The Fire Next Time

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin (1963) I had not read any of James Baldwin's books in their entirety at the time I saw the documentary I Am Not Your Negro (2016) in which I found him fascinating, so now I want to read more. I'm not going to do a good job of summarizing this book, or that movie, here, so I'm just going to wholeheartedly recommend both to anyone unfamiliar with them. This book is short, it's in your library, and it reads like a soothing voice from a friend whose intelligence you know you'll never match, and that makes him a most beloved friend. It's comprised of two essays, written in the form of letters, and it makes me think how the loss of actual letter writing in my life has not been good for my soul (not to mention the loss of so many individuals who I used to write letters to). Facing the mainstream embrace of hatred, racism, sexism, and fear in my born into USA home, as of late, I've found myself on one hand numbing myself with drugs (not the drugs you're thinking of, those who don't know me, but drugs nonetheless), and on the other, searching for new friends, mentors, leaders, intellectually and spiritually, living and dead, in person and in work they left behind. With this book, which I feel I will be compelled to reread soon, too, and other work as well, I will continue to look to James Baldwin.