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James Baldwin Quotes
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.
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.
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.
An identity would seem to be arrived at by the way in which the person faces and uses his experience.
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.
The reason people think it's important to be white is that they think it's important not to be black.
It is a very rare man who does not victimize the helpless.
The making of an American begins at the point where he himself rejects all other ties, any other history, and himself adopts the vesture of his adopted land.
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.
We have all had the experience of finding that our reactions and perhaps even our deeds have denied beliefs we thought were ours.
But the relationship of morality and power is a very subtle one. Because ultimately power without morality is no longer power.
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.
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.
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 responsibility of a writer is to excavate the experience of the people who produced him.
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John W. Gardner
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