James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time
An analysis of this work, written in America in 1962, which warns of imminent disaster if the whites did not stop their racist supremacy over the blacks.
This paper looks at the author’s upbringing and how this influenced his writing of this work. The book issues an ultimatum to American whites to wake up to the degradation they had been forcing upon American blacks at the cost of their own debasement. It warns that if not, the world will be destroyed by fire.
`Growing up black Baldwin experienced race as the single most important element in his life. The fact that he was black overwhelmed everything else. In the letter that introduces the book, Baldwin’s uncle says, you faced the future that you faced because you were black and for no other reason (18). Baldwin knows this well. Being black is the central fact of his life. Young blacks spent their days fighting the man (31). Hopelessness was the constant mood. There was a cloud that stood between them and the sun (82 ). Every black he knew was worn down . . .by the incessant and gratuitous humiliation and danger (32) that each faced every day.`