Looking for famous quotes and sayings by James Baldwin? This is where you will find them, including all the sayings by James Baldwin

Quotes By James Baldwin

Nationality
:
DOB
:
2-08-1924
DOD
:
1-12-1987

Virtuoso writer and passionate activist James Baldwin has always been in the news. In fact he was one of those African-Americans who were constantly under the scrutiny of the FBI. What makes him such a sought-after celebrity? Let’s find out:

  • He shared a relationship with the Church that couldn’t be defined in mere words. He was just 14 when Baldwin became a preacher. He had gone through what he described as a “prolonged religious crisis.”  Within three years, he was convinced that Christianity was nothing but a misconception. When questioned about his religious beliefs, Baldwin replied, “I?  Now? Nothing, I’m a writer. I like doing things alone.”
  • His friends were quite famous too—for more than twenty years, Marlon ‘The Godfather’ Brando and Baldwin were the closest of friends. They even shared rooms when both were young and trying to make a career in New York. Other close acquaintances were Harry Belafonte, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Sidney Poitier and Angela Davis among others. His eulogy was written by Toni Morrison of ‘The Bluest Eye’ fame in 1987 for the ‘New York Times Newspaper’.
  • This American writer escaped from home and the United States, travelling all the way to France, fearing for his life owing to the rampant racism in the nation. He said, “My luck was running out. I was going to go to jail, I was going to kill somebody or be killed. My best friend had committed suicide two years earlier, jumping off the George Washington Bridge.”

People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it very simply; by the lives they lead.

- James Baldwin

It is very nearly impossible to become an educated person in a country so distrustful of the independent mind.

- James Baldwin

Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.

- James Baldwin

Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.

- James Baldwin

Freedom is not something that anybody can be given. Freedom is something people take, and people are as free as they want to be

- James Baldwin

I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.

- The Fire Next Time , James Baldwin

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

- James Baldwin

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

- James Baldwin

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.

- James Baldwin

You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.

- James Baldwin

Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.

- Giovanni's Room , James Baldwin

All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up.

- James Baldwin

Love takes off the masks we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.

- James Baldwin

People can cry much easier than they can change.

- James Baldwin

Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.

- James Baldwin

I love America more than any other country in the world and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.

- Notes of a Native Son , James Baldwin

An identity would seem to be arrived at by the way in which the person faces and uses his experience.

- James Baldwin

Confronted with the impossibility of remaining faithful to one's beliefs, and the equal impossibility of becoming free of them, one can be driven to the most inhuman excesses.

- James Baldwin

Europe has what we do not have yet, a sense of the mysterious and inexorable limits of life, a sense, in a word, of tragedy. And we have what they sorely need: a sense of life's possibilities.

- James Baldwin

If you're treated a certain way you become a certain kind of person. If certain things are described to you as being real they're real for you whether they're real or not.

- James Baldwin

It is a great shock at the age of five or six to find that in a world of Gary Coopers you are the Indian.

- James Baldwin

It is a very rare man who does not victimize the helpless.

- No Name in the Street , James Baldwin

It is only in his music, which Americans are able to admire because a protective sentimentality limits their understanding of it, that the Negro in America has been able to tell his story.

- James Baldwin

The making of an American begins at the point where he himself rejects all other ties, any other history, and himself adopts the venture of his adopted land.

- James Baldwin

The paradox of education is precisely this; that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated.

- James Baldwin

The primary distinction of the artist is that he must actively cultivate that state which most men, necessarily, must avoid; the state of being alone.

- James Baldwin

The reason people think it's important to be white is that they think it's important not to be black.

- James Baldwin

The responsibility of a writer is to excavate the experience of the people who produced him.

- James Baldwin

The South is very beautiful but its beauty makes one sad because the lives that people live here, and have lived here, are so ugly.

- James Baldwin

We have all had the experience of finding that our reactions and perhaps even our deeds have denied beliefs we thought were ours.

- James Baldwin

The establishment of democracy on the American continent was scarcely as radical a break with the past as was the necessity, which Americans faced, of broadening this concept to include black men.

- James Baldwin

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