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29 Intriguing Quotes from James Baldwin

American writer, playwright and social activist, James Baldwin was born on August 2, 1924 in Harlem, New York. He earned critical acclaim and recognition for his works, like novels Go Tell It On The Mountain, Giovanni's Room amd Another Country, as well as essays Notes of a Native Son and The Fire Next Time. Many of Baldwin's work explores core personal conundrum in the midst of complex social and psychological issues, especially on the topics of racial integration, class distinctions and sexuality. Here's 29 quotes in honor of James Baldwin's birthday:

 

On love:

On love:
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"Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within."

"Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up."

"Love him and let him love you. Do you think anything else under the heaven really matters?" -from Giovanni's Room

 

On sense of belonging:

On sense of belonging:
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"Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition."

 

On finding inspiration:

"Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go."

 

On life:

On life:
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"To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the making of bread."

"The world is before you and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in."

 

On death:

"Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time. Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, the only fact we have. It seems to me that one ought to rejoice in the fact of death - ought to decide, indeed, to earn one's death by confronting with passion the conundrum of life. One is responsible for life: It is the small beacon in that terrifying darkness from which we come and to which we shall return."

 

On reading:

On reading:
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"You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive."

 

On freedom:

"Freedom is not something that anybody can be given. Freedom is something people take, and people are as free as they want to be."

 

On hatred:

On hatred:
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"I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain."

 

On homosexuality:

"Everybody's journey is individual. If you fall in love with a boy, you fall in love with a boy. The fact that many Americans consider it a disease says more about them than it does about homosexuality."

 

On the innocence of children:

On the innocence of children:
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"Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them."

 

On change:

On change:
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"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced."

"People can cry much easier than they can change."

 

On our choices:

"People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it very simply; by the lives they lead."

 

On our actions:

On our actions:
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"I can't believe what you say, because I see what you do."

 

On the role of god:

"If the concept of god has any validity or any use, it can only be to make us larger, freer, and more loving. If god cannot do this, then it is time we got rid of him."

 

On the role of the artist:

"The precise role of the artist, then, is to illuminate that darkness, blaze roads through vast forests, so that we will not, in all our doing, lose sight of its purpose, which is, after all, to make the world a more human dwelling place."

 

On art:

"All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up."

 

On education:

"It is very nearly impossible to become an educated person in a country so distrustful of the independent mind."

"The paradox of education is precisely this - that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated. "

 

On racism:

"The American idea of racial progress is measured by how fast I become white."

"To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time. "

 

On America:

On America:
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"I love America more than any other country in the world and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually."

 

On poverty:

"Anyone who has struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor."

 

On society:

"The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose."

 

On justice:

"Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have."

 

On personal accountability:

On personal accountability:
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"I'm not interested in anybody's guilt. Guilt is a luxury that we can no longer afford. I know you didn't do it, and I didn't do it either, but I am responsible for it because I am a man and a citizen of this country and you are responsible for it, for the very same reason."

 

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31 Quotes from J. K. Rowling of the Harry Potter series

31 Quotes from J. K. Rowling of the Harry Potter series

She was beautiful but not like those girls in the magazines she was beautiful for the way she thought she was beautiful for that sparkle in her eyes

She was beautiful but not like those girls in the magazines she was beautiful for the way she thought she was beautiful for that sparkle in her eyes

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