[Name of the Writer]
[Name of the Institution]
African Americans have been fighting for their rights for a long time. They have seen many dark days and still are facing great issues of racism in the community. There was a time when African-Americans were not even considered the citizens of America, and they were treated very inhumanely. They used to be devoid of every right and were subjected to inferior treatment. Africans were brought from their continent to the continent of America for the purpose of human trade (Barack et al., 2010). They were oppressed and were considered the lowest class of society.
Many African-Americans had raised their voices in the past against this injustice and inhumane treatment going on against them. These African-Americans include many notable writers, politicians, actors, movie makers, producers, artist and people working in various other fields. One of the famous names among them was James Baldwin. James Baldwin was a novelist and a playwright that contributed to the field of writing from 1947 to10985. In addition to this, he was also an activist. He worked tirelessly for the rights and freedom of Africans living in the United States of America and raised his voice against the inhumane behavior against the African Americans.
James Baldwin contributed in the form of many pieces of writing to the American literature and media. Some of his notable pieces of writing are The Fire Next Time, No Name in The Street and The Devil Finds Work. He also garnered great fame due to his speeches. He delivered speeches at multiple forums and instilled great spirit and enthusiasm in the crowds. He was famous for his choice of words and the fervor with which he delivered the speech and gave a new perspective to the listeners to think about.
One of the examples of such fiery speeches was at Cambridge University in 1965, in which he elaborates the glory of African history and the contributions of African in the progress and prosperity of the American Nation. Some of the prominent lines that he delivered during his speech are elaborated below with the inside meaning.
Around the age five or six or seven you discover that the flag to which you have pledged allegiance, along with everybody else, has not pledged allegiance to you.
James Baldwin was deeply saddened by the fact that African American people given their fundamental rights and they suffer deeply. He elaborates in this line that it is hurting to realize that although you have promised to be loyal to the country and serve it till your last breath, just like every other citizen of America, but the state does not guarantee you any rights, and this hurting reality becomes clear at the age of almost five or six or seven to every African-American kid.
I picked the cotton, and I carried it to market…and I built the railroads, under someone else's whip…for noting!
This line carries a whole struggle and pain of the African Americans that they bore for the nation as slaves. James Baldwin tries to glorify the sacrifices that were given by the African slaves as the worked in fields and with the industrialization era, they built railroads and moved the country towards prosperity, but in his opinion, all the effort went in vain.
Until this moment there is scarcely any hope for the American dream. because people who are denied participation in it.…by their very presence.…will wreck it.
This sentence carries a warning that if the Africans that have migrated to America were kept subjected to such cruel treatment, will no longer be motivated to become a part of the country’s growth process and will become rebels.
In this speech, it can be clearly seen that Baldwin was deeply hurt due to the cruel treatment towards the African Americans and wanted their equal participation and right in the country’s economy.
Barak, G., Leighton, P., & Flavin, J. (2010). Class, race, gender, and crime: The social realities of justice in America. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
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