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You know, it's not the world that was my oppressor, because what the world does to you, if the world does it to you long enough and effectively enough, you begin to do to yourself.


James A. Baldwin

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I know what the world has done to my brother and how narrowly he has survived it. And I know, which ...
JAMES BALDWIN
how can one respect, let alone adopt, the values of a people who do not, on any level whatever, live...
JAMES BALDWIN
I can't believe what you say, because I see what you do.
JAMES BALDWIN
The future is like heaven, everyone exalts it, but no one wants to go there now.
JAMES BALDWIN
If you're treated a certain way you become a certain kind of person. If certain things are descr...
JAMES BALDWIN
If the concept of God has any validity or any use, it can only be to make us larger, freer, and more...
JAMES BALDWIN
Nakedness has no color: this can come as news only to those who have never covered, or been covered ...
JAMES BALDWIN
Experience that destroys innocents also leads one back to it.
JAMES BALDWIN
It is very nearly impossible... to become an educated person in a country so distrustful of the inde...
JAMES BALDWIN
Christianity has operated with an unmitigated arrogance and cruelty -- necessarily, since a religion...
JAMES BALDWIN
The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an immediate knowledge of its ugly si...
JAMES BALDWIN
We have all had the experience of finding that our reactions and perhaps even our deeds have denied ...
JAMES BALDWIN
The primary distinction of the artist is that he must actively cultivate that state which most men, ...
JAMES BALDWIN
All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forc...
JAMES BALDWIN
Hatred, which could destroy so much, never failed to destroy the man who hated and this was an immut...
JAMES BALDWIN
Whose little boy are you?
JAMES BALDWIN
To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be JAMES BALDWIN It took many years of vomiting up all the filth I’d been taught about myself, and half-believed, b...
JAMES BALDWIN
If one wishes to be instructed--not that anyone does--concerning the treacherous role that memory pl...
JAMES BALDWIN
And here I was, left with only myself to deal with. It was entirely up to me.
JAMES BALDWIN
I remembered my mother’s insistence that I always wear clean underwear because I might get knocked...
JAMES BALDWIN
There are too many things we do not wish to know about ourselves.
JAMES BALDWIN
The impossible is the least that one can demand.
JAMES BALDWIN
Please try to remember that what they believe, as well as what they do and cause you to endure does ...
JAMES BALDWIN
Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use t...
JAMES BALDWIN
The artistic image is not intended to represent the thing itself, but, rather, the reality of the fo...
JAMES BALDWIN
I can't be a pessimist because I'm alive. To be a pessimist means that you have agreed that human li...
JAMES BALDWIN
Afro-Americans. Which is but a wedding, however, of two confusions, an arbitrary linking of two unde...
JAMES BALDWIN
People, even if they are so thoughtless as to be born black, do not come into this world merely to p...
JAMES BALDWIN
Incontestably, alas, most people are not, in action, worth very much; and yet, every human being is ...
JAMES BALDWIN
All the western nations are caught in a lie, the lie of their pretended humanism: this means that th...
JAMES BALDWIN
Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.
JAMES BALDWIN
People who remember court madness through pain, the pain of the perpetually recurring death of their...
JAMES BALDWIN
Tell me, he said, "What is this thing about time? Why is it better to be late than early? People are...
JAMES BALDWIN
With everything in me screaming No! yet the sum of me sighed Yes.
JAMES BALDWIN
Europe has what we do not have yet, a sense of the mysterious and inexorable limits of life, a sense...
JAMES BALDWIN
Only a man can see in the face of a woman the girl she was. It is a secret which can be revealed onl...
JAMES BALDWIN
The time has come to realize that the interracial drama acted out on the American continent has not ...
JAMES BALDWIN
People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become. And the...
JAMES BALDWIN
Some moments in a life, and they needn't be very long or seem very important, can make up for so muc...
JAMES BALDWIN
I must—to be honest—add that my ministry almost certainly helped me through my adolescence by gi...
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 ...
JAMES BALDWIN
Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imita...
JAMES BALDWIN
You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you ...
JAMES BALDWIN
Money, it turned out, was exactly like sex, you thought of nothing else if you didn't have it and th...
JAMES BALDWIN