The Fire Next Time

Olivia Grutzius and Kathy Thai

Main Arguments

Religion- Baldwin discusses the ups and downs of religion, mainly Catholicism and Islam. He states that even if children are raised to believe in a high power like God or Buddha, they can still become corrupted. They can wind up like the hookers and drunks on "The Avenue" that Baldwin grew up around when he was a child. Religious figures are not always reliable and priests/preachers, like Baldwin's father, can become abusive both of their power and their followers.

Nation of Islam- Baldwin experienced freedom and enlightenment when he visited Muhammad's mansion. He found himself surrounded by like-minded and welcoming peers, including Muhammad. Though he disagreed with Muhammad's beliefs and believed him to be vengeful, he did listen well and tried to explain his own reasoning for why people should be equal and one race should not be dominant over another.

Racism- He talks about how he wanted to do what the "white Americans" did and that he was shamed by his father for it. He feared the White Americans for most of his childhood. While in a bar with some friends, Baldwin was discriminated against by the bartender and the manager, and no one came to their aid when the fight turned ugly. This proves his theory that people will not stand up for others when racism is involved and that it will take many years for a revolution to come about that will change the situation between whites and blacks.

Media Connection

In this video, Snoop Dogg addresses members of the Nation of Islam, thanking Minister Farrakhan for his love and support of bringing together rappers to pray for a fallen rapper, and for ending long-time feuds between the musicians and helping to spread peace.

Rhetorical Devices