Baldwin’s Essay

  1. In Baldwin’s essay, he uses certain words and phrases to show the culture between African Americans and Caucasians. The first words I noticed were “good nigger” and “bad nigger”, on the surface you would say that these words are pretty self-explanatory. But when whites say that is a “good nigger” they’re not talking about that African American’s sense of moral beliefs or his character but instead how well they follow and obey the rules of the white man. When African Americans start to question, defend and/or take action in their defense they become the “big nigger”. There also seems to be this unspoken rule for African Americans which is to never question the authority. We first see this when the story opened up, Fecundo Acion simply got beaten up for asking the police why they are beating children. Mrs.Sugar, the mother of one of the boys, asked the officer if he had a search warrant, he did not but he still searched her home regardless.
  2. The fieldworker should ask questions regarding how often do officers come into the neighborhood abusing their power? How are the children taught to act and say when they are in these situations?
  3. One way a fieldworker can penetrate the insider perspective is by living in the most affected neighborhoods. By living inside these neighborhoods they can see an unbiased story because they can see everything for themselves. Another way to become an insider is by speaking to the families that had this done to them. It’s also helpful if the fieldworker saw the story through the perspective of a cop, so it may help if the fieldworker tag along with the cop to see how they assess a situation and act upon it.

Comments ( 2 )

  1. Yaya Camara
    I like the questions you wrote for number two. The questions, especially the second one involving children's take on the violence, are very important questions which can give the fieldworker good information for their writing.
  2. Emma Fournier
    I agree with Yaya about the second question a fieldworker might ask regarding how the children are taught to behave in these circumstances. That immediately stuck out to me in your post because it really made me consider their perspective when I hadn't put much thought into that in my own reflection of the article. That point is so important because the way in which children are raised is crucial to how their perceptions and behaviors will develop in the future.

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