Notes of a Native Son - Journey to Atlanta Summary & Analysis

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Summary

In “Journey to Atlanta,” Baldwin gives an account of a trip to Atlanta by a Negro a cappella quintet called the Melodeers, which included two of Baldwin’s brothers, one of whom kept a detailed journal of the trip. The Melodeers were recruited by the Progressive Party during Henry A. Wallace’s 1948 bid for the United States presidency. Though Wallace made his stance against segregation and racial discrimination a centerpiece of his campaign, Baldwin makes clear in this essay Wallace’s claims, like those of most politicians, exist in a realm that has nothing to do with improving the lives of actual people.

Baldwin begins by describing the political disillusionment of black Americans. Though the class of professional, middle-class Negroes, along with “optimistic American liberals” see the indifferent attitude of the Negro as irresponsible, Baldwin says it is an honest attitude. Black politicians, like white politicians...

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This section contains 1,161 words
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Buy the Notes of a Native Son Study Guide
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