I am reading James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time. The letter to his nephew in many ways is encouraging yet heartbreaking. Baldwin is forced to share the harsh truths about what it is to be a black man in America. It speaks to the incredible odds young men are up against when trying to survive this culture. After sharing his letter to his nephew, which he took pains to write, Baldwin goes on to describe his own boyhood and the unfortunate experiences he was forced to endure, the pressure to find a “gimmick” and the decision to allow the church to be his refuge.
I am still reading, but already the work is engaging and shares a viewpoint that, sadly, is still being discussed, debated and felt by black men today.