James Baldwin The Fire Next Time Analysis

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James Baldwin 's, The Fire Next Time, is an extended, autobiographical essay that expresses his view on race relations within the ever so divided United States. Beginning with a straight forward, heart-felt letter to his nephew, Baldwin outlines the unfortunate, discriminatory situation in which all black citizens are cast into from birth and makes James aware that he is the one who is tasked with the responsibility of accepting this fellow white countrymen. Following this personalized letter, Baldwin dives into his life story by explaining his fear of succumbing to his doomed fate, his eventual rejection of religion, and his ultimate conclusion regarding the proper way for black Americans to rise above suppression and to abolish the rigged…show more content…
The construction of Baldwin 's theology is very interconnected with his experiences and his ultimate falling out with the church and religion, as told in the second portion of the essay. As a young boy, Baldwin sought a gimmick in order to fill the void and fear of possibly living his life on the streets. The Christian church was an authority figure that offered a sense of fulfillment and comfort, providing him with an escape from reality. Although effective, Baldwin eventually grew skeptical and wary of the teachings that he once found meaningful as he realized the imperialistic nature of the church 's past and its limiting impact on the country. For years, religion was used by whites to justify their superiority and oppress blacks. Christianity represents a rigid way of thinking that discourages questioning the status quo and forces its disciples to continue with past tradition. In order to affect positive change in the country, the people need to rebel against the past and develop a new way of thinking. Baldwin argues that race relations cannot improve if one is consumed in a religion centered around the subjugation of others. Instead, the past needs to be accepted and moved on from and the future has to be centered around a new way of thinking which embraces change, support, and love from both black and white
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