Who do you see as the hero or heroes of If Beale Street Could Talk?

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If Beale Street Could Talk is a novel written by James Baldwin. It was first published in 1974. It is focused around the relationship of Fonny and Tish, who live in Harlem.

Tish can be most definitely seen as a heroine in this novel. She is only nineteen years old, so she is still very young. Yet, she has to learn to cope with some very difficult circumstances. For example, her fiancé, Fonny, is in prison, having been falsely accused of rape. To make matters even more difficult and complicated, Tish finds out that she is pregnant. While many young girls of her age might have buckled under this enormous pressure, Tish doesn’t give up. Instead, she perseveres and shows great personal strength. Despite having moments of despair, Tish overall tries her best to remain strong, hopeful, and supportive of Fonny. This clearly makes her a heroine.

Similarly, Fonny can be seen as a hero, too. He has been falsely accused of raping a woman. Because a racist white policeman is supporting this claim, Fonny has no chance of being found innocent in court. He could have easily given up, turned bitter, and become resentful because of the injustice he is suffering. But instead, similarly to Tish, Fonny tries his best to remain positive and hopeful that the truth may prevail in the end. This positivity begins to run out towards the end of the novel, but Fonny could be seen as a hero nevertheless, given the resilience and strength he displays throughout most of the novel.

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