Notes of a Native Son

Notes of a Native Son A new edition published on the twenty fifth anniversary of Baldwin s death including a new introduction by an important contemporary writer Since its original publication in this first nonficti

A new edition published on the twenty fifth anniversary of Baldwin s death, including a new introduction by an important contemporary writer Since its original publication in 1955, this first nonfiction collection of essays by James Baldwin remains an American classic His impassioned essays on life in Harlem, the protest novel, movies, and African Americans abroad are aA new edition published on the twenty fifth anniversary of Baldwin s death, including a new introduction by an important contemporary writer Since its original publication in 1955, this first nonfiction collection of essays by James Baldwin remains an American classic His impassioned essays on life in Harlem, the protest novel, movies, and African Americans abroad are as powerful today as when they were first written A straight from the shoulder writer, writing about the troubled problems of this troubled earth with an illuminating intensity Langston Hughes, The New York Times Book Review Written with bitter clarity and uncommon grace TimeFrom the Trade Paperback edition.

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Notes of a Native Son

About Author

  1. James BaldwinLibrarian Note There is than one author in the database with this name See this thread for information.James Arthur Baldwin was an American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic.James Baldwin offered a vital literary voice during the era of civil rights activism in the 1950s and 60s He was the eldest of nine children his stepfather was a minister At age 14, Baldwin became a preacher at the small Fireside Pentecostal Church in Harlem In the early 1940s, he transferred his faith from religion to literature Critics, however, note the impassioned cadences of Black churches are still evident in his writing Go Tell It on the Mountain, his first novel, is a partially autobiographical account of his youth His essay collections Notes of a Native Son, Nobody Knows My Name, and The Fire Next Time were influential in informing a large white audience.From 1948, Baldwin made his home primarily in the south of France, but often returned to the USA to lecture or teach In 1957, he began spending half of each year in New York City His novels include Giovanni s Room, about a white American expatriate who must come to terms with his homosexuality, and Another Country, about racial and gay sexual tensions among New York intellectuals His inclusion of gay themes resulted in a lot of savage criticism from the Black community Eldridge Cleaver, of the Black Panthers, stated the Baldwin s writing displayed an agonizing, total hatred of blacks Baldwin s play, Blues for Mister Charlie, was produced in 1964 Going to Meet the Man and Tell Me How Long the Train s Been Gone provided powerful descriptions of American racism As an openly gay man, he became increasingly outspoken in condemning discrimination against lesbian and gay people.On November 30, 1987 Baldwin died from stomach cancer in Saint Paul de Vence, France He was buried at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, near New York City.


Notes of a Native Son Comment

  1. This is my 3rd James Baldwin book this year t time as an audiobook Notes of A Native Son , is a great intro into other books Baldwin has written These notes are a collection of essays written when Baldwin was in his 20 s during the 1940 s and early 50 s It was fascinating learning about Baldwin as a young man and his experiences being Black in America through the civil rights movement and steps forward His memories about unfairness is piercing I felt his bitterness then re visited my sadness of [...]

  2. Any writer, I suppose, feels that the world into which he was born is nothing less than a conspiracy against the cultivation of his talent James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son James Baldwin was a fascinating and eloquent man, one who I would have loved to have had a conversation with His insights into racial issues are truly phenomenal.This is a collection of short essays about Baldwin s experience with race In the first three essays Baldwin critiques various books and movies on black culture th [...]

  3. To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious, is to be in a rage almost all the time So that the first problem is how to control that rage so that it won t destroy you James Baldwin from The Negro in American Culture , Cross Currents, XI 1961 , p 205In his dramatic and provocative short piece Notes of a Native Son 1955 included in the ten essay volume of the same title, Baldwin connects a series of coincidental events, unifying them in a brilliantly conceived aesthetic design Seg [...]

  4. Around this time last year friend Rowena and I did a buddy read of this collection of Baldwin essays It wasn t the first Baldwin book that I d read, but it was the first book of his non fiction It was also the first book that I ve read that made me feel SHAME for being a white man The full weight of my race s mistreatment of African Americans became personal in the light of Baldwin s writing It doesn t matter that I was born six years after the Civil Rights Act, that I never owned slaves or part [...]

  5. Society, it would seem, is a flimsy structure, beneath contempt, designed by and for all the other people, and experience is nothing than sensation so many sensations, added up like arithmetic, give one the rich, full life.I already know that I love James Baldwin s fiction Giovanni s Room and If Beale Street Could Talk so I am not surprised to feel similar about this collection of essays But, this being a collection, of course there was an uneven appreciation as compared to a complete, cohesive [...]

