50 James Baldwin Quotes That Will Inspire You

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Check out 50 James Baldwin Quotes today.

50 Best James Baldwin Quotes

1. “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin

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2. “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.” – James Baldwin

3. “Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.” – James Baldwin

4. “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” – James Baldwin

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5. “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.” – James Baldwin

6. “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.” – James Baldwin

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7. “It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.” – James Baldwin

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8. “Please try to remember that what they believe, as well as what they do and cause you to endure does not testify to your inferiority but to their inhumanity.” – James Baldwin

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9. “You don’t have a home until you leave it and then, when you have left it, you never can go back.” – James Baldwin

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10. “You write in order to change the world if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change it.” – James Baldwin

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11. “It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.” – James Baldwin

12. “Please try to remember that what they believe, as well as what they do and cause you to endure does not testify to your inferiority but to their inhumanity.” – James Baldwin

13. “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.” – James Baldwin

14. “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.” – James Baldwin

15. “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.” – James Baldwin

16. “You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read.” – James Baldwin

17. “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” – James Baldwin

18. “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.” – James Baldwin

19. “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin

20. “Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.” – James Baldwin

21. “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.” – James Baldwin

22. “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.” – James Baldwin

23. “Love takes off the masks we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.” – James Baldwin

24. “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.” – James Baldwin

25. “I can’t believe what you say, because I see what you do.” – James Baldwin

26. “Freedom is not something that anybody can be given. Freedom is something people take, and people are as free as they want to be.” – James Baldwin

27. “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.” – James Baldwin

28. “People can cry much easier than they can change.” – James Baldwin

29. “It is very nearly impossible to become an educated person in a country so distrustful of the independent mind.” – James Baldwin

30. “The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose.” – James Baldwin

31. “To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.” – James Baldwin

32. “Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.” – James Baldwin

33. “There are so many ways of being despicable it quite makes one’s head spin. But the way to be really despicable is to be contemptuous of other people’s pain.” – James Baldwin

34. “True rebels after all, are as rare as true lovers, and in both cases, to mistake a fever for passion can destroy one’s life.” – James Baldwin

35. “The victim who is able to articulate the situation of the victim has ceased to be a victim: he or she has become a threat.” – James Baldwin

36. “The role of the artist is exactly the same as the role of the lover. If I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you don’t see.” – James Baldwin

37. “It took many years of vomiting up all the filth I’d been taught about myself, and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.” – James Baldwin

38. “Confusion is a luxury which only the very, very young can possibly afford and you are not that young anymore.” – James Baldwin

39. “Neither love nor terror makes one blind indifference makes one blind.” – James Baldwin

40. “You have to go the way your blood beats. If you don’t live the only life you have, you won’t live some other life, you won’t live any life at all.” – James Baldwin

41. “Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it.” – James Baldwin

42. “Nothing is more desirable than to be released from an affliction, but nothing is more frightening than to be divested of a crutch.” – James Baldwin

43. “Whoever debases others is debasing himself.” – James Baldwin

44. “And when you have waited has it made you sure?” – James Baldwin

45. “I often wonder what I’d do if there weren’t any books in the world.” – James Baldwin

46. “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.” – James Baldwin

47. “The artistic image is not intended to represent the thing itself, but, rather, the reality of the force the thing contains.” – James Baldwin

48. “Trust life, and it will teach you, in joy and sorrow, all you need to know.” – James Baldwin

49. “Hatred is always self hatred, and there is something suicidal about it.” – James Baldwin

50. “Our crown has already been bought and paid for. All we have to do is wear it.” – James Baldwin

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