James Baldwin


James Baldwin Quotes

  • ''It is very nearly impossible ... to become an educated person in a country so distrustful of the independent mind.''
    James Baldwin (1924-1987), U.S. author. repr. In The Price of the Ticket (1985). "They Can't Turn Back," Mademoiselle (New York, August 1960).
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  • ''The greatest significance of the present student generation is that it is through them that the point of view of the subjugated is finally and inexorably being expressed.''
    James Baldwin (1924-1987), U.S. author. repr. In The Price of the Ticket (1985). "They Can't Turn Back," Mademoiselle (New York, Aug. 1960).
  • ''When one begins to live by habit and by quotation, one has begun to stop living.''
    James Baldwin (1924-1987), U.S. author. repr. In The Price of The Ticket (1985). "White Racism or World Community?" Ecumenical Review (Oct. 1968).
  • ''You know, it's not the world that was my oppressor, because what the world does to you, if the world does it to you long enough and effectively enough, you begin to do to yourself.''
    James Baldwin (1924-1987), U.S. author. conversation in London, Nov. 4, 1971, with Nikki Giovanni. A Dialogue (1973).
  • ''Pessimists are the people who have no hope for themselves or for others. Pessimists are also people who think the human race is beneath their notice, that they're better than other human beings.''
    James Baldwin (1924-1987), U.S. author, and Nikki Giovanni (b. 1943). Conversation, November 4, 1971, in London, England. A Dialogue (1973).
  • ''But the relationship of morality and power is a very subtle one. Because ultimately power without morality is no longer power.''
    James Baldwin (1924-1987), U.S. author, and Nikki Giovanni (b. 1943). Conversation November 4, 1971, London, England. A Dialogue (1973).
  • ''The reason people think it's important to be white is that they think it's important not to be black.''
    James Baldwin (1924-1987), U.S. author. A Dialogue (1973). from a conversation with Nikki Giovanni, Nov. 4, 1971, in London.
  • ''The responsibility of a writer is to excavate the experience of the people who produced him.''
    James Baldwin (1924-1987), U.S. author. A Dialogue (1973). from a conversation with Nikki Giovanni, in London, Nov. 4, 1971.
  • ''When the book comes out it may hurt you—but in order for me to do it, it had to hurt me first. I can only tell you about yourself as much as I can face about myself.''
    James Baldwin (1924-1987), U.S. author. A Dialogue (1973). from a conversation, Nov. 4, 1971, with Nikki Giovanni in London.
  • ''If you're treated a certain way you become a certain kind of person. If certain things are described to you as being real they're real for you whether they're real or not.''
    James Baldwin (1924-1987), U.S. author, and Nikki Giovanni, U.S. poet. A Dialogue (1973). from a conversation, Nov. 4, 1971, in London.

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Best Poem of James Baldwin

The giver (for Berdis) Related Poem Content Details

If the hope of giving
is to love the living,
the giver risks madness
in the act of giving.

Some such lesson I seemed to see
in the faces that surrounded me.

Needy and blind, unhopeful, unlifted,
what gift would give them the gift to be gifted?
The giver is no less adrift
than those who are clamouring for the gift.

If they cannot claim it, if it is not there,
if their empty fingers beat the empty air
and the giver goes down on his knees in prayer
knows that all of his giving has been for naught
and that nothing was ever ...

Read the full of The giver (for Berdis) Related Poem Content Details

Staggerlee wonders

I always wonder
what they think the niggers are doing
while they, the pink and alabaster pragmatists,
are containing
Russia
and defining and re-defining and re-aligning
China,
nobly restraining themselves, meanwhile,
from blowing up that earth

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