James Baldwin
James Baldwin
James Baldwin
James Baldwin was an American novelist, essayist and civil rights activist.James Baldwin may also refer to:-Writers:*James Baldwin , American educator, writer and administrator...

(1924–1987) was an American novelist, essayist and civil rights activist.

One writes out of one thing only — one's own experience. Everything depends on how relentlessly one forces from this experience the last drop, sweet or bitter, it can possibly give. This is the only real concern of the artist, to recreate out of the disorder of life that order which is art.

"Autobiographical Notes" (1952)

Confronted with the impossibility of remaining faithful to one’s beliefs, and the equal impossibility of becoming free of them, one can be driven to the most inhuman excesses.

"Stranger in the Village," Harper's (October 1953); republished in Notes of a Native Son (1955)

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.

"Me and My House" in Harper's (1955); republished in Notes of a Native Son (1955)

Words like "freedom," "justice," "democracy" are not common concepts; on the contrary, they are rare. People are not born knowing what these are. It takes enormous and, above all, individual effort to arrive at the respect for other people that these words imply.

"The Crusade of Indignation," The Nation (New York, 7 July, 1956), published in book form in The Price of the Ticket (1985)

I have not written about being a Negro at such length because I do not expect that to be my only subject, but only because it was the gate I had to unlock before I could hope to write about anything else.

"The Hard Kind of Courage" in Harper's (October 1958) republished as "A Fly in Buttermilk" in Nobody Knows My Name: More Notes of a Native Son (1961)