James Arthur Baldwin was an American novelist, writer, playwright, poet, essayist and civil rights activist.
Most of Baldwin's work deals with racial and sexual issues in the mid-20th century in the United States. His novels are notable for the personal way in which they explore questions of identity as well as the way in which they mine complex social and psychological pressures related to being black and homosexual well before the social, cultural or political equality of these groups was improved.
Not long ago the body of a young girl lay crushed on the sidewalk after a plunge from a Chicago apartment window. Everyone called it suicide, but actually it was murder. The killer was a narcotic known to America as marijuana, and to history as hashish..." —Harry J. Anslinger, Commissioner of the US Bureau of Narcotics, 1930 - 1962, in The American Magazine, July 1937. [full quote][add comments][Rate][Share]
The red hairs on his J stand on end whenever he calls God a dope Dealer
It is a peculiar sensation, this double consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tape of the world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his twoness, -- an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder. W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of... [full quote][add comments][Rate][Share]
... I have come to see any American president as a person on a tightrope: on any issue, he can lean only so far to the left or right before the political laws of gravity begin to punish him. The genius of the Tea Party is that it didn't try to move the tightrope walker, it moved the tightrope itself, successfully pulling the national conversation and the entire political establishment far to the right." -- Van Jones [full quote][add comments][Rate][Share]