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James Baldwin's Influences

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“I am what time, circumstance, history, have made of me, certainly, but I am, also, much more than that. So are we all (Notes of A Native Son Quotes).” All authors, artists and musicians have a story to tell, they express themselves through their work, and this quote briefly summarizes what makes James Baldwin’s work so unique. Through the cultural context of his work, readers get to see a glimpse of what was really endured during the 1950’s and how history shaped the world for today. Using the work of other fellow writers, Baldwin summarizes their work and uses literary elements to paint a bigger picture. James Baldwin was an influential author, who wrote about his life and the struggles of which he endured, using the culture to help his audience…show more content…
Born to a single mother, Emma Jones who married when Baldwin was about 3 years of age. It is said that Baldwin never knew his biological father but followed in his stepfather’s religious footsteps, serving within the church as a youth minister. His love for literature, reading and writing developed at a very young age and he pursued this throughout his schooling and published many works with his schools papers and magazines. In order to pursue his writing career, Baldwin knew he had to be around other writers, to learn and work with them. He worked in New York City for a few years and then moved to Paris to further his career. His early literary works were about his life in New York and Paris (James Baldwin). In Europe he blossomed as a writer, here is a quote about his beginnings in Paris, “I could see where I came from very clearly, and I could see that I carried myself, which is my home, with me. You can never escape that. I am the grandson of a slave, and I am a writer. I must deal with both (Johnson).” During his short time abroad, he really figured out whom he was inside from his heritage to his sexual orientation. Baldwin has over 22 novels published and an uncountable number of articles and papers, screenplays, poetry, including the work covered in class “Notes of a Native Son” which really show how the black man was portrayed in America. A great pivotal piece that…show more content…
The civil rights era is one of the most talked about times in history, even in todays day-in-age because many people still think there is a social inequality. James Baldwin had a huge voice in the civil rights movement and is very well known for this. Notes of a Native son was written between the 1940’s and 1950’s in a time when America was fighting for equal rights between blacks and whites, when racial discrimination was at an all time high. In Notes, “Baldwin takes the reader into his mind, into the problems of which the society is facing, simply showing them the social conditions, not trying to make them feel guilty or upset by the problems of that time (Johnson). This is an interesting way of taking on writing with this much importance to history. This piece starts off describing his life and career, then including themes that will take place within the writing, from the standpoint of an African-American at that time. A lot of different events influenced this time for all of America and changed the way American’s lived their daily
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