The Fire Next Time

The Fire Next Time

Book - 1993 | First Vintage International edition
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Contains a letter to Baldwin's nephew on the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Also describes his childhood, views on Black Muslims, and his visions.
Contents: My dungeon shook: letter to my nephew on the one hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation
Down at the cross: letter from a region in my mind
Publisher: New York : Vintage International, 1993, c1962
Edition: First Vintage International edition
Branch Call Number: 305.896073 BAL PBK
Characteristics: 106 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN: 9780679744726


From Library Staff

Written in 1963, this haunting, impassioned, and moving book is "[a] plea and a warning to citizens to examine the actual state of America after a century of emancipation." Nearly 60years later, this book is sadly till relevant.

Comprised of two essays, "My Dungeon Shook: Letter to My Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Emancipation"� and "Down at the Cross: Letter from a Region in My Mind"� this book is Baldwin's response to the social and racial injustice he witnessed in America.

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Apr 04, 2021

An incredible work of art; aesthetically, spiritually, and politically of the utmost relevance.

LCPL_Vivian Feb 08, 2021

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin withstands the test of time. It's the perfect book to read for Black History Month. He talks about his journey with racism while being a young minister for the Christian church, and how America (specifically) has A LOT of work to do regarding that topic. Everyone should give this book a chance. Every line holds importance making this book hard to put down.

Oct 07, 2020

This is my first book but not my last. Informative!!!!!

Sep 26, 2020

Fire Next Time by Baldwin is very relevant for 2020, even though it was written in 1962. I read this now to prepare to read Fire This Time by Ward.

Aug 22, 2020

106 pages

Jul 05, 2020

I started with Baldwin with 'I Am Not Your Negro,' so it's easy for me to see how closely his writing follows his speaking (and actually 'preaching') style. Some find this elliptical, I think. I find it energizing. His insights into the human condition, and particularly the mindset of 1960s white Americans, are unsettling (discouraging?) because they're so on-target, and still applicable.

JCLBetM Jun 24, 2020

Sadly this 1963 book seems like it could be newly written today. I've always heard of James Baldwin, but this is the first bit of his writing I've read -- and it won't be the last. His honest, precise voice keeps the reader face to face with him as he shares his story. I was especially struck by the opening letter to his nephew, but this entire brief book is well worth a read.

Jul 07, 2018

There's no doubt that Baldwin was ahead of his time for sure. This book, written as a letter to his nephew, demonstrates what an incredible and talented mind he was.

Baldwin's writing is reflective and critical of topics such as race and religion in the United States during the civil rights era. His thoughts are original and push the reader to really consider how his philosophy fits in today's world.

Wonderful and compelling! I recommend.

mko123 Jun 22, 2018

This book is a wake-up call to white people. Baldwin shows how white people have used Christianity and the illusionary belief in their own superiority to debase people of color all thru our inglorious history. What white people have failed to see is that by doing this, we are debasing ourselves and sinking into moral decrepitude. This book is a brilliant, painfully honest essay asking us to Examine our entrenched notions of racial superiority, and then grow up. I highly recommend this book.

KCLSJessicaH Aug 02, 2016

Read this!

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Nov 30, 2019

It demands great spiritual resilience not to hate the hater whose foot is on your neck, and an even greater miracle of perception and charity not to teach your child to hate.

JCLEmilyD May 23, 2017

In short, we, the black and the white, deeply need each other here if we are really to become a nation--if we are really, that is, to achieve our identity, our maturity, as men and women.

Oct 06, 2016

You were born into a society which spelled out with brutal clarity, and in as many ways as possible, that you were a worthless human being. You were not expected to aspire to excellence: you were expected to make peace with mediocrity.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 05, 2016

...if the word integration means anything, this is what it means: that we, with love, shall force our brothers to see themselves as they are, to cease fleeing from reality and begin to change it.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 05, 2016

Color is not a human or a personal reality; it is a political reality.

ellensix May 06, 2016

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.


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