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Black Rights

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By gameofcodes999
Words 1078
Pages 5
Analysis of James Baldwin’s Letter to My Nephew:
The Unity of Races in the United States of America, a Common Jailer

Near the one hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his namesake nephew, who had been imprisoned for defying his racial ranking. He declared his primary dispute with his country as the inhibition that accompanies the existence of being an African American. However, contrary to the popular tactic of most protestors, Baldwin did not label white people as the enemy for victimizing African Americans. Instead, he considered the white people to be the victims and deemed it a responsibility of the black community to accept their white countrymen for this crutch. In the heart of his letter, Baldwin wanted to convey to his nephew that he should never give into the standards of the white folk; instead, he should help the whites come into the acknowledgment of their primitive and unjust beliefs. And in the pursuit of a better America, he should lovingly accept his countrymen into the new era. The contents of his letter served to remove his nephew from the immediate danger of losing himself and to advise his nephew by outlining the reason white people oppose integration. Baldwin believed that his nephew was in crucial danger and made references to his predecessors in order to highlight how tolling the white folk’s standards could be on a black man’s spirit. The grandfather’s life represented the most degradative effect the white people could have on a black man. “… he had a terrible life; he was defeated long before he died, because at the bottom of his heart, he truly believed what white people said about him…” (pp 13 Baldwin). Baldwin’s point was obvious: if his nephew followed in the steps of his grandfather by accepting the standards of white people, then he would be defeated and his life forfeit. To...

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