Culture

Remembering Literary Icon and Civil Rights Activist, James Baldwin

Remembering Literary Icon and Civil Rights Activist, James Baldwin

A giant amongst men.

James Arthur Baldwin was a writer, playwright, essayist, and activist who is widely considered the civil rights movement's voice. He is best known for such works as "Go Tell It on the Mountain" (1953), "Notes of a Native Son" (1955), "Another Country" (1962), and "If Beale Street Could Talk" (1974), Biography reports. His work gave language to the struggles of Blacks in America and served as the impetus for more in-depth discussions surrounding race, sex, and class.

In honor of James Baldwin, here are ten quotes courtesy of Everyday Power that are sure to stir your consciousness.

“Please try to remember that what they believe, as well as what they do and cause you to endure does not testify to your inferiority but to their inhumanity.”

 

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”

 

“Our crown has already been bought and paid for. All we have to do is wear it”

 

“You have to decide who you are and force the world to deal with you, not with its idea of you.”

 

“I think that the inability to love is the central problem, because that inability masks a certain terror, and that terror is the terror of being touched. And if you can’t be touched, you can’t be changed. And if you can’t be changed, you can’t be alive.”

 

“Everything in life depends on how that life accepts its limits.”

 

“White people are trapped in a history they don’t understand” and “Ignorance allied with power is the most ferocious enemy justice can have”

 

“One must say Yes to life and embrace it wherever it is found—and it is found in terrible places; nevertheless, there it is.”

 

“No people come into possession of a culture without having paid a heavy price for it.”

 

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read.”

 

May you rest in power Mr. Baldwin.

Photo Courtesy of Associated Press