In the play, “James Baldwin: A Soul on Fire,” there were many pressing issues brought to awareness. In this play, it portrays a day of the life of writer and activist James Baldwin. Baldwin struggles with the numerous and intensive problems that surround him. Such things include racism, segregation and the conflict of being a homosexual man in the 1960s. Despite these aspects, Baldwin was an activist who never gave up on achieving equality for African-American people.
Baldwin and fellow activist struggled over what action to take in order to achieve equality for African-American people. They were considering a march, but then decided on President Kennedy having an African-American child escorted to a white school; which started integration. Integration at this time was almost non-existent in most places. African-American children were usually segregated from white children in school, and usually attended underfunded schools, while the white children attended more privileged schools. So, to have an African-American child integrate a Caucasian school under the president’s command was a powerful move and an achievement in the civil rights movement.
During this time, racism was very common, and segregation was equally so. In this time period, to be African-American was arduous. People of color were suppressed in any way possible. People of color had limited opportunities compare to Caucasian people. African-Americans had to fight for what they had, and struggled greatly to obtain it. African-Americans were growing tired of being treated as second-class citizens in the land of the free.
In the poem, “Let America be America Again,” by Langston Hughes, Hughes points out the unjustness in America , and the huge irony that surrounds it. Hughes believes in the improved America, one where every person is truly equal. He believes in an America that is just. He believes in the America that is equal. He believes in a free America. The great American Dream is hardly what it seems. Hughes points out the flaws which scar our nation. These things include, racism, segregation, discrimination, violence ,and corruption. America has yet a far way to go to actually be what dreamers dream, and Hughes believes it can, and so does Baldwin.
The civil rights movement in the 60s was gaining power and more people joined together for the cause, equality for once and for all. This involved various marches, rallies and protests. People demanded a change and wouldn’t rest until they achieved it.
I personally felt this play greatly captured the spirit of the African-American activists, and their determination and passion to achieve equality. This play allowed me to see more of Baldwin’s character, and it expressed his passion and where his determination for equality comes from. In a way, I felt I had more of a sense how things were in the 60’s. This play left me with Baldwin’s provocative passion ,and his motivation. It gave me a clear vision of the 60s and Baldwin’s role within it.