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From the back cover ~ "Drawing on Baldwin's own experience of prejudice in an America, violently divided by race, these searing essays blend the intensely personal with the political to envusage a better world." Racism is still one of the worst 'inventions' by mankind. With an inflated ego, boosted by a hollow sense of 'superiority', the white people have dominated the people of colour since forever. From literature to the actual living condition, the black people have been subjected to inhuman treatment, fueled by the myth of white supremacy.
James Baldwin, a black American lived through these conditions and had experienced the harsh brutality first hand. Through the 3 essays in the book he has narrated his experience, sometimes jokingly, but never does he shy away from point out the reality of racism.
If you have faced any kind of discrimination in your life, you must read this book. Although having racism as their base, these essays can be read as the starting point of a protest against any oppression or discrimination.
Though set in racially divided America in the '50s and '60s, James Baldwin's account is universally and timelessly relevant, as he sees right into the deepest darkest selves of all human beings. The book simply shines light.
This is a member of the Penguin Moderns series, which are true pocket-sized books. It has 50 small pages and is a book of articles written by James Baldwin. The articles give some background to Baldwin’s early years in America before he left for France. In all of these articles the position of black America in white America is central.
The three articles are: Dark Days, 18 pages, first published in Esquire in 1980; The Price of the Ticket, 22 pages, from 1985; The White Man's Guilt, 10 pages, published in Ebony in 1965. Dark Days is an overview of his youth in Harlem. The title comes from a section about a contemporary visit to The South (contemporary when it was published in 1980). There he attended a trial in Birmingham, Alabama where the defendant was not legally, but openly acquitted. It concerned the bombing of a church 22 years before. The bomber received the minimum sentence of 10 years and was freed on bail. The Price of the Ticket describes his late teens and early twenties when he moved downtown to Greenwich Village. In it he says "The Irish middle passage . . . was as foul as my own, and as dishonourable on the part of those responsible for it. But the Irish became white when they got here and began rising in the world, whereas I became black and began sinking." The White Man's Guilt is a much earlier essay. It discusses how white America views Black America and vice versa.
James Baldwin writes like he means it with critical observations of the harsh reality in front of him. He doesn't mean to offend but it's difficult to see how some readers wouldn't be. I guess it's truth laid bare, let loose. In these three essays Baldwin talks about a country and indeed the world in a brutally honestly poetic way. It's difficult not to feel the hurt but the honesty is plain to read.
‘Dark Days’ is a little book made up of three different essays. These were all written around 1980 but they are strikingly similar to the events we are experiencing today. These essays are just another example of how systemic racism is still a huge problem, even though a lot of people like to bring up ‘how far we’ve come since then’. In reality, we’ve really only taken two steps forward and one step back. If that.
This was my first time reading Baldwin’s work and I loved it. He has a writing style and voice which just hits you to your core and it’s really powerful.
This book is a great little book by James Baldwin on race in America. His blunt, direct and unapologetic. His not trying to placate anybody when he talks about controversial issues. It is a short but great introduction to the writer and poet James Baldwin.
I really recommend picking this one up and getting the books in this series in general. This was a great way to read something from an author new to me and it has since made me want to buy more of their work!