The Fire Next TimeBook - 1993 | First Vintage International edition
Down at the cross: letter from a region in my mind
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.
From the critics
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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.
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.
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.
...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.
Color is not a human or a personal reality; it is a political reality.
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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