From Hate to Love in James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time Essay

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From Hate to Love in James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time

James Baldwin was a man of many insights. He believed in various ideas with regards to ?the problem of the color line? (103). Baldwin, like many other thinkers of his time knew that a change was needed in this country, specifically Baldwin believed a shift from hatred to love was needed. The main change Baldwin discusses in his biographical novel, The Fire Next Time, religion and how it teaches hate for others and love for those who believe. The importance Baldwin believes is the change from those beliefs taught by religion to a new acceptance of both black and white races.

Baldwin?s idea of change stemmed from his intense religious beliefs. This
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At one point he realizes that he must embrace everyone and love everyone equally black or white but has been told throughout his life that whites are not worthy of his friendliness.

When we were told to love everybody, I had thought that that meant everybody. But no. It applied to those who believed as we did, and it did not apply to white people at all (40).

This is a major flaw Baldwin found in his view of religion that he thought created a racial barrier between whites and blacks. Baldwin realized God was not at all what he was supposed to be and that God could not create and equal and love filled world. ?If God cannot do this, then it is time we got rid of Him? (47). It is at this crucial point that Baldwin realizes he must change himself. He has a notion that change must begin on a smaller scale and end on larger scale. In this case he must change himself and then work on society.

Baldwin called for a change among the blacks to give up on religion and worry more about their social status in the United States. Baldwin?s idea and out look on this change was not radical. Baldwin?s ideas were similar to those of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X; change was needed. Blacks had to worry less about their beliefs in God and Religion and worry more about their

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