The Fire Next Time
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin is not a ?story? in the conventional way we are used to a story with a main character, a plot and so forth. This book is more of a diary entry of Baldwin?s experiences with certain topics, mainly racism and religion. Baldwin examines his relationship with the church in his youth, the events surrounding him that lead him to that relationship. During his meeting with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, he compares the feelings of his past relationship with God, to the Nation of Islam.
Baldwin, like myself and many other Americans, was pushed into church as a child. Not attending for the enlightenment that God is supposed to bring us, nor the divine revelation that we experience when we are ?saved?, he attended church because it was the right thing to do. ?I supposed that God and safety were synonymous? (Baldwin 16). He walked the streets of my current neighborhood, and saw the things that I witnessed as a child attending school in lower Manhattan. Hookers, pimps, gamblers, addicts, and an assortment of other things made a ?bad? neighborhood. Witnessing this, he felt that the only safe place from this was church. He was
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