Category Archives: James Baldwin

James Baldwin – Freedom is not given

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James BaldwinFreedom is not something that anybody can be given; freedom is something people take and people are as free as they want to be.

James Baldwin   (1924-1987)

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James Baldwin – The flag and allegiance

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James BaldwinIt comes as a great shock around the age of 5, 6 or 7 to discover that the flag to which you have pledged allegiance, along with everybody else, has not pledged allegiance to you. It comes as a great shock to see Gary Cooper killing off the Indians and, although you are rooting for Gary Cooper, that the Indians are you.

James Baldwin   (1924-1987)

James Baldwin – To accept one’s past. . .

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James BaldwinTo accept one’s past — one’s history — is not the same thing as drowning in it; it is learning how to use it. An invented past can never be used; it cracks and crumbles under the pressures of life like clay in a season of drought.

James Baldwin   (1924-1987)

James Baldwin – The whole root of our trouble

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James BaldwinPerhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, the only fact we have. It seems to me that one ought to rejoice in the fact of death–ought to decide, indeed, to earn one’s death by confronting with passion the conundrum of life.

James Baldwin   (1924-1987)