James Baldwin's Go Tell It on the Mountain - a Religious Approach

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GRIN Verlag, 2007 - 28 pages
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Seminar paper from the year 2001 in the subject Theology - Miscellaneous, grade: good, University of Leipzig, language: English, abstract: James Arthur Baldwin was born to Emma Berdis Jones and an unknown father on August 2, 1924, in New York City. The fact that he did not know about the identity of his biological father haunted him all his life. Who was to become Baldwin's stepfather was a laborer and Pentecostal preacher who came - as part of the Great Migration - to New York in 1919 "seeking better social conditions and economic opportunities." (Kenan 1994: 26) After he married her, he began to preach in storefront churches and made a living of a job he had in a bottle factory on Long Island, and although he "worked steadily, until encroaching age and illness prohibited it", were his wages seldom high enough to feed his big family2, especially during the Great Depression. (Kenan: 27) As described in "Notes of a Native Son" this situation had contributed to his father's "intolerable bitterness of spirit."(Kenan: 88) It was "unrelieved bitterness and anger" that "drove [his father] away permanently in 1932." (Kenan: 27) James was very much influenced and shaped by his stepfather, and the problems that derived from his relationship to him became in my eyes a powerful motor for his poetry writings and determined his future decisions. To his father the young boys intelligence and his interest in books was but a source of danger, for "the Bible was the only book worth reading." (Kenan: 29) If it wasn't for Orilla "Bill" Miller, a white woman from the Midwest who stepped up against his fathers objections, and for Gertrude Ayer, a black principal who encouraged the young boy to write stories, plays and poems, James would have been deprived of a valuable education, because in the Baldwin household "education was suspect as a tool of the white devils not particularly useful to black men in a racist society that placed so many checks on their ambition." (Kenan: 31) James Ba

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Page 7 - How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?" (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.
Page 8 - ... and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Page 10 - There came a man, sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for witness, that he might bear witness of the light, that all might believe through him.
Page 6 - Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. u Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ...

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