James Baldwin Quotes

You know, it's not the world that was my oppressor, because what the world does to you, if the world does it to you long enough and effectively enough, you begin to do to yourself.

James Baldwin

An identity would seem to be arrived at by the way in which the person faces and uses his experience.

James Baldwin

Everything in life depends on how that life accepts its limits.

James Baldwin

People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster.

James Baldwin

Everybody's journey is individual. If you fall in love with a boy, you fall in love with a boy. The fact that many Americans consider it a disease says more about them than it does about homosexuality.

James Baldwin

The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose.

James Baldwin

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.

James Baldwin

I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.

James Baldwin

If the relationship of father to son could really be reduced to biology, the whole earth would blaze with the glory of fathers and sons.

James Baldwin

If the concept of God has any validity or any use, it can only be to make us larger, freer, and more loving. If God cannot do this, then it is time we got rid of Him.

James Baldwin

Nobody is more dangerous than he who imagines himself pure in heart; for his purity, by definition, is unassailable.

James Baldwin

I conceive of God, in fact, as a means of liberation and not a means to control others.

James Baldwin

People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become, and they pay for it, very simply, by the lives they lead.

James Baldwin

Words like "freedom," "justice," "democracy" are not common concepts; on the contrary, they are rare. People are not born knowing what these are. It takes enormous and, above all, individual effort to arrive at the respect for other people that these words imply.

James Baldwin

People are trapped in history, and history is trapped in them.

James Baldwin

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