The Fire Next Time Questions and Answers
by James Baldwin

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Although Baldwin admires many aspects of the Nation of Islam, he is also somewhat critical of their ideology. What are some of Baldwin’s specific doubts and criticism regarding the Nation of Islam?

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Initially Baldwin feels remote from Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam movement simply because he, Baldwin, does not see himself as a religious believer. Baldwin, though brought up in a strict Christian home, has rejected organized religion as an adult, and he does not feel the urge to convert to Islam, as many other African Americans have done.

However, Baldwin's criticisms of the Nation of Islam go further than this. He sees the separatism of the...

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