James Baldwin Notes of a Native Son Essay

In: popular topics

      Collection of essay entitled as Notes Of A Native Son (1955) let alone James Baldwin`s other collections entitled as Nobody Knows My Name (1960) and The Fire Next Time (1963) are of overriding concern due to which he has become a famous activist for human rights in the country he lived in.

     In the latter days of his life, the condition of his health and excessive drinking made it to where the quality of his books has become rather poor. Such novels as If Beale Street Could Talk (1974) and Just Above My Head (1979) are rather unsatisfactory. Nevertheless, his authority as a public activist was huge in the years 1970`s-1980`s.

     He was even chosen to be an Order of the Legion of Honor Commander in appreciation of his merits in the year 1986. It is so hard to say yes to life, he said. He was always worried upon how to find oneself, how to be truthful, how to say “yes” without any fear – to accept his own sexual preferences, his own race and his own bitter contradictions. Inability to love is the main problem as long as a certain fear hides behind this inability, a fear to be caught on the raw.

     If one is impossible to be reached out to, one is incapable of changes. If you are unable to change, you do not live adequately. According to what was said above, it is clear that a tar baby is a hinge of life and activity of Baldwin, a secret of his continued importance for a fight for both, being gay, being black and being a human.

     Going back to the collection of essays entitled Notes Of A Native Son, these essays are mostly about a matter of race in Europe and the United States of America. These essays were published in different periodicals. It is spoken of a racial dilemma and a matter of American identity.

     The collection is divided into few groups of essays. The first group of essays has a black person being an artist as its focus and the image of this artist within a cultural norm. The second group of essays focuses on sociopolitical picture.

     If to speak about fine novelists and essayists, James Baldwin is surely one of them. He wrote fiction and nonfiction and some people say his nonfiction to be even finer than his fiction writing. The third section of the collection is dedicated to Americans and attitude to them in Paris.

     Baldwin is an explorer of himself and the world around through his essays. Notes Of A Native Son is an analysis of relationships based on race. He shows how African-American should react to display of racism. He restores in his memory his father who hated white people very much. His father died being in his being embittered.

     Notes Of A Native Son was that very book, which established his place as a social critic in American literature. It is one of his most admiring books. It is same powerful today as it was when it was first written. 

***