James Baldwin Quotes and Sayings

Here you can find the best collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous James Baldwin quotes and James Baldwin sayings, and James Baldwin proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.

"Fathers and sons arrive at that relationship only by claiming that relationship: that is by paying for it. 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

"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

"Any real change implies the breakup of the world as one has always known it, the loss of all that gave one an identity, the end of safety. And at such a moment, unable to see and not daring to imagine what the future will now bring forth, one clings to what one knew, or dreamed that one possessed. Yet, it is only when a man is able, without bitterness or self-pity, to surrender a dream he has long possessed that he is set free – he has set himself free – for higher dreams, for greater privileges."

James Baldwin

"You don’t have a home until you leave it and then, when you have left it, you never can go back."

James Baldwin

"Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced."

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

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

James Baldwin

"If one really wishes to know how justice is administered in a country, one does not question the policemen, the lawyers, the judges, or the protected members of the middle class. One goes to the unprotected–those, precisely, who need the law’s protection most!–and listens to their testimony."

James Baldwin

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