  6. Better known for works such as Go Tell It on the Mountain, James Baldwin s Notes of a Native Son published 2 years later in 1955 is an important collection of essays which highlights issues Baldwin would continue to address Subjects of his essays include his own home life, life in Harlem, the inequities of separate but equal treatment of blacks in 1940s and 50s America as well as his own experiences in France after WWII Baldwin s prose still resonates and is relevant today.

  7. Baldwin Autobiographical notes I was born in Harlem , , birthright It is difficult to make clear that he is not seeking to forfeit his birthright as a black man, but that, on the contrary, it is precisely this birthright which he is struggling to recignize and make articulate , Baldwin, , living proof of his inheritance birthright 1984 The conundrum of color is the inheritance of every American, be he she legally or actually Black or White , , , , , , .It is part of the price the Negro pays fo [...]

  8. This collection of essays is a rarity by the fact that every essay is as good as the previous one There are no duds in this collection This is by far one of the best collections I ve ever read Baldwin s prose is just so astoundingly beautiful I may be premature in saying this but I feel that this may be Baldwin s greatest work A collection so important, so accessible, so unforgettable that not reading this would be an injustice to you and your bookshelf.

  9. Scorching per usual with Baldwin.The first essays feature criticism analysis of the arts, quite interesting but not my favorite part of the book.The essays on his father particularly devastating, sad, insightful and living in France were my favorites Deeply powerful, moving essays His experience with the French justice system l affaire du drap de lit is completely surreal but believable, the epitome of kafkaesque It is terrifying, he gets sucked into the blackhole of the French prison system bec [...]

  10. I was racking my brains trying to come up with the words that will show you who Baldwin is, what he writes Then I said, You re silly my girl, you can of course let him speak for himself.What he has to say on seeing reality and working with it How the present is a result of the past and how by denying the past, we deny the reality of us.It began to seem that one would have to hold in the mind forever two ideas which seemed to be in opposition The first idea was acceptance, the acceptance, totally [...]

  11. The titular essay in this collection is phenomenal, one of the best I ve ever read It deals with race as nearly everything from Baldwin does , but also the severely personal and complicated relationship that Baldwin has with both his father and his own identity Everything is stirred into this smoking wok of anger and regret that is unlike anything I ve ever read It is amazing The rest of the pieces fail to reach the height of Notes of a Native Son Many of them are cultural criticism that is larg [...]

  12. MY VIDEO ESSAY ON THIS BOOK youtu vFBHQEfsq1oYou might be surprised by the low rating but, unfortunately, I can t justify a higher one James Baldwin is an author I deeply admire and look up to He is an incredibly talented writer and I want to read his complete bibliography I m surprised myself that I didn t click with Notes of a Native Son I was so sure that I would love it but alas it didn t work for me.The story of the Negro in America is the story of America or, precisely, it is the story of [...]

  13. Read with a group of friends in conjunction with a viewing of the Oscar nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro Experiencing both film and essay collection in tandem, what kept coming to mind over and over was Jan Kott s influential phrase Shakespeare, our contemporary, which forwards the idea that every generation discovers some aspect of the Bard that seems to speak specifically and almost peculiarly to them, making him feel continuously contemporaneous Well, I couldn t get the revised phras [...]

  14. I just finished James Baldwin s Notes of a Native Son yesterday Published in 1955, it has lost none of its relevance on many levels, and one of these is his argument that the representations of African Americans in and through literature and in movies and the role in which devices such as the protest novel are used to assuage liberal guilt and really do not bring about true societal change and instead foster a false sense of understanding and identification that still maintains the otherness of [...]

  15. It s depressing that our treatment of migrant workers in the middle east is similar in many ways to how the whites treated black Americans Khaleeji countries, in particular, are being built on the back of South Asians yet the Arabs treat them with nothing but condescension and contempt that often lead to abuse True, they re paid for their labor and aren t literally slaves, but they re nevertheless considered inferior and Other, perhaps even inhuman and evil And this treatment, this way we look a [...]

  16. Very well written and powerful And worth rereading The introduction by Edward jones, a well known author in his own right, was also good I want to read his The Known World.My only criticism would be that I found Part I slow going and would recommend casual readers come back to it later Although touching on Baldwin s usual themes they revolve around the books Uncle Tom s Cabin , Native Son and the movie Carmen Jones and I haven t read seen these so I didn t understand a lot of what he was talking [...]

  17. People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster I don t recall the last book I read that gave me such a mental workout It took me a while to read this one as I had to stop and ponder what the man said, and much of my copy is highlighted I would have loved to read this one in a classroom setting, so was delighted that my GR pal Elizabeth agreed to a [...]

