book hack

The Fire Next Time

James Baldwin

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

This seminal 1963 text by American writer James Baldwin explores race in the United States, centering on Baldwin's personal life growing up in Harlem, as well as more far-reaching social aspects of the Black experience.


The Fire Next Time

The Fire Next Time

by James Baldwin


America's long history of white supremacy has shaped the fabric of the nation and contributed to the systemic ways in which Black people are oppressed. American institutions, such as those of government and law enforcement, have historically done little to ensure fair and equal treatment of Black people, even following the civil rights movement that occurred almost 100 years after emancipation.

In this 1963 book, renowned novelist, poet, playwright, and essayist James Baldwin investigates the Black experience in America. Written in two parts and beginning with a letter to the author's nephew, The Fire Next Time probes the depths of Baldwin's own life, weaving his experiences into a larger commentary on race in America.

Favorite quote

White Americans find it as difficult as white people elsewhere do to divest themselves of the notion that they are in possession of some intrinsic value that black people need, or want.

- James Baldwin

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