James Baldwin


James Baldwin Quotes

  • ''Experience is a private, and a very largely speechless affair.''
    James Baldwin (1924-1987), U.S. author. repr. In Notes of a Native Son (1955). "A Question of Identity," Partisan Review (New Brunswick, New Jersey, July/August 1954).
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  • ''American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it.''
    James Baldwin (1924-1987), U.S. author. "A Talk To Teachers," October 16, 1963, published in The Price of the Ticket (1985).
  • ''Any writer, I suppose, feels that the world into which he was born is nothing less than a conspiracy against the cultivation of his talent.''
    James Baldwin (1924-1987), U.S. author. "Autobiographical Notes," Notes of a Native Son (1955).
  • ''At bottom, to be colored means that one has been caught in some utterly unbelievable cosmic joke, a joke so hideous and in such bad taste that it defeats all categories and definitions.''
    James Baldwin (1924-1987), U.S. author. repr. In The Price of the Ticket (1985). "Color," Esquire (New York, Dec. 1962).
  • ''Most of us are about as eager to be changed as we were to be born, and go through our changes in a similar state of shock.''
    James Baldwin (1924-1987), U.S. author. repr. In The Price of the Ticket (1985). "Every Good-Bye Ain't Gone," published in New York (Dec. 19, 1977).
  • ''The making of an American begins at the point where he himself rejects all other ties, any other history, and himself adopts the vesture of his adopted land.''
    James Baldwin (1924-1987), U.S. author. repr. in Notes of a Native Son, pt. 1 (1955). "Many Thousands Gone," Partisan Review (New Brunswick, New Jersey, Nov.-Dec. 1951).
  • ''It is a great shock at the age of five or six to find that in a world of Gary Coopers you are the Indian.''
    James Baldwin (1924-1987), U.S. author. speech, Feb. 17, 1965, Cambridge Union, Cambridge University, England. New York Times Magazine (Mar. 7, 1965).
  • ''It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.''
    James Baldwin (1924-1987), U.S. author. "No Name in the Street," The Price of the Ticket (1972, repr. 1985).
  • ''An identity would seem to be arrived at by the way in which the person faces and uses his experience.''
    James Baldwin (1924-1987), U.S. author. "No Name in the Street," The Price Of The Ticket (1972, repr. 1985).
  • ''People who treat other people as less than human must not be surprised when the bread they have cast on the waters comes floating back to them, poisoned.''
    James Baldwin (1924-1987), U.S. author. (First published 1972). "No Name in the Street," The Price Of The Ticket (1985).

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Best Poem of James Baldwin

Amen

No, I don't feel death coming.
I feel death going:
having thrown up his hands,
for the moment.
I feel like I know him
better than I did.
Those arms held me,
for a while,
and, when we meet again,
there will be that secret knowledge
between us.

Read the full of Amen

Untitled

Lord,
when you send the rain
think about it, please,
a little?
Do
not get carried away
by the sound of falling water,
the marvelous light
on the falling water.

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