The Fire Next Time By James Baldwin

Decent Essays

The Fire Next Time and its political message

“The country is celebrating one hundred years of freedom one hundred years too soon.” (Baldwin, 10) The Fire Next Time, written by James Baldwin in 1963 brings up the segregation in mid-20th century America with emphasis on the impact of history and politics. Although Baldwin’s main focus was not politics it is nonetheless an important aspect of the racial segregation because it was how the laws were interpreted that constituted the crime. Even though the law was not on the black populations side Baldwin was hopeful for the future and through politics and history he believed that “we can make America whet America must become,” a state that sees people of all races as equal; and the best way of …show more content…

Throughout the book Baldwin mentions the Holocaust and in particular on page 52 he writes “For the crime of their ancestry, millions of people in the middle of the twentieth century, and in the heart of Europe - God’s citadel – were sent to death so calculated, so hideous, and so prolonged that no age before this enlightened one had been able to imagine it.”
In Germany, The Jews were persecuted for their religion. In America on the other hand, people were taught that the white population was superior to the black. The black and white population did not sit on the same side on the bus, the black housekeepers were not allowed to use the same restroom as white people, and they were denied enrollment to the same schools as white children.
The persecution of many individuals in Germany was due to their Jewish ancestors, the persecuted were accused of having “Jewish blood” because according to Jewish religion, one must be chosen by the religion from birth; meaning that if one’s ancestor was a Jew, then that ancestors treacherous Jewish blood was prominent in their offspring as well.
Similarly, in Louisiana 1896, Homer Plessy was arrested because he sat in a railroad car designated for the white population. Plessy was 7/8 white but he was still seen as a black man by the supreme court in the

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