I Am Not Your Negro Quotes

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But it was on that bright afternoon that I knew I was leaving France. I could, simply, no longer sit around in Paris discussing the Algerian and the Black American problem. Everybody else was paying their dues, and it was time I went home and paid mine.”
-- James Baldwin (chapter 1 paragraph 7)

Importance: This quote, from the chapter "Paying My Dues," explains the responsibility Baldwin felt to his fellow African Americans to return to the United States and participate more actively in the Civil Rights Movement. Feeling guilty that he had the means through his writing fellowship to absent himself from the physical realities of the struggle, and feeling disconnected from the community that had raised him, he decided to return to Harlem and to participate directly. He felt that his abstract engagements with issues of racial inequality ("sit[ting] around in Paris discussing the Algerian and the Black American problem") were insufficient. Without realistically putting...

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This section contains 3,754 words
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Buy the I Am Not Your Negro Study Guide
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