My Brother's Keeper

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Debra Shaw Professor Magarine English II 21 February 2012 My Brother’s Keeper James Baldwin was an artist who transcended above the voice and ideas of critics who did not think he would be successful in his endeavors. He lived during an era of time when segregation was rampant and blacks did not have a vote. Although, Baldwin was black, poor and gay he made a great impact on society with his creative writing style. “Sonny Blues,” depicts a true historical event of the racial tension and difficulties that African American Families faced in the 1950’s. Living in the ghetto is a time of darkness and despair for most black families and for a majority of the people it is a way of life and death. In “Sonny’s Blues, Baldwin captures the lives of one particular African American Family tumultuous life in Harlem during the era of segregation with conflict and secrets that almost destroy the family structure. The analysis of the Narrator’s character helps to understand the theme of acceptance through the art of listening. As the story unfolds, the Narrator is alternating between unbelief and fear over his estranged brother’s troubles and the acceptance of his [brother’s] lifestyle. “I read about it in the paper, in the subway, on my work, I read it, and I couldn’t believe it and I read it again. I was scared, scared for Sonny” (Baldwin 52). The fact that the Brother reads about Sonny’s dilemma in the newspaper is a prime indicator that he and his brother is at odds with each other. Despite the separation between the two brothers, the Narrator’s fear is real because Sonny is his brother and kinfolks look out for each other. According to the writer, “he became real to me again” (Baldwin 52). The Narrator seems to forget about his brother until Sonny is caught selling and using drugs. The guilt that the Narrator feels over his brother’s troubles would not go

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