James Baldwin's "The Fire Next Time"

The Fire Next Time CoverWhat happens after the revolution? You have ousted your oppressors, and now you hold the power. What will you do with it? How will you rule those who have ruled you?

These are questions addressed in James Baldwin’s 1963 work The Fire Next Time: a collection of letters and thoughts demanding answers from those seeking revolution. He insists that the dehumanized not allow themselves to demonize their subjugators. Instead, Baldwin challenges the oppressed to understand and change his oppressor.

Why? Because when the paradigm shifts and the revolutionaries are in power, what is done with this power will either establish unity or re-create the social systems from which revolutions are born. The unfortunate fact remains that many dictators and tyrants once fought for change and justice as freedom fighters and heroes.