James Baldwin, “Notes of a native son”

Category : Race, Students, Writing

On the 19th of July, in 1943, my father died. On the same day, a few hours later, his last child was born. Over a month before this, while all our energies were concentrated in waiting for those events, there had been, in Detroit, on of the bloodiest race riots of the century. A few hours after my father’s funeral, while lay in state in the undertaker’s chapel, a race riot broke out in Harlem. On the morning of the 3rd of August, we drove my father to the graveyard through a wilderness of smashed plate glass.

Source: Beacon Press, 1955.

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