The Fire Next Time

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Jesse Pequeno
4/6/13
Honors English 10
Sayre
1st period
The Fire Next Time
The Fire Next Time is a book of 2 essays that accurately portray “The Negro Problem” of the 1960’s. The first essay is titled “My Dungeon Shook- Letters to My Nephew on The Hundredth Anniversary of the Emancipation” as the title states this essay is in the form of a letter to his 14 year old nephew who is also named James. This essay explains the struggle of the Negro through history and the American dream, the American dream that is being withheld from the Negro people, and how they are unable to get their piece. Baldwin’s main point of this essay was to explain to his nephew the cruelty of society and that he needs to become successful but never heed the words of the white man. Baldwin Stated that believing the white man will never lead to success but that knowing where one comes from will. The Second Essay is titled “Down at the Cross- Letters from a Region in My Mind” this much longer essay is not directed towards his nephew anymore but it seems as though Baldwin used himself as an example for his nephew where he recounts his personal experiences dealing with racism and religion starting at the age of 14. Baldwin calls himself a survivor as he goes over the troubles he had faced as a youth, he said that he found the church as sort of a safe haven from the evils of society and he grew up to become a minister but was troubled by what he thought were failures of Christianity and then left the church. He then goes on to talk about black people position in America and that if the nation did not solve the color problem there would be an even larger fire the next time.

Characters:
1. James Baldwin
2. Baldwin’s Nephew
Conflicts and Resolutions:

Theme:
The Negro Problem- “The Negro Problem” was the issue that dealt with integrating black people into a white society; it was a way of talking about the racial tension between black and white people in the 50s and 60s. This...
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