Discrimination In James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time

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Upon rereading “The Fire Next Time”, I have gained a whole new understanding of the book and what James Baldwin was saying. What James had to say about black people having to be non-violent, about God and religion, and the difference in language when referring to white and/or black women. James Baldwin spoke on why people, black or white, expect black people to be more respectable. The idea that black people should have to take abuse with a smile on their face is a way of silencing us. They want black people to stay silent, so that it isn’t seen as a threat to them. The idea of a “respectable negro” is a farce. No matter how “respectable” and “good” a black person becomes, that won’t make them any less susceptible to racism. I hear this from a lot of black and white people, if you dress, act or talk a certain way then there won’t be anything to worry about and that’s just simply not true. What happens when you do all the things “right” yet you still end up dead on the street? I …show more content…

The difference between ladies and women might not be overt but it is very much there. While the word women is used to describe any female human the age of 18 or above, ladies is used to describe a special kind of woman, one that is ranked higher in society and more respected. So, what these signs are subconsciously telling saying is that, white women are a higher class and should be respected more than black women. Last year my friend and I were having a debate as to why he should not refer to women as “females” rather than “women”. Being the man that he is, on the surface, he didn’t see that there was a problem with what he was doing. I explained that the word “female” could be used to describe any type of animal or species that is a female and “woman” would be the appropriate term for a human. By not using the proper terms, a woman can be devalued and treated less

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