Who is James Baldwin?
Table of Contents
James Baldwin is an American writer or author. The genres of his writings are novels, dramas, essays, and poems. Some of his writings are so famous that they win Academy Awards.
His uncompleted writing “Remember This House” was converted into a movie and then it was nominated for an Academy Award. Besides this, his novel “If Beale Street Could Talk” is also an Academy Award-winning novel.
The main theme of his writings is injustice and discrimination prevailed in a society like racial discrimination, sexual discrimination, and others. His writings are famous but his quotes are more famous. James Baldwin quotes are evidence of his talents.
Top 50 James Baldwin quotes :
1. People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them. —James Baldwin
2. The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose.—James Baldwin
3. It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.—James Baldwin
4. The paradox of education is precisely this – that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated.—James Baldwin
5. Be careful what you set your heart upon – for it will surely be yours.—James Baldwin
6. The future is like heaven, everyone exalts it, but no one wants to go there now.—James Baldwin
7. I’ve always believed that you can think positive just as well as you can think negative.—James Baldwin
8. Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.—James Baldwin
James Baldwin Quotes Freedom
9. Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it.—James Baldwin
10. I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.—James Baldwin
11. I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.—James Baldwin
12. Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.—James Baldwin
13. Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.—James Baldwin
James Baldwin Quotes on Love
14. Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.—James Baldwin
15. Love him and let him love you. Do you think anything else under heaven really matters?—James Baldwin
16. Nothing is more desirable than to be released from an affliction, but nothing is more frightening than to be divested of a crutch.—James Baldwin
17. There is never time in the future in which we will work out our salvation. The challenge is in the moment; the time is always now.—James Baldwin
18. People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it very simply; by the lives they lead.—James Baldwin
19. I am what time, circumstance, history, have made of me, certainly, but I am also, much more than that. So are we all.—James Baldwin
20. People who treat other people as less than human must not be surprised when the bread they have cast on the waters comes floating back to them, poisoned.—James Baldwin
21. No one can possibly know what is about to happen: it is happening, each time, for the first time, for the only time.—James Baldwin
22. To act is to be committed, and to be committed is to be in danger.—James Baldwin
23. The world is before you and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in.—James Baldwin
24. American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it.—James Baldwin
25. People can cry much easier than they can change.—James Baldwin
26. An identity would seem to be arrived at by the way in which the person faces and uses his experience.—James Baldwin
27. A child cannot be taught by anyone who despises him, and a child cannot afford to be fooled.—James Baldwin
28. Pessimists are the people who have no hope for themselves or for others. Pessimists are also people who think the human race is beneath their notice, that they’re better than other human beings.—James Baldwin
29. Nobody is more dangerous than he who imagines himself pure in heart; for his purity, by definition, is unassailable.—James Baldwin
30. Fires can’t be made with dead embers, nor can enthusiasm be stirred by spiritless men. Enthusiasm in our daily work lightens effort and turns even labor into pleasant tasks.—James Baldwin
31. Everybody’s journey is individual. If you fall in love with a boy, you fall in love with a boy. The fact that many Americans consider it a disease says more about them than it does about homosexuality.—James Baldwin
32. The only thing that white people have that black people need, or should want, is power-and no one holds power forever.—James Baldwin
33. Education is indoctrination if you’re white – subjugation if you’re black.—James Baldwin
34. It is only in his music, which Americans are able to admire because a protective sentimentality limits their understanding of it, that the Negro in America has been able to tell his story.—James Baldwin
35. It is very nearly impossible… to become an educated person in a country so distrustful of the independent mind.—James Baldwin
36. Money, it turned out, was exactly like sex, you thought of nothing else if you didn’t have it and thought of other things if you did.—James Baldwin
37. If the relationship of father to son could really be reduced to biology, the whole earth would blaze with the glory of fathers and sons.—James Baldwin
38. Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time.—James Baldwin
39. But the relationship of morality and power is a very subtle one. Because ultimately power without morality is no longer power.—James Baldwin
40. The reason people think it’s important to be white is that they think it’s important not to be black.—James Baldwin
James Baldwin Quotes on Justice
41. The making of an American begins at the point where he himself rejects all other ties, any other history, and himself adopts the vesture of his adopted land.—James Baldwin
