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OfflineKing Koopa
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James Baldwin Speaks! The Fire This Time: A Message to Black Youth. * 1
    #836815 - 03/26/19 04:49 AM (28 days, 10 hours ago)

One/ A baby is not born with any idea of a society, no sense whatever, of other people, its mother exists principally, in fact entirely, for him or her. And its father exists, somewhat later, entirely for him or her. It’s only much much later that the baby begins to realize that the parent on whom he depended for everything and whom he supposed held up the world, is in fact, just another human being, who was not invented for him. That is on the most primary level, one of the meanings of an education.

On another level, it is the only way that one is enabled to enlarge the world. Now, that sounds like a very grandiose phrase. All it means is that when you, for example, begin to read you begin to discover more about the world than you knew before. You discover more about the world in two ways- this is why this is important…. there being, in fact, two worlds.

One world is you. That...that...this envelope. I am a world. I am not the only world. That’s the problem. But I am a world. And I am under the obligation to discover whatever it is that goes on in that world. And in order to do that, I have got to consent to become a social animal in order to discover and enlarge what goes on in THIS world, which is all of you and many millions of people both living and dead. Past and to come. And finally- this is where it begins to be difficult- the measure of one’s dignity depends on one’s estimate of one’s self. It really does not depend- as so many people in this country now seem to believe- on someone else’s estimate. It depends first of all on what you take yourself to be, what your real standards are, what you think is right, what you think is wrong, what you think life is all about, what you think life is for.

Now you are all very young. And I say that, by the way, with great humility. You are all still unformed. Or let me put it another way: You are not finally formed. And you are still, to put it brutally- I want to put it brutally because I want to make my point absolutely clear- you are still at the mercy of your elders. You are still at the mercy of the standards of your elders. Let us go back again to the whole concept of education. And bear in mind, then that education does not- and can not- occur in a vacuum. It occurs in a social context.  It occurs in a social context and it has social ends.

For example- to take a very brutal example- the children of the Third Reich were educated by the Third Reich in order to fulfill the purposes of the Third Reich. Hitler did this on a very old principle. The principle referred to by priests and in the Bible, and which every parent somewhere knows...if you give me the child for five years, I’ll have him the rest of his life.

So if that is so, then one has to be aware that one of the purposes of education- your responsibility before your educators- is to question the purpose of this education. Let me give you then… your education is occurring within a given context, at a certain time in history, in a certain country, at a certain time in its history. And in fact, [it is] in a very crucial time in its history. If, for example- well, I will be personal about this one- when I was going to school, a school not very unlike this one, though not as pretty, I began to be bugged by the teaching of American history.

I began to be bugged by the teaching of American history because it seemed that history had been accomplished without my presence. And this had a very demoralizing effect on me when I was your age and younger, nd had a very demoralizing effect for quite a few years thereafter.

Now, that may seem to be trivial. But speaking now as though I were your educator, as if I were your teacher: MY responsibility to you would be invest you with all of the morale that I could to prepare you for the terrible storm that is called life. Terrible and Beautiful. But you must know that it is both. And you don’t quite know it and it is my responsibility to make you know it. It’s my responsibility for you to know, speaking now as your educator, to give you as true a version of your history as I can… since it is through your sense of your own history that you arrive at your identity. And no one has arrived at their sense of their own identity without it. This is why ancestors are important.

We- all of us here now- are living through a certain kind of turmoil which endangers all of our relationships. This turmoil is sometimes described as racial. We can use that word for the moment. But it is really not racial. It is historical and it is personal. Let me speak again about the aims of society. As opposed now to the aims of an education.

The aims of a society are and always must be to inculcate in its citizens a certain sense of security and to discourage its citizens from disturbing the peace. Now, this is a necessity and it is even an admirable necessity. Because we cannot live without society and society- as a fact- is a very beautiful creation. Nevertheless it is also equally true that all societies have been brought into existence- very painfully and very slowly- by men. And the people who are responsible for the creation of societies must forever ask questions, all questions... taking nothing whatsoever for granted because that is the only way the frontiers of the world fall back and the world- as I said before- begins to be enlarged.

So what this means is that all societies are under the obligation to educate all of its citizens. It is also under the obligation to discourage people from thinking too much. Now this is where all of you come in.

