When I read A Letter from the South by James Baldwin, I was touched by the reality put forward by Baldwin. Sometimes one is a stranger in their own lands, even if surrounded by their own kinds. It is very true that a Negro born in the North will find himself a foreigner if he is taken to the South. He sees the world from an odd angle indeed. I agree with Baldwin when he reveals his fear as well as his embarrassment for his connection to the South. He feels confused about his identity, which is partly black and American, and now he has to deal with the South.
I feel A Letter from the South sheds light on the psychological problem of racial identity that has always been there for the whites and struggling blacks. The blacks are trapped in their shaky world, rejected by white professionals and separate from their kinsmen. I am sure other readers too feel the absence of a sense of belonging that Baldwin feels towards his racial community. He feels isolated not only among other Americans but more frighteningly, even in the midst of other blacks.
As I was reading, I came upon the section where Baldwin describes the educational level among the Blacks and what the whites expect from them. The whites have little respect for the genuine intellectual efforts made by the blacks and the general level of education among the blacks is low. The blacks are expected to create only exceptions. I agree with Baldwin when he says that the black population is just like others and create some exceptions while most of them are just like everybody else. According to the writer, the racial set up in the south is very different from the racial set up in the North.
Baldwin identity as a black writer must be placed within his own recognition as an American writer. I feel he is right when he ponders over his own identity and whether it is partly black or white. He wonders in what ways will this realization of his specialness will connect him with others or push him further away.