To be a Negro in this country and

to be relatively conscious is to be in

a rage almost all the time.

–James Baldwin

The age of anger we are living in demands to revisit James Baldwin to make the world a better place.

 

Famous American essayist, playwright and novelist James Arthur Baldwin was born on August 2, 1924, in New York. The eldest of nine children, James Baldwin, grew up in poverty in the black ghetto of Harlem in New York City. On the expensiveness of poverty, he once said, “Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.” His this phase of life can be compared to that of another great writer from the North African region, Mohamad Choukri of Morocco who lived his early life in miserable economic conditions.

After graduation from high school, Baldwin began a restless period of ill-paid jobs, self-education. In 1948, he left for Paris to avoid the race problem at home. However, eight years later, circumstances at home turned so demanding that he decided to leave Paris for good to address the question of race and civil rights movement at home. It is his essays written in those turbulent times that diagnose the deep schism within American society and explore the black-white relations. His lengthy article in The New Yorker on the Black Muslim separatist movement and other aspects of civil rights movement became a best seller in a book form as The Fire Next Time.

Today, when a white supremacist is sitting in the white house, the fierce urgency of now demands to revisit the writings of the most exceptional Black American author of the last century that can equip us with the arsenal of arguments to fight the growing intolerance, hyper-nationalism, racism and Islamophobia.