Baldwin opens the third paragraph with the arresting statement that "any Negro who is born in this country and undergoes the American educational system runs the risk of becoming schizophrenic." This is clearly not intended literally. Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder which is rather rare. Some of its effects, however, are widely known and to mention it is to make a powerful emotional impression.
There follows the device of personifying the entire culture as a source of negative messages about the worth of African-American children. The child is told that "his ancestors were happy, shiftless, watermelon-eating darkies" and that their only value lay in their devotion to their white masters. Presumably no one has literally told the children this, but it is a crystalized version of what Baldwin believes is the dominant view.
The next paragraph is full of images showing how the black child is oppressed by the unfairness of the world without knowing quite what is going on. This...
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