50 Best James Baldwin Quotes Author of Giovanni’s Room

Baldwin, James Arthur, was an activist and writer from the United States. He received fame as a writer in a variety of mediums, including essays, novels, plays, and poems.

If you are looking for James Baldwin Quotes, then browse through our collection of James Baldwin Quotes that we have collected from many sources on the internet.

James Baldwin Quotes Author of Giovanni’s Room

  1. “What is happening in this country among the young, and not only the black young, is an overwhelming suspicion that it’s not worth it.” – James Baldwin
  2. “There seemed to be no way whatever to remove this cloud that stood between them and the sun, between them and love and life and power, between them and whatever it was that they wanted.” – James Baldwin
  3. “As far as I knew when I was very, very young there’d never been anything … called a black writer.” – James Baldwin
  4. “You have somehow to begin to break out of all of that and try to become yourself. It’s hard for anybody, but it’s very hard if you’re born black in a white society.” – James Baldwin
  5. “The price in this country to survive at all still is to become a white man.”’ – James Baldwin
  6. “In order to achieve the life I wanted, I had been dealt, it seemed to me, the worst possible hand.” – James Baldwin
  7. “Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but, most of all, endurance.” – James Baldwin
  8. “I could not sing. I could not dance. I had been well conditioned by the world in which I grew up, so I did not yet dare take the idea of becoming a writer seriously.” – James Baldwin
  9. “In New York the color of my skin stood between myself and me, but in Europe that barrier was down.” – James Baldwin
  10. “Color is not a human or a personal reality; it is a political reality.” – James Baldwin
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  11. “One cannot be romantic about human nature; one cannot be romantic about one’s own nature.” – James Baldwin
  12. “If you don’t look at it, you can’t change it. You’ve got to look at it.” – James Baldwin
  13. “I believe that the unexamined life is not worth living, and the writer certainly cannot afford any self-delusion for his subject is himself and the world he is in.” – James Baldwin
  14. “The American soil is full of the corpses of my ancestors. Why is my freedom or my citizenship, or my right to live there, how is it conceivably a question now?” – James Baldwin
  15. “Once you realize that you can do something, it would be difficult to live with yourself if you didn’t do it.” – James Baldwin
  16. “Since we live in an age in which silence is not only criminal but suicidal, I have been making as much noise as I can.” – James Baldwin
  17. “I envisage a world which is almost impossible to imagine in this country. A world in which race would count for nothing.” – James Baldwin
  18. “Communication is a two-way street, really, it’s a matter of listening to one another.” – James Baldwin
  19. “Painters have often taught writers how to see. And once you’ve had that experience, you see differently.” – James Baldwin

Inspirational James Baldwin Quotes

  1. On becoming a writer: “I’d been a preacher for three years, from age fourteen to seventeen. Those were three years which probably turned me to writing.” – James Baldwin
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  2. “I’ve been compelled in some ways by describing my circumstances to learn to live with them. It’s not the same thing as accepting them.” – James Baldwin
  3. “The whole language of writing for me is finding out what you don’t want to know, what you don’t want to find out. But something forces you to anyway.” – James Baldwin
  4. “I’ve never written a speech. I can’t read a speech. It’s kind of give-and-take. You have to sense the people you’re talking to. You have to respond to what they hear.” – James Baldwin
  5. “I’m still learning how to write. I don’t know what technique is. All I know is that you have to make the reader see it.” – James Baldwin
  6. “I couldn’t sit somewhere honing my talent to a fine edge after I had been to all those places in the South and seen those boys and girls, men and women, black and white, longing for change. It was impossible for me to drop them a visit and then leave.” – James Baldwin
  7. “The question of colour hides the graver questions of the self and that’s why the whole thing is so hard to overcome and why It’s so dangerous for our society.” – James Baldwin
  8. In the New Yorker, 1962: “God is black.” – James Baldwin
  9. “They had the judges, the juries, the shotguns, the law—in a word, power. But it was a criminal power, to be feared but not respected, and to be outwitted in any way whatever.” – James Baldwin
  10. “You can’t have a war on poverty unless you are willing to attack those people [in power] and limit their profits.” – James Baldwin
  11. “We know that democracy does not mean the coercion of all into a deadly—and, finally, wicked—mediocrity but the liberty for all to aspire to the best that is in him, or that has ever been.” – James Baldwin
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  12. “The American triumph—in which the American tragedy has always been implicit—was to make black people despise themselves.” – James Baldwin
  13. “If you have people up in the United States Senate filibustering about whether or not you are human, then obviously you are going to have a reaction in the streets.” – James Baldwin
  14. “I speak of change not on the surface but in the depth—change in the sense of renewal.” – James Baldwin

Famous James Baldwin Quotes

  1. “I don’t believe you do the right thing because you think it’s the right thing. I think you may be forced to do it because it will be the expedient thing. Which is good enough.” – James Baldwin
  2. “God gave Noah the rainbow sign, No more water, the fire next time!” – James Baldwin
  3. “I object to the term “looters” because I wonder who is looting whom, baby.” – James Baldwin
  4. “[This revolution] is for Negroes to liberate themselves and their children from the economic and social sanctions imposed on them because they were slaves here.” – James Baldwin
  5. “We call it riots, because they were black people. We wouldn’t call it riots if they were white people.” – James Baldwin
  6. “What [Stokely Carmichael] is suggesting that frightens the American white people is that the Black people in this country are tied to subjugated people everywhere in the world.” – James Baldwin
  7. “Pressure is being brought to bear by the people in the streets, especially by the poor and by the young, so that movement leaders are always in a position of having to assess, very carefully, their tactics.” – James Baldwin
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  8. “To defend oneself against a fear is simply to insure that one will, one day, be conquered by it; fears must be faced.” – James Baldwin
  9. “For, if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night.” – James Baldwin
  10. “I don’t consider myself a spokesman—I have always thought it would be rather presumptuous.” – James Baldwin
  11. “The American Negro has had to accommodate a vast amount of hatred since he’s been here.” – James Baldwin
  12. “The standards of the civilization into which you are born are first outside of you, and by the time you get to be a man they’re inside of you.” – James Baldwin
  13. “It comes as a great shock around the age of five, or six, or seven, to discover that the country to which you have pledged allegiance along with everyone else has not pledged allegiance to you.” – James Baldwin
  14. “You can’t teach a child if the situation in which he is studying is intolerable… no Negro child who is going to a segregated school, which costs millions of dollars, is fooled about why he’s there. He’s there because white people want him there and no place else.” – James Baldwin
  15. “I was a black kid and was expected to write from that perspective. Yet I had to realize the black perspective was dictated by the white imagination.” – James Baldwin
  16. “If the American Negro, the American black man, is going to become a free person in this country, the people of this country have to give up something. If they don’t give it up, it will be taken from them.” – James Baldwin
  17. “We must fight for your life as though it were our own—which it is.” – James Baldwin

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