James Arthur Baldwin

James Arthur Baldwin

James Arthur Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987) was an American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic. His essays, as collected in Notes of a Native Son (1955), explore palpable yet unspoken intricacies of racial, sexual, and class distinctions in Western societies, most notably in mid-20th-century America.

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Nobody is more dangerous than he who imagines himself pure in heart, for his purity by definition is unassailable.

The paradox of education is precisely this - that as one begins to become conscious ,one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated.

I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense once hate is gone they will be forced to deal with pain.

American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it.

Hatred which could destroy so much, never failed to destroy the man who hated, and this was an immutable law.

A child cannot be taught by anyone who despises him, and a child cannot afford to be fooled.

I love America more than any other country in this world, and exactly for this reason I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.

The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose.

Education is indoctrination if you're white - subjugation if you're black.

If the relationship of father to son could really be reduced to biology, the whole earth would blaze with the glory of fathers and sons.

It is very nearly impossible... to become an educated person in a country so distrustful of the independent mind.

It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive or who had ever been alive.

Life is tragic, simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day for each of us the sun will go down for the last, last time.

People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.

People can cry much easier than they can change.

I've always believed that you can think positive just as well as you can think negative.

The noblest spirit is most strongly attracted by the love of glory.

You know it's not the world that was my oppressor because what the world does to you if the world does it to you long enough and effectively enough you begin to do to yourself.

Be careful what you set your heart upon - for it will surely be yours.

Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle love is a war, love is a growing up.

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