“You write in order to change the world, knowing perfectly well that you probably can’t, but also knowing that [writing] is indispensable to the world. The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change it.” ―James Baldwin
Sometimes James Baldwin just preaches from the dead. Here’s another passage, from Another Country:
People don’t have any mercy. They tear you limb from limb, in the name of love. Then, when you’re dead, when they’ve killed you by what they made you go through, they say you didn’t have any character. They weep big, bitter tears – not for you. For themselves, because they’ve lost their toy.
He saw people, he saw society, and he wrote down what he saw. Powerful.