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6 Powerful James Baldwin Quotes

6 Powerful James Baldwin Quotes
/ Ralph Gatti / AFP / Getty Images

James Baldwin was born in 1924 in Harlem, New York. He was one of the leading voices of the civil rights movement. Baldwin became one of the most successful and revered Black authors of all time for his novels, short stories, and plays fictionalize fundamental personal questions and dilemmas amid complex social and psychological pressures.

He was also known for some of his most famous quotes. Here are his six most well-known quotes.

On ignorance: “It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.”

On hate: “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 love: “Love takes off the masks we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.”

On learning: “It is true that the more one learns the less one knows.”

On his sexuality: “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 disrespect: “People who treat other people as less than human must not be surprised when the bread they have cast on the waters comes floating back to them, poisoned.”


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