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    Father's Eulogy in Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin

    Number of Pages: 5


    Summary of the research paper:

    In five pages this report considers the complexities of a relationship between father and son as well as race as represented in James Baldwin's paternal eulogy, Notes of a Native Son. Five sources are cited in the bibliography.

    Name of Research Paper File: D0_BWnatson.rtf

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    of African Americans throughout the 20th century. Not only were his characters "out of place" because of the color of their skin, they were often transported from their birthplace or  places that they felt the most comfortable in order to seek out opportunity elsewhere. In his 1984 preface to Notes of a Native Son (originally published in 1955), Baldwin writes:  "The conundrum of color is the inheritance of every American, be he/she legally or actually Black or White. It is a fearful inheritance, for which untold multitudes, long ago, sold  their birthright. Multitudes are doing so, until today" (xii). Nonetheless, Notes of a Native Son also serves as a commentary on the life of Baldwins own father. In fact, it  can even be thought of as something of an eulogy, written years after the mans death. Notes of a Native Son Notes of a Native Son was Baldwins first  nonfiction book. It is a collection of passionate essays about life in Harlem and "the existential experience of alienation" (Tomlinson 135). Of the ten essays in the volume, "Everybodys Protest  Novel" (originally published in 1949) and "Notes of a Native Son" (the essay for which the anthology is named) are probably best known. In part, "Notes of a Native Son"  became particularly well-known since it was, what Allen refers to as being "... an oblique attack on Richard Wright -- the first of several father-figures Baldwin was to symbolically slay  -- which compared Wrights Native Son with Uncle Toms Cabin, lumping them both together in the category of protest novel" (29). But it should also be noted that whatever Baldwin  wrote always included addressing issues of race. "Being black--or Negro, in the vernacular of the time--was a crucial fact of life. So even when he wrote about other things--his strained 

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