I Am Not Your Negro Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 48 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of I Am Not Your Negro.
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Nationalism and Responsibility to One's Nation

Baldwin examines America as a nation to which he is inextricably bound through birth and community. In analyzing the idea of "paying his dues," Baldwin lends more complexity to the relationship between African Americans and the country they were born into. Baldwin famously said, "I love America more than any country in the world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually" (13). Here he explores the underlying complexities that allow his country to both his home, and the place that excludes and discriminates against him.

For white Americans who found Baldwin's message dangerous or provocative, it is worth questioning what they were protecting. Was it their country, or was it the idea of their country, the illusion of it that helped pacify any unease about whether the status quo in America was just? Patriotism for these Americans...

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This section contains 2,227 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the I Am Not Your Negro Study Guide
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