The Fire Next Time

Monday December 15, 2014.

I have a lot of pages bookmarked on my computer. Some of them are of foods I want to eventually try or quotes that I want to remember. These go back over three years. That's when I first got this computer. So today I decided to go through some of these bookmarks. Read the articles I've been saving up and deleting links that are no longer of use to me. 

It's interesting to see how some of my interests have changed over the years. I no longer listen to Japanese music. *deletes link* I've heard this quote a dozen times; I won't forget it. *deletes link* But some things stay the same...

A few weeks ago I made an order on Chapters' website. Recent events and conversations have me craving the works of black artists. TV shows, poetry, books, etc... I can't believe this book, The Fire Next Time, has been on my to-read list for so long. I am now a lot more excited to read it. I wish I had read it when it was first brought to my attention. And I wish I remembered how I first heard about it...


Wednesday March, 18, 2015.

I finished reading it last Thursday. It didn't actually take me from mid-December to finish; it took a few nights. On the last night, i woke up with the sun. This book wasn't put down once i got to the halfway point. I feel like i might not have spent enough time to take everything in, so i know i'll read it again sometime soon. 

There are many quotable sections in this book that i didn't bother going through with my highlighter. The whole thing is good! I highly recommend you read it for yourself. This book is "timeless", not because it's so wonderful and lovable, but because not much has changed for black people in America and the world over. It's actually quite sad that we are fighting the same things that we were fighting fifty years ago.

I loved how James just went from story to story, in his essay, so effortlessly. His writing is easy to follow, and his stories are so interesting. I especially loved the story about his dinner with Elijah Muhammad. This book isn't full of action or comedy, but it is filled with many truths. 

Reading this book made me think about the religion i grew up with, the people i talk to, and the system that i was born into. This book makes me want to change things. I'd like to write letters to my nephew in the future, but i don't want it to sound the same as the one James wrote to his nephew. We cannot live like this forever, right? 

“You were born where you were born and faced the future that you faced because you were black and for no other reason. The limits of your ambition were, thus, expected to be set forever. You were born into a society which spelled out with brutal clarity, and in as many ways as possible, that you were a worthless human being. You were not expected to aspire to excellence: you were expected to make peace with mediocrity. Wherever you have turned, James, in your short time on this earth, you have been told where you could go and what you could do (and how you could do it) and where you could live and whom you could marry. I know your countrymen do not agree with me about this, and I hear them saying "You exaggerate." They do not know Harlem, and I do. So do you. Take no one's word for anything, including mine- but trust your experience. Know whence you came.”