42. It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.—James Baldwin
43. In order to have a conversation with someone you must reveal yourself.—James Baldwin
44. Hatred, which could destroy so much, never failed to destroy the man who hated, and this was an immutable law.—James Baldwin
45. The questions which one asks oneself begin, at least, to illuminate the world, and become one’s key to the experience of others.—James Baldwin
46. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.—James Baldwin
47. You know, it’s not the world that was my oppressor, because what the world does to you, if the world does it to you long enough and effectively enough, you begin to do to yourself.—James Baldwin
48. Europe has what we do not have yet, a sense of the mysterious and inexorable limits of life, a sense, in a word, of tragedy. And we have what they sorely need: a sense of life’s possibilities.—James Baldwin
49. I want to be an honest man and a good writer.—James Baldwin
50. It is a very rare man who does not victimize the helpless.—James Baldwin
To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.—James Baldwin
We have all had the experience of finding that our reactions and perhaps even our deeds have denied beliefs we thought were ours.—James Baldwin
The young think that failure is the Siberian end of the line, banishment from all the living, and tend to do what I then did – which was to hide.—James Baldwin
The noblest spirit is most strongly attracted by the love of glory.—James Baldwin
The primary distinction of the artist is that he must actively cultivate that state which most men, necessarily, must avoid; the state of being alone.—James Baldwin
No people come into possession of a culture without having paid a heavy price for it.—James Baldwin
When one begins to live by habit and by quotation, one has begun to stop living.—James Baldwin
Every legend, moreover, contains its residuum of truth, and the root function of language is to control the universe by describing it.—James Baldwin
When a man asks himself what is meant by action he proves that he isn’t a man of action. Action is a lack of balance. In order to act you must be somewhat insane. A reasonably sensible man is satisfied with thinking.—James Baldwin
The responsibility of a writer is to excavate the experience of the people who produced him.—James Baldwin
The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side.—James Baldwin
The South is very beautiful but its beauty makes one sad because the lives that people live here, and have lived here, are so ugly.—James Baldwin
The power of the white world is threatened whenever a black man refuses to accept the white world’s definitions.—James Baldwin
To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the making of bread.—James Baldwin
If you’re treated a certain way you become a certain kind of person. If certain things are described to you as being real they’re real for you whether they’re real or not.—James Baldwin
James Baldwin Biography :
To know about James Baldwin, you have to go through his life events. For that reason, you have to read his biography. Here we are going to discuss the biography of James Baldwin in short.
James Baldwin Early Life
James Baldwin was born on 2nd August 1924. His birthplace is New York City, New York USA. After a few years of his birth, James Baldwin’s mother left his father for drug abuse. From then James Baldwin had to live with his stepfather. In his childhood, James Baldwin had a fascination with reading.
He passed most of his time in the library. But in his adolescence, James Baldwin converted his reading passion into writing. The early life of this great author was very hard to be happy.
James Baldwin Education
This great writer passed his childhood by taking care of his step-siblings. His family faced poverty for the huge number of family members. For that condition, James Baldwin did not get the opportunity to continue his study. He completed his schooling at Frederick Douglass Junior High. This period was very important in his life. Later he studied his college education at The New School.
James Baldwin Career
The writing career of James Baldwin began in his school life. He wrote his first essay “Harlem—Then and Now” in his school life. This essay was published in his school magazine. His first officially published literary work was “Maxim Gorky” this was a review.
This was published in “The Nation” in 1947. After this, he wrote a huge number of novels and other literary works. Some of them are “The Fire Next Time”, “Giovanni’s Room”, “Go Tell It on the Mountain”, “Notes of a Native Son” and many others.
Why should we follow James Baldwin?
When we find some valuable asset in someone, then we try to follow him. This asset means some good behaviors or characteristic features. James Baldwin has some special characteristic features that attract people towards him. One of such qualities is his simple Lifestyle.
He was a famous author but he lived his life like an ordinary person. Baldwin also can be followed for his strong passion for writing. He wrote so passionately that if you read his novels you will feel like you are also involved in the story. This writing quality is special in him and it can be followed. James Baldwin quotes are also very famous among the people. Those quotes also can be followed.
Finally, we can say that Baldwin’s personal life and professional both are special. He is a person who is famous for his writing and also for his quotes.