How would you describe Baldwin's perspective on history in light of the current events that he highlights?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The original question had to be edited down.  I would suggest that Baldwin's approach on history is one in which he emphasizes that individuals do have power to change social and historical realities.  Baldwin is quick to point out that the role of the teacher is one that can bring out the most independent of thinker, the most intellectual free of minds.  It is here in which individuals will be able to make the conditions of change that can enable society to be better.  In speaking to teachers, Baldwin makes it clear that he believes in the idea that history will repeat itself if individuals to take a conscious and deliberate stand to remake society as to what it should be.  Baldwin's audience of the teacher is poignant in this, as he understands clearly that education can be a force of change.  If teachers are the vanguard of a movement that seeks to instruct children to withstand the resistance to social change and pursue it in the name of making right that which is wrong, Baldwin believes that history can be changed.  For Baldwin, this becomes where his approach to history is one in which social movements can be merged with the actions of the individual.  At the time of writing, the current condition of the child of color is a situation that demands this fusion in which teachers are able to teach that vast historical and social conditions seek to stop change and it is their obligation- teacher and student- to go out and create the conditions that will bring about social justice.  In this, Baldwin makes it clear that individuals do have the power to alter history.  Yet, surrendering that power will enable the inertia and resistance to change to remain.