The Fire This Time
Writing to his nephew in the essay My Dungeon Shook, the lead essay inThe Fire Next Time, James Baldwin says of his father, “… he was defeated long before he died because at the bottom of his heart, he really believed what white people said about him.” And of his brother, he in relationship to America, Baldwin waxes prophetic: I know what the world has done to my brother and how narrowly he has survived it. And I know, which is much worse, and this is the crime of which I accuse my country and my countrymen, and for which neither I nor time, nor history will ever forgive them, that they have destroyed and are destroying hundreds of thousands of lives and do not know it and do not want to know it.”
Baldwin is one of the towering figures in American literature, not only because he mastered his craft, but because he spoke truth to himself and to power, writing from the gut of his experience as a gay, Afrikan American in white supremacist America, and he did so without bitterness. James Baldwin was a lover and he said “YES,” to life.
Writing is a means of liberating one’s identity. It’s a way of contacting one’s experience–a way of learning what it means to be you in the world that you cannot control. Jimmy Baldwin is a study in writing reality as it is lived.
TRIAAC’s writing contest is a way to to engage yourself. A way to look into the world of your own experience. Enter the writing contest. Go here to find out more.