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  • A Fire Next Time

    Fantastic and erudite exploration of race and power in America. As relevant then as it is now. This novel encompasses two texts prinarily, the first a poignant and sensitive letter to his young nephew and the second , a musing on race relations in America in the 60's; detailing, amongst other events, Baldwin's encounter with The Nation of Islam and Elijah Muhammed. Describing with great poetry, the American Black experience, this is nonetheless a hopeful and constructive treaty. Baldwin makes clear what is needed for America's racial wound to heal, and uses his meeting with The Nation Of Islam to juxtapose his ideology against theirs, without ever appearing condemnatory or judgemental. Baldwin weaves the thread of his own early experiences , growing up in the street corners of Harlem, addressing congregations from a fiery pulpit in order to situate the reader in a place and time as well as to illuminate the path to his own conclusions. Relevant far beyond obvious political implications, I found this a ultimately life affirming text. Shot through with a incessant urgency and clinical passion, Baldwin urges the reader to look beyond the human constructs of flag and nation, of race and religion in order to see a deeper and richer colour to existence and to grasp the nettle of life before we all succumb to the inevitable darkness.

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