Hard Cover. New York: The Dial Press, 1963. First Edition. Very Good / Dust Jacket Included.
First edition, first printing. Original publisher's cream cloth, black dust jacket lettered in red and orange with photograph of Baldwin to the rear panel. A very good copy with some scattered soiling to cloth; in a price-clipped jacket with wear and creasing to the spine ends and corners, spine ends chipped, some rubbing and several small creases. A very good copy of an exceedingly scarce book. This influential work by American writer and activist James Baldwin contains two essays, "My Dungeon Shook - Letter to my Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Emancipation" and "Down at the Cross - Letter from a Region of My Mind." Written during the height of the civil rights movement of the 1950's and 60's, these two essays put forth Baldwin's perspective on the struggle for Black liberation in the United States. In "My Dungeon Shook," Baldwin addresses his nephew, James, and implores him to defy the expectations and limits set for him by white oppressors. Baldwin writes, "Please try to remember that what [white people] believe, as well as what they do and cause you to endure, does not testify to your inferiority but to their inhumanity and fear." In the longer of the two essays, "Down at the Cross," Baldwin recounts his experiences growing up in Harlem and in the Church, chronicling the daily realities faced by himself and other young Black people in what amounts to one of the most important treatises on race relations ever published. The Fire Next Time continues to be referenced by modern civil rights leaders and activists and is an important anti-racism text.