Best New Famous James Baldwin Quotes and Saying

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James Baldwin Quotes and Saying

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
 
“Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.”
 
“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.”
 
“People who treat other people as less than human must not be surprised when the bread they have cast on the waters comes floating back to them, poisoned.”
 
“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.”
 
“Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.”
 
“The purpose of education… is to create in a person the ability to look at the world for himself, to make his own decisions.”
 
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
 
“Fires can’t be made with dead embers, nor can enthusiasm be stirred by spiritless men. Enthusiasm in our daily work lightens effort and turns even labor into pleasant tasks.”
 
“To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.”
 
“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.”
 
“The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose.”
 
“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.”
 
“If one really wishes to know how justice is administered in a country, one does not question the policemen, the lawyers, the judges, or the protected members of the middle class. One goes to the unprotected — those, precisely, who need the law’s protection most!”
 
“You have to decide who you are and force the world to deal with you, not with its idea of you.”
 
“The power of the white world is threatened whenever a black man refuses to accept the white world’s definitions.”
 
“It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.”
 
“One discovers the light in darkness, that is what darkness is for.”
 
“The questions which one asks oneself begin, at least, to illuminate the world, and become one’s key to the experience of others.”
 
“People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.”
 
“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.”
 
“Artists are here to disturb the peace.”
 
“The victim who is able to articulate the situation of the victim has ceased to be a victim: he or she has become a threat.”
 
“The responsibility of a writer is to excavate the experience of the people who produced him.”
 
“Any real change implies the breakup of the world as one has always known it, the loss of all that gave one an identity, the end of safety.”
 
“It is very nearly impossible… to become an educated person in a country so distrustful of the independent mind.”
 
“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.”
 
“A civilization is not destroyed by wicked people; it is not necessary that people be wicked but only that they be spineless.”
 
“Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time.”
 
“The precise role of the artist, then, is to illuminate that darkness, blaze roads through that vast forest, so that we will not, in all our doing, lose sight of its purpose, which is, after all, to make the world a more human dwelling place.”
 
“The world is before you, and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in.”
 
“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.”
 
“People are trapped in history, and history is trapped in them.”
 
“We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.”
 
“Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.”
 
“The purpose of education… is to create in a person the ability to look at the world for himself, to make his own decisions.”
 
“It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.”
 
“You write in order to change the world, knowing perfectly well that you probably can’t, but also knowing that literature is indispensable to the world… The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way a person looks or people look at reality, then you can change it.”
 
“Artists are here to disturb the peace.”
 
“People pay for what they do, and still more, for what they have allowed themselves to become.”
 
“If one really wishes to know how justice is administered in a country, one does not question the policemen, the lawyers, the judges, or the protected members of the middle class. One goes to the unprotected — those, precisely, who need the law’s protection most!”
 
“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.”
 
“The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side.”
 
“Hatred, which could destroy so much, never failed to destroy the man who hated, and this was an immutable law.”
 
“Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.”
 
“I cannot be a pessimist because I am alive.”
 
“The place in which I’ll fit will not exist until I make it.”
 
“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”
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