The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

Start Your Free Trial

Download The Fire Next Time Study Guide

Subscribe Now

The Driver

The driver was an unnamed young black man who drove Baldwin to a “white address” after his dinner with Elijah Muhammad. He was one of the men who joined Baldwin and Elijah Muhammad at dinner. The driver is described as wearing a dark suit and agreeing with everything Elijah Muhammad said. Baldwin was annoyed by this constant agreement, but he understood how the combination of Muhammad’s intense magnetism and the young men’s “bitter isolation” and the “despair of the streets outside” could lead them to believe in the Nation of Islam’s highly unlikely solutions.

At dinner, Baldwin voiced his dissent over the elimination of all white people, but he did not push Elijah Muhammad on the practical...

(The entire section is 252 words.)