The Fire Next Time Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does the author describe as the subject of the Nation of Islam speeches he observed on the streets in "Down at the Cross"?

2. In describing white liberal attitudes in "Down at the Cross," the author states that "they could deal with the Negro as a symbol or a victim but has no real sense of him as" what?

3. In "Down at the Cross," what does the author define as "the judges, the juries, the shotguns, the law"?

4. For how long did the author remain on the pulpit as a Young Minister?

5. How does the author describe female segregated restrooms in "Down at the Cross"?

Short Essay Questions

1. How would you describe the author's sense of anger in the beginning of "Down at the Cross"?

2. What does the author describe discussing with his driver after leaving Elijah Muhammad's home in "Down at the Cross"?

3. How would you describe the tone in the second section of "Down at the Cross"? How has the author's perspective changed?

4. How does the author compare his involvement in ministry with the thugs on the Avenue in "Down at the Cross"?

5. Who was Elijah Muhammad? What was his role within the Nation of Islam?

6. What hypocrisies in Christianity and the Nation of Islam does Baldwin point out in "Down at the Cross"?

7. What differences does the author point out between Christianity and Islam in the second section of "Down at the Cross"?

8. What is the subject of the hymn that opens "Down at the Cross"? How does this quote tie in with the essay's themes?

9. In the second section of "Down at the Cross," the author points out many reasons that American society is not healed in relation to race. How does he propose it might become healed?

10. How does the author perceive the expression of pain and suffering of blacks through Christianity?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the language style of The Fire Next Time. How would you describe the author's fluidity and lyricism in his language in the essays? What are examples of literary devices such as similes, metaphors, etc. employed by the author? How does the language style reflect upon the author?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the differences in approach toward equality by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad. What are the differences in the ideologies of these individuals? How did they propose change? Whose methods were more effective in your opinion? Why?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the concepts of "segregation," "integration," and "acceptance" in The Fire Next Time. How does the author define these terms in his essays? What is the importance of integration and acceptance moving forward in striving for equality?

(see the answer keys)

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