The Fire Next Time Analysis

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The Fire Next Time: An Exploration of Racism and Identity in America The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin speaks volumes about the racial climate back in 1962—and even 53 years later. Currently, there are still racially motivated killings, war-like zones in Ferguson, Missouri and crumbling ghettos in almost every major city all across America. With these sad truths still present in daily life, it is hard not to heed Baldwin’s warning. This is a dangerous path the United States is following without making any drastic changes to fix the racial issues African Americans and any other minority face as American citizens. Baldwin speaks of love, but not as a quick fix. The love he writes about cuts deep into thoughts of compassion and unity to…show more content…
Contrary to the ignorant American belief that horrors which are racially motivated don’t happen often and that these notable case of violence discussed are rare; news flash—turn on a local news channel in Chicago, New York City, and Detroit and it will become very clear that minorities are in danger. Baldwin tells his nephew in his letter, “You were born where you were born and faced the future that you faced because you were black and for no other reason” (7). In this one sentence Baldwin sums up the reality of being black in America in 1963 and even today. Boundaries are set for an individual who doesn’t identify as white and those limitations uphold racist stereotypes to keep those non-white individuals in their place. This place doesn’t lead for much improvement and can lead to a cycle of violence, poverty, and crime. Some may argue that if a person works hard enough they can get out of these living conditions. If they somehow manage to work their way out of these conditions (as seen through the idea of the “American Dream”) they are the exception not the rule. The overwhelming majority of minorities aren’t living in the safest and affluent neighborhoods. This is just a mere example of systematic oppression. Baldwin stresses the words “for no other reason” (7) by italicizing them; really emphasizing the point that there is no logic or reason backing their place in society—it pure
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