A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. It consists of two "letters," written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism. Described by The New York Times Book Review as "sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle...all presented in searing, brilliant prose," The Fire Next Time stands as a classic of our literature.
the fire next time
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A surprise New York Times bestseller, these groundbreaking essays and poems about race—collected by National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward and written by the most important voices of her generation—are “thoughtful, searing, and at times, hopeful. The Fire This Time is vivid proof that words are important, because of their power to both cleanse and to clarify” (USA TODAY). In this bestselling, widely lauded collection, Jesmyn Ward gathers our most original thinkers and writers to speak on contemporary racism and race, including Carol Anderson, Jericho Brown, Edwidge Danticat, Kevin Young, Claudia Rankine, and Honoree Jeffers. “An absolutely indispensable anthology” (Booklist, starred review), The Fire This Time shines a light on the darkest corners of our history, wrestles with our current predicament, and imagines a better future. Envisioned as a response to The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin’s groundbreaking 1963 essay collection, these contemporary writers reflect on the past, present, and future of race in America. We’ve made significant progress in the fifty-odd years since Baldwin’s essays were published, but America is a long and painful distance away from a “post-racial society”—a truth we must confront if we are to continue to work towards change. Baldwin’s “fire next time” is now upon us, and it needs to be talked about; The Fire This Time “seeks to place the shock of our own times into historical context and, most importantly, to move these times forward” (Vogue).
A collection of essays presenting critiques and analysis of the major works of the African American author.
Go Tell It on the Mountain (fiction): James Baldwin's portrayal of black people in Harlem caught up in a dramatic struggle, and of a society confronting inevitable change. The Fire Next Time (non-fiction): The powerful evocation of a childhood in Harlem that helped to galvanize the early days of the civil rights movement examines the deep consequences of racial injustice to both the individual and the body politic. If Beale Street Could Talk (fiction): A love story about two badly frightended but intensely brave, black young people.
Why did Black-Korean tensions result in violent clashes in Los Angeles but not in New York City? In a book based on fieldwork and on a nationwide database he constructed to track such conflicts, Patrick D. Joyce goes beyond sociological and cultural explanations. No Fire Next Time shows how political practices and urban institutions can channel racial and ethnic tensions into protest or, alternately, leave them free to erupt violently. Few encounters demonstrate this connection better than those between African Americans and Korean Americans.Cities like New York, where politics is noisy, contentious, and involves people at the grassroots, have seen extensive Black boycotts of Korean-owned businesses (usually small grocery stores). African Americans in Los Angeles have sustained few long-term boycotts of Korean American businesses--but the absence of "routine" contention there goes hand in hand with the large-scale riots of 1992 and continuous acts of individual violence.In demonstrating how conflicts between these groups were intimately tied to their political surroundings, this book yields practical lessons for the future. City governments can do little to fight widening economic inequality in an increasingly diverse nation, Joyce writes. But officials and activists can restructure political institutions to provide the foundations for new multiracial coalitions.
This reader collects sixty of the personal essays, critical articles, and other seminal works of Addison Gayle Jr., one of the most influential figures in African American literary criticism and a key pioneer in the Black Arts/Black Aesthetic Movement. The volume contains selective essays that represent the range of Gayle's writing on such subjects as relationships between father and son, cultural nationalism, racism, black aesthetics, black criticism, and black literature. The collection, the first of its kind, includes definitive essays such as "Blueprint for Black Criticism," "The Harlem Renaissance: Toward a Black Aesthetic," and "Cultural Strangulation: Black Literature and the White Aesthetics."
As a form of communication that can inspire solidarity through appeals to democratic ideals, literary journalism can play a constitutive role in social and political struggles for justice and freedom in democratic societies. In 1963, at a pivotal moment in the US Civil Rights Movement, James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time helped many Americans, including those in the highest offices of the federal government, understand the moral good of the goals of the African American freedom struggle and the democratic imperative to enact and protect the civil rights of all Americans. In this way, Baldwin's work, along with other key historical forces, helped to expand the civil sphere and build a more just and democratic society in the United States. Civil sphere theory helps explain the role of such communication in social struggles for democracy.
James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time was one of the essential books of the sixties and one of the most galvanizing statements of the American civil rights movement. Now, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, with a new generation confronting what Baldwin called a "racial nightmare", acclaimed writer Randall Kenan asks: How far have we come? Starting with W. E. B. Du Bois and Martin Luther King, Jr., Kenan expands the discussion to include many of today's most powerful personalities, such as Oprah Winfrey, O. J. Simpson, Rodney King, George Foreman and Barack Obama. Combining elements of memoir and commentary, this homage is a piercing consideration of the times, and an impassioned call to transcend them. 'Kenan demands attention.' — Observer 'A talented young novelist and short-story writer... What makes Kenan...so unusual is his willingness to look beyond the usual places.' —The New York Times 'Kenan continues Baldwin's legendary tradition of telling it on the mountain.' — San Francisco Chronicle 'A perfect catalyst for lively discussion, and a fine state-of-the-issues update on Baldwin's 45-year-old touchstone.' — Publishers Weekly