, the more discouraged he seemed to be towards the future of equality. He, himself, and many people around him experienced so much violence and hatred for so long, it seemed as if it would never end. His later work heavily reflected this feeling and in the end, he left this world exhausted, but in a way, self-fulfilled with his words on pages.

James Baldwin. August 2, 1924- December 1, 1987. A man who was not ashamed to tell the world about the unfair way he and many other humans of the Black race were treated. His goals were not only change for himself but for the society he lived in that, at one point, seemed like there was no hope. However, hope is a funny thing that what is wanted will eventually be had, but sometimes, it takes a longer time to catch it. Even after you're gone. And some. But giving up never seems like a logical option because what if you were almost there?

“It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.”- James Baldwin

We’ll be in touch.

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