My responsibility again- if I am your teacher- is to teach you to think. This is not an easy thing to do. If I want you to think, I must teach you to think about everything. I must teach you that there is a reason for everything you do and that you must find that reason. If, for example- and now, I will be personal, I’m afraid, but I mean it in the best possible way- if I were your teacher and let us say I was dealing with one of who, let’s say, happens to be a Negro, about 16 or 17. And I knew that you were beginning to wonder what you were doing in school in the first place. And what waited for you outside, what good was it to be here because nothing here prepared you for what was outside [school]… knowing your bitterness and not trying for a moment to pretend that it is not justified.  I would then have to suggest to you that the problems that you face, you have to make them personal. And then I would ask you very rude questions.

For example, I would ask you- if you were a boy- why you dressed the way you did and if your hair was cut, I would ask you to ask yourself “WHY?” To come back again, this is a very small example of what I mean, to the war between society and thought: it is your responsibility as young American citizens to understand that the standards by which you are confronted and by which many of you are visibly and obviously victimized, and others of you not so obviously but equally victimized… are not the only standards in the world. There is no reason for anybody to want to look like a Greek god. That is not the world’s only standard of beauty.

And furthermore, the virtues to which we all in one way or another aspire- of a comfortable life, which is to say a middle class life- are not the only virtues. I come from a very poor family and there’s a vast amount of vitality, which is a very definite virtue, to be found in those circumstances.

Finally, if I were your teachers, I would beg you - to insist you fight with me, and not let me get away with anything. No matter how I may sound, I’m really only mortal. And though I love you very much and feel responsible for you… I’m not always right. We depend on each other, the old and the young, to learn from each other. I would beg you to ask me why, for example, your history books are the way that they are and I would beg you to force me to answer. If you asked me what relevance your education had for concrete problems such as: getting an apartment; moving from one part of town to another. If I were you, I would force ME, I would put me on the spot, ask me the most difficult questions that you can. And I will not be able to answer them. But my responsibility is to hear them. And when you ask your question, any question, you begin to know more about what you really think.

That is all I have to say. Now you are going to ask me questions.


Recorded Junes 23, 1963.





--------------------
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.


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Invisiblepoor boy
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Re: James Baldwin Speaks! The Fire This Time: A Message to Black Youth. [Re: King Koopa]
    #836817 - 03/26/19 07:19 AM (28 days, 7 hours ago)

I read half. I'll read the rest later. Interesting though, but I guess I cant take any of this in because I am not a black youth.

I'm waiting for Alec to drop some shit for the white adult.


--------------------
Learning to love life by living through loss and mistakes
Lessons learned then gradually surfacing, Letting go, stripping naked to scream
I am not perfect nor do I strive to be, I am alive in this world of face first falls and public breakdowns
I'm a retarded, disfigured clown
Dying to be heard through the simple art of letting this heavy wall finally fall
I'm an equal being of no race, or color, a hallucination if you will
Sneaking into the lives of strangers, and letting them fall apart to a new rhythm just to feel better


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OfflineKing Koopa
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Re: James Baldwin Speaks! The Fire This Time: A Message to Black Youth. [Re: poor boy] * 1
    #836829 - 03/28/19 01:35 AM (26 days, 13 hours ago)

Quote:

, but I guess I cant take any of this in because I am not a black youth.




To say this is to that you also don't empathize with any of the arts that come out of the black culture. Nah


For some reason, I copypasted the YT video title for the of the post. The title of the essay is
“A Talk to Teachers”.

Here's more info:
Quote:

(Delivered October 16, 1963, as “The Negro Child – His Self-Image”; originally published in The Saturday Review, December 21, 1963, reprinted in The Price of the Ticket, Collected Non-Fiction 1948-1985, Saint Martins 1985.)






Also, James Baldwin wrote/spoke in a way that is closer in tune with the vibes that are oscillating from us humans. He gets at what that gets at what it means to be human... if that makes sense. I'm saying that his work was in service and dedicated to mankind.



"Hatred, which could destroy so much, never failed to destroy the man who hated, and this was an immutable law."
                                        - James Baldwin


--------------------
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.


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InvisibleChakanooga
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Posts: 380
Loc: Wonderland
Re: James Baldwin Speaks! The Fire This Time: A Message to Black Youth. [Re: King Koopa]
    #836931 - 04/04/19 09:04 PM (18 days, 18 hours ago)

That was deep.

Its the same factor as military or religious parents, they raise their kids to become super soldiers or religion fanatics, only for either the kid, or parent, to crack and realize the wrong of their doings. Same thing with racism. The fact that each person is gifted the world, only for it to be tainted with the reality of history and hate, is a disgrace.


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