“Trust life, and it will teach you, in joy and sorrow, all you need to know.”
James Baldwin
James Baldwin
American novelist

Quotes on on love, freedom and education:

Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.
People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it very simply; by the lives they lead.
The only thing that white people have that black people need, or should want, is power-and no one holds power forever.
Please try to remember that what they believe, as well as what they do and cause you to endure does not testify to your inferiority but to their inhumanity.
Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.
The purpose of education…is to create in a person the ability to look at the world for himself, to make his own decisions.
The victim who is able to articulate the situation of the victim has ceased to be a victim: he or she has become a threat.
A liberal: someone who thinks he knows more about your experience than you do.
Our crown has already been bought and paid for. All we have to do is wear it.
We should certainly know by now that it is one thing to overthrow a dictator or repel an invader and quite another thing really to achieve a revolution. Time and time and time again, the people discover that they have merely betrayed themselves into the hands of yet another Pharaoh, who, since he was necessary to put the broken country together, will not let them go.

"Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within."

Quotes on change:

People can cry much easier than they can change.
People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.
Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.
You have to decide who you are and force the world to deal with you, not with its idea of you.
The world is before you and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in.
If the word ‘integration’ means anything, this is what it means that we, with love, shall force our brothers to see themselves as they are, to cease fleeing from reality and begin to change it.
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.
The point is to get your work done, and your work is to change the world.
You write in order to change the world … if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change it.
Love him and let him love you. Do you think anything else under heaven really matters?



James Baldwin was an American novelist, essayist, poet, playwright, and activist. His unfinished manuscript, Remember This House, was expanded and adapted for cinema as the Academy Award-nominated documentary film I Am Not Your Negro. In 2018, filmmaker Barry Jenkins adapted one of his book, If Beale Street Could Talk, into an Academy Award-winning dramatic film.

In 1953, Baldwin’s first novel, a semi-autobiographical work titled “Go Tell It on the Mountain” came out. In 1955, Baldwin’s first collection of essays, Notes of a Native Son, was published. His second novel, Giovanni’s Room, was published in 1956. It caused great controversy due to its explicit homoerotic content. Baldwin wrote a plethora of literary work, mainly dealing with the themes of masculinity, sexuality, race, and class. 

In 1987, the National James Baldwin Literary Society was founded. The group organizes public events to celebrate Baldwin’s life and legacy. In 2002 Molefi Kete Asante, a leading figure in the fields of African-American studies, listed James Baldwin on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans. The United States Postal Service dedicated a first-class postage stamp to Baldwin in 2005.