The Fire Next Time By James Baldwin

906 Words Aug 21st, 2015 4 Pages
What America Must Become
Racism is no new concept, even in this day and age. For centuries, the topic of racism has been prevalent, within the confines of the United States especially. James Baldwin, author of The Fire Next Time, writes of his experiences and thoughts of racism throughout his life in the previously mentioned book. Though published in 1962, Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time greatly relates to the U.S even to this day. Baldwin shows a different side of racism that one might have never thought—while keeping a sense of hope for the future intact. In the first essay dedicated to his nephew, Baldwin says, “[…] and we can make America what America must become,” and it mustn’t become anything without trying (Baldwin 10).
Throughout the entire book, Baldwin makes reoccurring references to the Holocaust, comparing it to the racism in America. This connection, while frightening, highlights how similar in treatment black people were to Jewish people. “For my part, the fate of the Jews, and the world’s indifference to it, frightened me very much. I could not but feel, in those sorrowful years, that this human indifference, concerning which I knew so much already, would be my portion on the day that the United States decided to murder its Negroes systematically instead of little by little and catch-as-catch can” (53). Here, Baldwin expresses his concern with the white people’s indifference towards black people, and how closely it aligns with how German people treated Jewish…
Open Document