It was a deliberate policy hammered into place in or4der to make money from black flesh. It’s astounding to me, for example, that so many people really appear to believe that the country was founded by a band of heroes who wanted to be free. The Park Avenue I grew up on, which is still standing, is dark and dirty. Improve yourself, find your inspiration, share with friends, Nobody Knows My Name (1961) "Fifth Avenue, Uptown: a letter from Harlem". If he is really cunning, really ruthless, really strong – and many of us are – he becomes a kind of criminal. It’s very hard to relate yourself to this. And that is the crisis. Follow AzQuotes on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. And why isn’t it for you? “A Talk to Teachers” By James Baldwin (Delivered October 16, 1963, as “The Negro Child – His Self-Image”; originally published in The Saturday Review , December 21, 1963, reprinted in The Price of the Ticket, Collected Non-Fiction 1948-1985 , Saint Martins 1985.) And there’s no reason in it for him. When you’re writing you’re trying to find out something which you don’t know. It is precisely those silent people whom white people see every day of their lives – I mean your porter and your maid, who never say anything more than “Yes Sir” and “No, Ma’am.” They will tell you it’s raining if that is what you want to hear, and they will tell you the sun is shining if that is what you want to hear. To any citizen of this country who figures himself as responsible – and particularly those of you who deal with the minds and hearts of young people – must be prepared to “go for broke.” Or to put it another way, you must understand that in the attempt to correct so many generations of bad faith and cruelty, when it is operating not only in the classroom but in society, you will meet the most fantastic, the most brutal, and the most determined resistance. What happened was that some people left Europe because they couldn’t stay there any longer and had to go someplace else to make it. A society, in turn, depends on certain things which everyone within that society takes for granted. But the point here is that people who ask that question, thinking that they ask it in good faith, are really the victims of this conspiracy to make Negroes believe they are less than human. Later on when you become a grocery boy or messenger and you try to enter one of those buildings a man says, “Go to the back door.” Still later, if you happen by some odd chance to have a friend in one of those buildings, the man says, “Where’s your package?” Now this by no means is the core of the matter. They were indispensable to the economy. "If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?" In some peculiar way, having created this myth about Negroes, and the myth about his own history, he created myths about the world so that, for example, he was astounded that some people could prefer Castro, astounded that there are people in the world who don’t go into hiding when they hear the word “Communism,” astounded that Communism is one of the realities of the twentieth century which we will not overcome by pretending that it does not exist. Those who were making it in England, for example, did not get on the Mayflower. In order to justify the fact that men were treated as though they were animals, the white republic had to brainwash itself into believing that they were, indeed, animals and deserved to be treated like animals. They live by their wits and really long to see the day when the entire structure comes down. July 29, 1979. Everyone in this room is in one way or another aware of that. It is rich – or at least it looks rich. He cannot exist without a society. Let us say that the child is seven years old and I am his father, and I decide to take him to the zoo, or to Madison Square Garden, or to the U.N. Building, or to any of the tremendous monuments we find all over New York. Let's begin by saying that we are living through a very dangerous time. You are mad. Not by Gary Cooper. The society in which we live is desperately menaced, not by Khrushchev, but from within. What I’m trying to get at is that by the time the Negro child has had, effectively, almost all the doors of opportunity slammed in his face, and there are very few things he can do about it. Weeks earlier, four young children were killed when a Birmingham, Alabama, church was bombed. Baldwin’s prophetic voice … Well, that is the way they have always treated me. The essay was originally delivered as an address in New York City on Oct. 16, 1963, titled The Negro Child: His Self-Image. There is something else the Negro child can do, to. The Bible says somewhere that where there is no vision the people perish. And the child knows this, though he doesn’t know why. Now, where the boy lives – even if it is a housing project – is in an undesirable neighborhood. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is … It happened here and there was no public uproar. And the reason is that if you are compelled to lie about one aspect of anybody’s history, you must lie about it all. They were hungry, they were poor, they were convicts. Let’s begin by saying that we are living through a very dangerous time. There is a mistake in the text of this quote. And now, in 1963, because we have never faced this fact, we are in intolerable trouble. There is no point in pretending that this won’t happen. All this means that there are in this country tremendous reservoirs of bitterness which have never been able to find an outlet, but may find an outlet soon.