Toni Morrison. New York: Library of America, 1998. 63-84.
James Baldwin's "Notes of a Native Son" demonstrates his complex and unique relationship with his father. Baldwin's relationship with his father is very similar to most father-son relationships but the effect of racial discrimination on the lives of both, (the father and the son) makes it distinctive. At the outset, Baldwin accepts the fact that his father was only trying to look out for him, but deep down, he cannot help but feel that his father was imposing his thoughts and experiences on him. Baldwin's depiction of his relationship with his father while he was alive is full of loathing and detest for him and his ideologies, but as he matures, he discovers his father in himself. His father's hatred in relation to the white American society had filled him with hatred towards his father.
Baldwin uses his literary work to reflect on what he, as a black man, has seen and experienced. In the text, Baldwin reflects on the relationship between he and his father. He speaks specifically to the point that he didn’t know his father well throughout his childhood other than the fact that he explicitly remembers the bitter spirit that his father seemed to always posses. Later, after his experience with white business owners in New Jersey, Baldwin realizes that the bitterness that his father possessed was an unfortunate side effect of the socio-political structure of racism that his father had
Revealing every man, skin color aside is equal. But I want to take a closer look at how Baldwin took these life experiences and projected his equal views about man into his writings. Proving that color doesn’t make a man, the man inside determines the outcome. The first essay I wanted to read was “Notes of A Native Son” because of how many good things I had heard about it. It describes his childhood growing up as a Negro boy in Harlem.