The Fire Next Time

By: Kristy Kesselring and Grace Crumbaugh

Main Arguments

1. If God isn't good for humanity, then we should leave him behind~ Baldwin argues that everyone has some type of God. He believes that if that God isn't helping humanity progress into a more unified world, then humanity should forget that God and find something that will help make the world a better place.

2. Overcoming white superiority~ After being rejected for so long, Baldwin decides to embrace his true self. He believes that the African Americans have the right to equality. They have worked the land of America just as much as any European immigrant. They are citizens and people, and they deserve freedom and equal treatment.

3. Freedom from discrimination of race~ Society is putting negative labels on African Americans. Whites already have a negative connotation associated with African Americans from their ancestors and the media and the higher-ups. Baldwin calls for the color of race to be embraced, not punished.

Rhetorical Devices

1. Analogy~ Baldwin describes a theoretical situation to help his audience relate to the real situations of African Americans in the U.S. ("Try to imagine..." to "...don't be afraid." on page 9)

2. Comparison~ Baldwin compares the African American situation in America to that of the Jews in Germany during World War 2. Both were discriminated and the Jews were decimated by the Nazis. Baldwin questions what would stop America from doing the same to African Americans. (1st half of page 53)

3. Alliteration~ Baldwin uses alliteration to express negative connotation with what he is talking about. This gives readers an idea of the author's opinion, while also keeping the reader focused on the overall purpose of the text. ("vivid, violent" on page 78)

Media Connection

** (1:28 - 2:26)

This video introduces the idea that color doesn't matter. We are all equal and we should love each other for the way we are. Baldwin also attacks the discrimination of race and calls for equality among all citizens of the U.S.

Michael Jackson - Black Or White Lyrics