Notes Of A Native Son By James Baldwin Essay

Notes Of A Native Son By James Baldwin Essay

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In 1955 a civil rights activist by the name of James Baldwin wrote his famous essay “Notes of a Native Son”. James Baldwin was born in Harlem, New York during a time where racial tensions where high all throughout the United States. In this essay he highlights these tensions and his experience’s regarding them, while also giving us an insight of his upbringing. Along with this we get to see his relationship with a figure of his life, his father or more accurately his stepfather. In the essay James Baldwin says “This fight begins, however, in the heart and it now had been laid to my charge to keep my own heart free of hatred and despair”. This is a very powerful sentence that I believe portrays James Baldwin transition to adulthood or a transition away from his immaturity or naivety to his enlightening of his “situation”. A situation that was foretold by his father through his actions and is also still prominent in this day of age. The love -hate relationship black men have with being black and the anger that grows from it.
The story takes place in 1943, right after World War 2, but before the civil rights movement. Thus, this time period was a very delicate era for black Americans since it was the quiet before the storm. With tensions running high between blacks and white and the civil rights movement in its infancy. The respect and manner black Americans were receiving was becoming more and more violent, coupled with the fact black Americans had not seen a peaceful movement yet, there was no other outlet for black Americans to rebel, unless it was through violence. The strain that was building between blacks and whites may have finally risen to the act of riots, but it had been building a long time before that. James’s stepdad be...


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...an had to endure every day that he was weaker to the white man if only because of his color. Within him, he had to deal with loving himself for being black, but also hating himself for it, for the trouble it brought him. Baldwin just like his father also had to endure the same struggle, his struggle differs in the fact that he had a love towards white Americans, yet the Americans that treated him the worst were white people, and all just because of his color, something he also loved.
In conclusion, I truly believe Baldwin was trying to express now that his father had past, he now sees that he is his father’s son. With this knowledge Baldwin realizes what his father and now he, himself must have to go through, in their heart. The love of being black and the anger that it can bring which can lead to hate, which then leads to despair, and like his father, leads to death.

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Notes Of A Native Son By James Baldwin Essay

- In 1955 a civil rights activist by the name of James Baldwin wrote his famous essay “Notes of a Native Son”. James Baldwin was born in Harlem, New York during a time where racial tensions where high all throughout the United States. In this essay he highlights these tensions and his experience’s regarding them, while also giving us an insight of his upbringing. Along with this we get to see his relationship with a figure of his life, his father or more accurately his stepfather. In the essay James Baldwin says “This fight begins, however, in the heart and it now had been laid to my charge to keep my own heart free of hatred and despair”....   [tags: White people, Black people, Race]

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