The Fire Next Time

Author:

James Baldwin

Title:

The Fire Next Time

Publisher:

Penguin

Nataka Books Reviews: 

The Fire Next Time

This book is perfect for those who need a reality check. James Baldwin’s, The Fire Next Time, is of two raw but passionate letters that are so deep, so meaningful, so real and true. America has lived in two separate realities for hundreds of years; a white and a black one...readmore


--review by @Hillsreads blogging at https://hillysreads.wordpress.com/

Nataka Books Full Review: 

The Fire Next Time

This book is perfect for those who need a reality check. James Baldwin’s, The Fire Next Time, is of two raw but passionate letters that are so deep, so meaningful, so real and true. America has lived in two separate realities for hundreds of years; a white and a black one.

I think in order for you to understand what I mean by “reality check”, I must provide you with a couple quotes from this book because no one says it more eloquently than James Baldwin.

“There are too many things we do not wish to know about ourselves. People are not, for example, terribly anxious to be equal (equal, after all, to what and to whom?) but they love the idea of being superior.”

“...the so-called American Negro who remains trapped, disinherited, and despised in a nation that has kept him in bondage for nearly four hundred years and is still unable to recognize him as a human being.”

Throughout this book, James talks about an “awakening” in America, about what would happen when white people finally wake up and realize that they have been blind to racism and oppression, that most of the history they have been taught, is a lie and what would happen to their minds once this realization is upon them.

“There is no reason for you to try to become like white people and there is no basis whatever for their impertinent assumption that they must accept you. The really terrible thing, old buddy, is that you must accept them. And I mean that very seriously. You must accept them and accept them with love. For those innocent people have no other hope. They are, in effect, still trapped in a history which they do not understand; and until they understand it, they cannot be released from it.”

The Fire Next Time shook me to my core, the way James Baldwin discusses these two realities is eye opening. Racism is not only systematic but it’s psychological. The very last page of this book was like; mic drop.


--review by @Hillsreads blogging at https://hillysreads.wordpress.com/