  18. When I was told, it takes time, when I was young I was being told it will take some time before a Black person can be treated as a human being here, but it will happen We will help to make it happen we promise you.Sixty years of one man s life is a long time to deliver on a promise, especially considering all the lives preceding and surrounding my own.What has happened, in the time of my time, is the record of my ancestors No promise was kept with them, no promise was kept with me, nor can I cou [...]

  19. Most people are not naturally reflective any than they are naturally malicious, and the white man prefers to keep the black man at a certain human remove because it is easier for him to thus preserve his simplicity and avoid being called to account for crimes committed by his forefathers, or his neighbors He is inescapable aware, nevertheless, that he is in a better position in the world than black men are, nor can he quite put to death the suspicion that he is hated by black men therefore.Go t [...]

  20. While these essays on the issue of race in the 1960s and before were very interesting to listen to, and the topic still as pertinent today as it was when this collection was released, I found the whole book a little dated, although at the same time with some very interesting sections, particularly towards the end when he recounted his experiences in Paris and Switzerland as a black man.

  21. People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster.In the foreword to this collection of essays Edward P Jones writes And so he continues on, page after page, offering light and understanding and a ruthless insistence not so much that he is correct with his vision of matters, but that to ignore his side of things is to see only a partial picture that [...]

  22. This collection of essays covers a lot of ground Baldwin writes critiques and analyses of creative works of the day that include African Americans He writes about his family, especially his strained relationship with his father He writes about being a Black man in Europe during the 1940s, which I found to be a stark contrast to Henry Miller s Tropic of Cancer I much prefer Baldwin s commentary to Miller s book Baldwin s writing is so intense that I wish I d read this in print rather than listene [...]

  23. The focus of these essays is, of course, racism in America, and since they were written in the late 40s and early 50s, one might expect them to be dated Baldwin, however, has sufficient breadth of vision to transcend topicality to make pertinent and scintillating observations about the human condition generally Thus, in the first essay, Everybody s Protest Novel, he notes that fitting into a racial stereotype is but one instance of the societal categorization from which we endlessly struggle and [...]

  24. James Baldwin on visiting his dying father in the hospital The moment I saw him I knew why I had put off this visit so long I had told my mother that I did not want to see him because I hated him But this was not true It was only that I had hated him and that I wanted to hold on to this hatred I did not want to look on him as a ruin it was not a ruin I had hated I imagine that one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, that they will be [...]

  25. So engaging I read it twice over the weekend beginning of the week He is acerbic, sometimes bitterly so, but oddly optimistic I read the 84 ed where he writes about the difference in age 31 when it was published and 60 when this ed came out and was struck by what he wrote then, with experience and wisdom accrued, about change Plus I highlighted the shit out of his essays, observational gems in every selection And the The Melodeers account of their Journey to Atlanta remains ludicrous each time [...]

  26. Baldwin takes readers through a handful of his own personal experiences as a black man in 1950s, whether through film, media, the experience of an American citizen in a country who tries to disown him, and through Europe Americans have made themselves notorious by the shrillness and the brutality with which they have insisted on this idea, but they did not invent it and it has escaped the world s notice that those very excesses of which Americans have been guilty imply a certain, unprecedented u [...]

  27. Baldwin wrote the essays in this book when in his 20 s They were published in book form when he was 31 In 1984, when he was 60, he wrote an introduction for the 30 anniversary edition I am glad for that introduction as it provided context for the essays.The first essay is a review of the book Uncle Tom s Cabin The second essay is a review of the book Native Son The third essay is a review of the movie Carmen All three are blistering and thought provoking Baldwin s take is from such a different v [...]

  28. I think this is my first essay memoire book, and i was happy to start with James Baldwin, and also this is my first Baldwin Lots of firsts To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious, is to be in a rage almost all the time So that the first problem is how to control that rage so that it won t destroy you The first half of this book is based on critique and analysis of popular Black works such as Uncle Tom s Cabin, Carmen Jones, Ebony Magazine and Native Son by Wright If you have [...]

  29. Before my review, in which I quote liberally from Baldwin as he invariably is far eloquent than I will ever be, I want to share one quote in the foreword, for no other reason than it is beautiful and everything I love about him About my interests I don t know if I have any, unless the morbid desire to own a sixteen millimeter camera and make experimental movies can be so classified Otherwise, I love to eat and drink It s my melancholy conviction that I ve scarcely ever had enough to eat this is [...]

  30. Oh, just stunning I ve finally settled on Baldwin that I can unreservedly adore Another Country annoyed me Giovanni s Room I found frequently beautiful but ideologically frustrating and sometimes uneven, stylistically This, this, this just incredible front to back The title essay offers a powerful account of Baldwin s sense of coming to identity his literary disputes are whipsmart and funny and important and his essays on Paris among the v best writing I ve read on expatriate formations communit [...]

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