I Am Not Your Negro Quotes

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I Am Not Your Negro I Am Not Your Negro by James Baldwin
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I Am Not Your Negro Quotes Showing 1-14 of 14
“History is not the past. It is the present. We carry our history with us. We are our history. If we pretend otherwise, we are literally criminals.

I attest to this: the world is not white; it never was white, cannot be white. White is a metaphor for power, and that is simply a way of describing Chase Manhattan Bank.”
James Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro
“What white people have to do is try and find out in their own hearts why it is necessary to have a 'nigger' in the first place, because I'm not a nigger. I'm a man. But if you think I'm a nigger, it means you need it.”
James Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro
“You don't know what's happening on the other side of the wall, because you don't want to know.”
James Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro
“The root of the black man's hatred is rage,
and he does not so much had the white man
as simply as want the out of his way,
and, more than that,
out of his children's way.

The root of the white man's hatred is terror,
a bottomless and nameless terror,
which focuses on this dread figure,
an entity which lives only in his mind.”
James Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro
“You never had to look at me. I had to look at you. I know more about you than you know about me. Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
James Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro
“The question is really a kind of apathy and ignorance, which is the price we pay for segregation. That’s what segregation means. You don’t know what’s happening on the other side of the wall, because you don’t want to know.”
James Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro
“Well, I may or may not be bitter, but if I were I would have good reasons for it: chief among them that American blindness, or cowardice, which allows us to pretend that life presents no reasons for being bitter.”
James Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro
“It is not a racial problem. It is a problem of whether or not you're willing to look at your life and be responsible for it, and then begin to change it.”
James Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro
“I remember, for example, when the ex-Attorney General, Mr. Robert Kennedy, said that it was conceivable that in forty years in America we might have a Negro president. And that sounded like a very emancipated statement, I suppose, to white people. They were not in Harlem when this statement was first heard. They did not hear (and possibly will never hear) the laughter and the bitterness and the scorn with which this statement was greeted.

From the point of view of the man in the Harlem barbershop, Bobby Kennedy only got here yesterday and now he's already on his way to the presidency. We've been here for four hundred years and now he tells us that maybe in forty years, if you're good, we may let you become president.”
James Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro
“The root of the black man’s hatred is rage, and he does not so much hate white men as simply wants them out of his way, and, more than that, out of his children’s way.”
James Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro
“When the Israelis pick up guns, or the Poles, or the Irish, or any white man in the world says "give me liberty, or give me death," the entire white world applauds. When a black man says exactly the same thing, word for word, he is judged a criminal and treated like one and everything possible is done to make an example of this bad n*****, so there won't be any more like him.”
James Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro
“To look around the United States today is enough to make prophets and angels weep.
This is not the land of the free;
it is only sporadically the home of the brave.”
James Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro
“All I want is to be able to stand in front of my boy like my father never was able to do to me.”
Raoul Peck, I Am Not Your Negro
“I am saying that a journey is called that because you cannot know what you will discover on the journey, what you will do with what you find, or what you find will do to you.”
James Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro