QUOTE OF THE DAY (James Baldwin): on identity, on who I am

by , under Enrique Tessieri

James Baldwin (1924-87) is one of the greatest and most insightful writers, essayists, and activists of black USAmerica. With the help of his words, we are capable of seeing the beast that has oppressed and tormented the black.

James Baldwin

His Insights offer as well a glimpse at our monster.

There has been a lot of debate about what is Finnishness and who can claim it.

Writes Eddie S. Glaude Jr. in his biography of Baldwin (Begin Again) that “No matter what (US)America said about him as a black person, Baldwin argued, he had the last word about who he was as a human being and as a black man.”

One’s identity is a personal matter. Those that impose identity labels on you are using their power and privilege to exclude you.

“…the white man’s motive (to retain power and superiority) was the protection of his identity; the black man was motivated by the need to establish an identity.”

The latter quote speaks volumes about the plight of second-generation Finns.