We all come from different place and backgrounds, with different stories to tell. Baldwin entitled his novel “Notes to a Native Son” because he was inspired by his mentor Richard Wright. A Native Son is someone who was born in a particular place. The struggles of everyday life they face being from a certain area. The cause and effect of their action making them a native to were there from. Baldwin lost his father at the age of 19 years old. His mother was about to have a baby at the time.
And this was also a time were riots evolved in Detroit and Harlem area. Baldwin left home and began work in a defense plant in New Jersey, he did not return home till he received the new of his father’s dying and the expectation of a new sibling. On the day of his father’s funeral Baldwin was very drunk and making plans on how he would celebrate his birthday. Baldwin can only recall one conversation he had with his father, but he does remember his father’s favorite scripture; “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord. ” Baldwin father hated white people and Baldwin tried o look at racism in a different perspective.
He sees the racial riots as a fitting symbol that caused the end of his father, and somehow he can see the hand of God in the situation. Baldwin states “l am the voice of all African American all over…. ” He is reluctant to grieve, he would rather write than preach. He Is the act against segregation and discrimination. I am a native Daughter of my time because of my background and where I come from. No my life story is not long and trying like Baldwin, but we share the experience of race that has shifted our mind set over time.
Growing up being a native to the Caucasian neighborhood and society, but being African American was an experience In Itself. Throughout my life I have always attended private schools with Caucasian children. So I have been a customs to a small class room setting, hands on learning, and uniforms. It wasn’t till I became a senior and we moved and I had to go to a public school. Had to adjust to their way of things. No uniforms, crowded class rooms, and nasty school lunches. I did not like public schools at all. My mother told me I need to get involved and things would be deferent.
I cheered at my other school so I tried out for cheerleaders and I made the varsity team. Everything was different though; they battled and cheered really aggressive. But cheering was something I loved to do so stay on the team. I meet a lot of new types of people. The students were kind of on the wild side. That was the first times in my life of being in school where I seen so many food fights and students acting like fools in the hallway. It was a major adjustment, my grandfather is an advocate for Hub’s so I told myself I would try one out and see how it goes.
So I applied for Savannah State University. Starting a new school In a new town with a different race of people can be very challenging. You face many obstacles with every experience you take. I now find myself in class rooms with about fifteen African American were as I would only see two or three in schools at home. It began to seem that I would hold two ideas in my mind of school that seemed to cause an opposition. The first idea was acceptance, accepting the fact that I was no longer in a setting that made me comfortable and I would have to adjust to a new way of learning.
But this does not mean I can come complacent, for the second idea was fear: That I must never in my life accept the fears that new experience may bring me. My fight begins however in my mind, and has been lead to take charge in my learning environment. Though sometimes I still find myself struggling to adjust, but there comes a time and a place where everyone must go through and experience life that’s what makes us natives to where we are from; my ability to overcome what who I am and where I come from.
Though I and Baldwin grounds are so different, it doesn’t change the facts that those minor or major details make him a native son and I a native daughter. Baldwin expresses “This intimation made my heart heavy and, now that my father was irrecoverable, I wished that he had been beside me so that I could have searched his face for that answers which only the future would. ” Basically Baldwin wishes his father were here to gain some answers to his unanswered question. I understand his outlook on his situation, because without help and guidance of my parents I would not be able to go through his experience of learning at an HUB.
As I look back on Baldwin life and my life and experiences I can get a clear understanding on what a native son really is. You don’t have to go through anything drastic and sad to make you a native son. Just the fact that you are from a particular place and have made some adjustments in your life that made you changes your outlook on things. One this will never forget from my experience at Savannah State University is: Mimi Can Get Anywhere from Here! ” something that a predominantly white school could not have taught me.