The Fire This Time - Part 1, “The Weight” Summary & Analysis

Jesmyn Ward
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Summary

“The Weight” is an essay written by Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, an African-American essayist and critic. The essay opens with Ghansah remarking that she will go to James Baldwin’s home in France, where he stayed until he died. She is making money off of her writing for the first time and is already in Europe, so she decides to go to France to visit the place where Baldwin lived and died.

Then, Ghansah describes her complicated relationship with Baldwin and his legacy. Part of being black in America is that many are destined to die, what Ghansah calls, a black death, a slow death at the hands of systemic racism. She works to keep that death at bay by writing about the history and culture of her people. However, Ghansah, before her trip to France, believed Baldwin had somehow avoided the black...

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This section contains 1,668 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Fire This Time Study Guide
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