Quotes from book
The Fire Next Time

The Fire Next Time

The Fire Next Time is a 1963 non-fiction book by James Baldwin. It contains two essays: "My Dungeon Shook — Letter to my Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Emancipation," and "Down At The Cross — Letter from a Region of My Mind." The first essay, written in the form of a letter to Baldwin's 14-year-old nephew, discusses the central role of race in American history. The second essay deals with the relations between race and religion, focusing in particular on Baldwin's experiences with the Christian church as a youth, as well as the Islamic ideas of others in Harlem.


James Baldwin photo

„I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.“

—  James Baldwin, book The Fire Next Time

"Me and My House" in Harper's (November 1955); republished in Notes of a Native Son (1955)
Source: The Fire Next Time

James Baldwin photo

„If the concept of God has any validity or any use, it can only be to make us larger, freer, and more loving.“

—  James Baldwin, book The Fire Next Time

Source: "Letter from a Region of My Mind" in The New Yorker (17 November 1962); republished as "Down at the Cross: Letter from a Region in My Mind" in The Fire Next Time (1963)
Context: If the concept of God has any validity or any use, it can only be to make us larger, freer, and more loving. If God cannot do this, then it is time we got rid of Him.

James Baldwin photo

„To accept one's past - one's history - is not the same things as drowning in it. An invented past can never be used; it cracks and crumbles under the pressures of life like clay in a season of drought.“

—  James Baldwin, book The Fire Next Time

Variant: To accept one’s past – one’s history – is not the same thing as drowning in it; it is learning how to use it. An invented past can never be used; it cracks and crumbles under the pressures of life like clay in a season of drought.
Source: The Fire Next Time

James Baldwin photo
James Baldwin photo

„Color is not a human or a personal reality; it is a political reality.“

—  James Baldwin, book The Fire Next Time

Source: The Fire Next Time

James Baldwin photo
James Baldwin photo

„There are too many things we do not wish to know about ourselves.“

—  James Baldwin, book The Fire Next Time

Source: The Fire Next Time

James Baldwin photo
James Baldwin photo
James Baldwin photo

„Do I really want to be integrated into a burning house?“

—  James Baldwin, book The Fire Next Time

Source: The Fire Next Time

James Baldwin photo

„The impossible is the least that one can demand.“

—  James Baldwin, book The Fire Next Time

Source: The Fire Next Time

James Baldwin photo
James Baldwin photo

„Whoever debases others is debasing himself.“

—  James Baldwin, book The Fire Next Time

Source: The Fire Next Time

James Baldwin photo
James Baldwin photo

„Whose little boy are you?“

—  James Baldwin, book The Fire Next Time

Source: The Fire Next Time

James Baldwin photo
James Baldwin photo

„If the word integration means anything, this is what it means: that we, with love, shall force our brothers to see themselves as they are, to cease fleeing from reality and begin to change it.“

—  James Baldwin, book The Fire Next Time

The Fire Next Time http://books.google.com/books?id=0S9TgXJ-aD0C&q=%22If+the+word+integration+means+anything+this+is+what+it+means+that+we+with+love+shall+force+our+brothers+to+see+themselves+as+they+are+to+cease+fleeing+from+reality+and+begin%22&pg=PA21#v=onepage (1963)

James Baldwin photo
James Baldwin photo

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