James Baldwin's Going To Meet The Man

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James Baldwin’s Going to Meet the Man does not just depict fictitious characters, but instead seems to give insight into pieces of Baldwin’s own life. Baldwin was born in Harlem, 1924, during a period where racism was wide spread in the United States, and around the world. His step-father treated him with a harshness, seemingly reserved only for Baldwin and not for his other siblings. His father showed a hatred towards whites, and degraded Baldwin not only emotionally, but also physically. He called him ugly, said he was not good enough. While his father showed a hatred for whites, he also seemingly hated that he and his son were black, taking on the image that had been given to the African American community. Many characters in Baldwin’s works show characters with similar physical characteristics to Baldwin himself, and some who had fathers that degraded them. Baldwin uses characters dealing with homosexual feelings; Baldwin himself was gay.…show more content…
Baldwin’s characters were representations of what he experienced as a black, gay man in a bigoted world. Going to Meet the Man introduces Jesse as a child, attending the lynching of a man with a widow’s peak, which was similar to Baldwin’s own hair line. “He saw the forehead, flat and high, with a kind of arrow of hair in the center, like he had, like his father had; they called it a widow’s peak...” (2518-2519) In portraits of Baldwin, he is seen with a very prominent widows peak, which led me to believe that the character being lynched was a representation of Baldwin himself. After reading Go Tell it on the Mountain, I discovered that another character, John

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