James Baldwin's Autobiography, The Nation Of Islam

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The white man kidnapped Africans to a place we call America. The white man used their intimidation and demeaning words to overpower and put fear in these African’s lives. The white man used such scare tactics for over 400 years. In James Baldwin’s argumentative autobiography, The Fire Next Time, written in 1963, The Nation of Islam make pleas for the justification and superiority of all blacks while degrading the whites as the Devil’s creation, a creation that had run its course and was now ready to be destroyed. Encounters with this black Islamic movement, discussed in this essay, I argue the proper conclusion that the Nation of Islam’s message was an angry one and the idea of a complete extermination of all whites is irrational and, in…show more content…
The black community has suffered far too long and they should hold themselves on a higher pedestal, but not so high that they in turn start to act in the way the whites treated them not too long ago. Baldwin is invited by Elijah Muhammad to dinner at his house a member of the Islamic group states “The white man sure is a devil” (Baldwin, 65). The word devil is such a mean, evil spirited word. The lowest thing any man would want to be heard called and compared to. Baldwin doesn’t agree the white man is the devil, but “according to Elijah, that [he] failed to realize that the white man was a devil was that [he] had been too long exposed to white teaching and had never received true instruction” (Baldwin, 66). Baldwin was given the opportunity to become an influential part of this Islamic movement, but Baldwin does not agree with what they preach and believe. Upon leaving Baldwin “wished to be able to love and honor [Muhammad] as a witness, an ally, and a father” (Baldwin, 78), but “…would be strangers, and possibly, one day, enemies” (Baldwin, 79). Because he was so opposing to the movement’s principles to be best friends with the leader of the movement would be seen as contradictory. Being friends with Muhammad would be like Martin Luther King, Jr. befriending Malcolm X. Although they both had the same cause, the want for equal rights for African-Americans, the Nation of Islam’s approach puts them on the same platform as the whites of America,
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