The Fire Next Time

December 1, 1992|
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
see the collectionBlack Voices
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On the sixty-year anniversary of its publishing, James Baldwin’s 1963 book of essays The Fire Next Time remains a touchstone in American literature. Comprising two “letters,” The Fire Next Time offers both an intimate portrayal of Black American life and a fiery commentary on race in America that is just as resonant today as it was when it first emerged more than half a century ago.
In his first essay, “My Dungeon Shook: Letter to My Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Emancipation,” Baldwin speaks to a young generation navigating the country as it’s caught between integration and segregation. Searing through the turbulence of the 1960s with clarity and unwavering honesty, Baldwin illuminates the lies on which racism stands and passes the torch to the young people who must continue the work of blazing the path toward true freedom in America.
In his second essay, “Down at the Cross: Letter from a Region in My Mind,” Baldwin examines the circumstances of his youth that led him to the church, the moral realizations that eventually forced him to leave it, and the meeting with Elijah Muhammad of the Nation of Islam that galvanized his views on race, religion, and nationalism.
A dire warning to confront racism and a final reminder that the only way forward is together, The Fire Next Time is a triumph that bears witness to America’s racist past while revealing the way forward with love.
The following questions and topics are designed to enrich your discussion and meditation on James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time. We hope they encourage thoughtful reflection and cultivate a deeper understanding of this essential read by the voice of a generation.
JAMES BALDWIN (1924-1987) was a novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic. His first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, appeared in 1953 to excellent reviews, and his essay collections Notes of a Native Son and The Fire Next Time were bestsellers that made him an influential figure in the growing civil rights movement. Ba...
Title:The Fire Next Time
Product dimensions:128 pages, 8 X 5.15 X 0.35 in
Shipping dimensions:128 pages, 8 X 5.15 X 0.35 in
Published:December 1, 1992
Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Appropriate for ages:All ages
ISBN - 13:9780679744726

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