Notes From A Native Son Essay

Notes From A Native Son Essay-15
It was a movie about the German occupation of France, starring Maureen O'Hara and Charles Laughton and called .I remember the name of the diner we walked into when the movie ended: it was the 'American Diner.' When we walked in the counterman asked what we wanted and I remember answering with the casual sharpness which had become my habit: 'We want a hamburger and a cup of coffee, what do you think we want?

It was a movie about the German occupation of France, starring Maureen O'Hara and Charles Laughton and called .I remember the name of the diner we walked into when the movie ended: it was the 'American Diner.' When we walked in the counterman asked what we wanted and I remember answering with the casual sharpness which had become my habit: 'We want a hamburger and a cup of coffee, what do you think we want?

I consider that I have many responsibilities, but none greater than this: to last, as Hemingway says, and get my work done.

The essays that comprise Notes of a Native Son range over many genres.

These were not really my creations, they did not contain my history; I might search in them in vain forever for any reflection of myself. At the same time I had no other heritage which I could possibly hope to use—I had certainly been unfitted for the jungle or the tribe. I would have to make them mine—I would have to accept my special attitude, my special place in this scheme—otherwise I would have no place in I had to claim my birthright. I was trying to locate myself within a specific inheritance and to use that inheritance, precisely, to claim the birthright from which that inheritance had so brutally and specifically excluded me.

I am what time, circumstance, history, have made of me, certainly, but I am, also, much more than that. The conundrum of color is the inheritance of every American, be he/she legally or actually Black or White. Here's an excerpt from the title essay, with Baldwin reflecting on a single day in which his youngest sister was born, his father died, and riots broke out in Harlem; he was about to turn 19.

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I began plotting novels at about the time I learned to read.The story of my childhood is the usual bleak fantasy, and we can dismiss it with the restrained observation that I certainly would not consider living it again." So begins James Baldwin's autobiographical note to his essay collection came out.Even so, he told a friend that he thought it was too early in his life for a "memoir." Baldwin wrote elegantly and honestly and passionately about race relations in America, and he did so from a lofty perspective, both self-aware and world-wise.Almost every detail of that night stands out very clearly in my memory.I even remember the name of the movie we saw because its title impressed me as being so patly ironic.“Carmen Jones: The Dark is Light Enough” is a film analysis, while “Everybody’s Protest Novel” and “Many Thousands Gone” are examples of literary criticism.What all the essays share is incisive cultural analysis.Some are essentially memoirs, as in the case of the title essay, “Notes of a Native Son,” in which Baldwin reflects at length on his relationship with his father.In other essays, Baldwin wears the hat of the critic."Journey to Atlanta" is but one of a hundred examples in .What also comes across, again, is how optimistic James Baldwin was about himself, his world, black people.

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