Transhistorical and Transnational James Baldwin in “My Dungeon Shook” or “The Instructional Manual For Black People”
Beugre Zouankouan Stéphane
University of Pelefero Gon Coulibaly, English Department, Côte d’Ivoire

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This review provides an analysis of the great social, cultural, political, intellectual and even anthropological contribution about race relations made by James Baldwin through the first essay of The Fire Next Time. Thanks to this valuable, thoughtful and meaningful contribution about race relations between the white people and the black people, James Baldwin can be characterized here as both a transhistorical and transnational writer, thinker and truthteller. Because his realistic good social, cultural, political, intellectual and even anthropological contribution about race relations in the United States goes beyond the developing issues at the time of writing (the historical context of the essay production, the period of the essay production and the borders of the United States) to become a real transhistorical contribution (meaning is out of historical context and historical period) and a real transnational contribution (meaning is out of the borders of the country mentioned). This retrospective on his essay and its re-evaluation shed light on the visionary quality of the writer and also explore the prophetical quality of his contribution. Due to its realistic message and its effectiveness and visionary qualities, the essay “My Dungeon Shook: Letter to My Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Emancipation” may serve as a model-paradigm that can be utilized as an “Instructional Manual” by black people to deal with and to handle white people. And namely, it can serve as precisely “The Instructional Manual For Black People” to deal with and “to handle white people” in terms of useful instructions, guidelines and principles for the sake of the black race.


“Instructional Manual For Black People”, “transhistorical and transnational James Baldwin”, “to handle them”, White people, Black people, Race relations, “instructions, guidelines, and principles”, visionary writer, speak prophetically, racism, Letter


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