Black History Month | James Baldwin

Black History Month | James Baldwin
American novelist, playwright, social critic.
August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987

“I can’t believe what you say, because I see what you do.”

“To be African American is to be African without any memory and American without any privilege.”

“I’m not interested in anyone’s guilt. Guilt is a luxury that we can no longer afford. I know you didn’t do it, and I didn’t do it either, but I am responsible for it because I am a man and a citizen of this country and you are responsible for it, for the same reason.”

“Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.”

“Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

On reverse racism: “It must be remembered that in those great days I was considered to be an ‘integrationist’ — that was never, quite, my own idea of myself — and Malcom was considered to be a ‘racist in reverse’. This formulation, in terms of power - and power in the arena in which racism is acted out means absolutely nothing: it may even be described as a cowardly formulation. The powerless, by definition, can never be ‘racists’, for they can never make the world pay for what they feel or fear except by the sundial endeavor which makes them fanatics or revolutionaries, or both.”

“The world is before you and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in.”
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