Summary Of The Fire Next Time By James Baldwin

1719 Words7 Pages
The rights and freedoms of Americans have been evolving since the decision was made to break free from England. Even though African Americans were granted freedom at the end of the Civil War they were not granted equality and they were denied many of the basic rights of enjoyed by white Americans. Things reached a boiling point during the 1950’s and 1960’s when powerful activists challenged the United States federal government to uphold their rights as American citizens. As a result, the federal government was forced to intercede with state governments on their behalf in order to restore their rights as guaranteed by the 14th and 15th amendments. In the 1950’s an adolescent boy visiting his grandpa down in Mississippi was beaten to death…show more content…
For some, freedom may be too late to experience and enjoy, but for their children and family, they will be able to cherish this right when remembering that their ancestor was deprived of this right and helped fight for it. However, they had to be smart when fighting for what they wanted because if they chose to use violent methods, it would only enforce the white American’s beliefs that they did not deserve the very rights they deserved. So, they used mostly peaceful ways to draw attention to their cause because, “Whoever debases others is debasing himself.” (James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time). In unfortunate circumstances, these protests could reach a point to where things would get out of hand and turn into a self-destructive riot that would shine negative light on to the movements such as the one Baldwin witnesses. The riot is used as an example to show why peaceful protests and speeches were the best way to handle the situation of demanding equal rights because riots were out of a rage that usually had the opposite effect of what was trying to be done. “Hatred, which could destroy so much, never failed to destroy the man who hated, and this was an immutable law.” (James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time). The riot helps to portray how hatred is a negative aspect of society that will only lead to destruction because hate breeds hate, but with the hope of gaining equality, people could begin to be more accepting of each other will get rid of the hate. Since the day that America broke away from England’s grip, the rights and freedoms have been ever evolving. During the 1950’s and the 1960’s the rights and freedoms that white American’s enjoyed, were also being fought for by African American’s. They demanded to be treated as equals through various methods which included protests, literature, and speeches
Open Document