James Baldwin “The Fire Next Time”

James Baldwin “The Fire Next Time”

Order Description

1. Read The Fire next Time and summarize in ONE PAGE James Baldwin’s encounter with the Nation of Islam and his opinion of it.

2. Summarize the following discussion by own words, each discussion needs to contain 5-10 sentences.

a. “James Baldwin was born and raised in New York. He was born into terrible circumstances, a drug-abusing father, which led to his mother taking the children and moving to Harlem where Baldwin would spend the majority of his life. His mother was soon remarried to a preacher who, by most recounts, was no better to James than his previous father. His stepfather’s passing was what ignited the creative spark for Baldwin’s writing. Throughout his youth, Baldwin had many interactions with racism, prejudice and segregation in the USA and he would seek solace in religion. Originally a member of the Christian church, Baldwin left once he saw the illusion and reinforcement of slavery behind it. This would lead him into the arms of the Islamic Brother or at least a brush with them. Eventually, Baldwin moved to France in order to gain greater perspective and that is where he would spend the rest of his life. He is remembered by his incredible works and his social activism.”

2. “In the novel, The Fire Next Time, the nation of Islam is a movement in America that is often connected with Malcom X. The group wanted to form their own African American nation in America in order to separate themselves from the rule of White men. James Baldwin writes about his interactions with the group in this novel and it is clear that he is uncertain of where he stands with them. Baldwin admits that their message is captivating and that they draw crowds in a way that he has never seen. Baldwin himself cannot be certain of where he stands due to a lot of his experiences and decisions. As a man who drinks and interacts with white people regularly, he isn’t sure that he is willing to give up some of those simple pleasures for a dogma that he isn’t sure he wholly agrees with. During a trip to Chicago, Baldwin is invited to have dinner at Muhammed’s house where he continues to preach the same messages that Baldwin has heard time and time again. The clear and utter resentment that the group has towards whites is something that does not sit well with Baldwin, not because of hi white friends but because he believes that only glorifying blacks and holding them up the way this group does is just as bad as what the whites currently do.”

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