Despite living in the same time period, Freire and Baldwin have distinctive ideas. A couple of the ideas that they both touch upon, even briefly—although don’t always agree with each other on the subjects—are education, and one’s place, and the feeling of being an outsider. These two ideas are touched upon frequently in Baldwin’s The Discovery of What It Means to be an American and Freire’s The “Banking” Concept of Education.
Despite being born within a decade of each other, Baldwin and Freire lived very different lives that might have contributed to the differences in the details of their thoughts. James Baldwin was born in Harlem, New York in 1924. At the age of 24 he became disillusioned with America’s prejudice against blacks and queer people—two groups he was a part of—and decided to move to Paris, France. There he started writing and eventually he “was released from the illusion that [he] hated America” (Baldwin 2). He continued to live mostly in France until his death in 1897, with some time spent in Switzerland and Turkey. He was a social and political activist on the rights of people of color, even returning to America briefly in the 1950s and 1960s after being moved by an image of a young girl fighting though a mob to protest the segregation of schools. His literary works have also gained attention throughout the years for their controversial subject matter and poignant stories. Freire was born in Brazil in 1921 and was quickly introduced to poverty and hunger after during the Great Recession. He went to law school and passed the bar, although he decided to teach secondary school instead. There he came up with the “banking” system idea he would write about in Pedagogy of th...
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...mith and eating watermelon. What he eventually came to understand was by avoiding these activities and foods, he was giving power to the stereotypes and all they embodied. Freire talks about the role of educators saying: “It follows logically from the banking notion of consciousness that the educator 's role is to regulate the way the world "enters into" the students. The teacher 's task is to organize a process” (Freire 3). Freire truly believed that a educator’s role was to teach and to be taught by the students. They had to let the students teach them about life as much as they had to teach the students themselves. Both authors considered one’s role in their essays, although Baldwin thought role was something to be accepted and one’s place was something one had to find and Freire thought one had to change their role in the lives of others, especially in education.
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