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The Fire Next Time

James Baldwin

The Fire Next Time is a poignant, personal observation of the turbulent life for African-Americans during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Baldwin cuts right to the heart of the matter in this masterful book, suggesting that whites in America have historically operated under the illusion that they have something that black Americans must aspire to obtain. In reality, Baldwin argues, the elaborate and violent racial apartheid maintained by whites to keep blacks in their place reveals just how morally bankrupt and bereft of authentic existence whites have become. There is nothing that whites possess which blacks could possibly want, Baldwin points out; however, whites who wish to be fully human again would do well to take a good long look inside of themselves. This book must be read by anyone interested in existentialism. Baldwin shows with great clarity that who we are is determined by the choices that we make every step of the way.

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