James Baldwin

1924 - 1987

A Quote by James Baldwin on earth, life, light, and place

One must say Yes to life, and embrace it wherever it is found - and it is found in terrible places...  For nothing is fixed, forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock.  Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have.  The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us.  The moment we cease to hold each other, the moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.

James Baldwin (1924 - 1987)

Source: Fumbling Toward Divinity: The Adoption Scriptures

Contributed by: ingebrita

A Quote by James A. Baldwin

I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.

James Baldwin (1924 - 1987)

Contributed by: Keshalyi

A Quote by James Baldwin on james baldwin and love

“The moment we cease to hold each other, the moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.”

James Baldwin (1924 - 1987)

Contributed by: torrid_wind™

A Quote by James Baldwin on james baldwin and love

The moment we cease to hold each other, the moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.

James Baldwin (1924 - 1987)

Contributed by: torrid_wind™

A Quote by James Baldwin on music

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All I know about music is that not many people ever really hear it. And even then, on the rare occasions when something opens within, and the music enters, what we mainly hear, or hear corroborated, are personal, private, vanishing evocations. But the man who creates the music is hearing something else, is dealing with the roar rising from the void and imposing order on it as it hits the air. What is evoked in him, then, is of another order, more terrible because it has no words, and triumphant, too, for that same reason. And his triumph, when he triumphs, is ours.

James Baldwin (1924 - 1987)

Source: Sonny's Blues

Contributed by: Kimb

A Quote by James Baldwin on music and jazz

in

I just watched Sonny's face. His face was troubled, he was working hard, but he wasn't with it. And I had the feeling that, in a way, everyone on the bandstand was waiting for him, both waiting for him and pushing him along. But as I began to watch Creole, I realized that it was Creole who held them all back. He had them on a short rein. Up there, keeping the beat with his whole body, wailing on the fiddle, with his eyes half closed, he was listening to everything, but he was listening to Sonny. He was having a dialogue with Sonny. He wanted Sonny to leave the shoreline and strike out for the deep water. He was Sonny's witness that deep water and drowning are not the same thing - he had been there, and he knew. He wanted Sonny to know. He was waiting for Sonny to do the things on the keys which would let Creole know that Sonny was in the water.

James Baldwin (1924 - 1987)

Source: Sonny's Blues

Contributed by: Kimb

A Quote by James Baldwin

Not everything that is faced can be changed.
But nothing can be changed until it is faced.

James Baldwin (1924 - 1987)

Contributed by: Angela

A Quote by James Baldwin on love, growth, fear, daring, and grace

“Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word “love” here not merely in a personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace- not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth”

James Baldwin (1924 - 1987)

Source: The Fire Next Time

Contributed by: Christine

A Quote by James Baldwin on change, literature, order, and world

You write in order to change the world, knowing perfectly well that you probably can't, but also knowing that literature is indispensable to the world. . . .

James Baldwin (1924 - 1987)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by James Baldwin

One can only face in others what one can face in oneself.

James Baldwin (1924 - 1987)

Contributed by: Zaady

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