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Transcription: [00:30:12]
{SPEAKER name="James Baldwin"}
The question is in essence whether or not we should give up Christianity, whether Black people in this country should give up Christianity.

I think that's fair, isn't it? That's the essence of the question.

{audience member 1}
Will you make some assumptions [[inaudible]]

{SPEAKER name="James Baldwin"}
I beg your pardon.

{audience member 1}
Will you make some assumptions first. [[laughter]]

{SPEAKER name="James Baldwin"}
Let me try simply to answer what you take to be his question.

His assumptions, well I was going to address myself to one assumption which I think is false.

You will see soon through example.

That the reason Negros, or the way Negros became Christians was because their masters taught them Christianity.

But is that what happened?

They became Christians in as far as they did, and by the way, the word,

you know on a scale of several definitions, when they practiced the Christian religion by making it their own.

They took it over and the songs we were talking about earlier, come out of that experience.

It's not a question of giving up therefore Christianity and certainly, one couldn't give it up just because white people are Christians.

It's a question of whether or not being able ( -- ) This is our experience, it is all ( -- ) it's what brought us here

and it is only this which carries further than this.

It is not a matter of the Christian religion, it is a matter of something which we have done with it

and it one of the technics of our survival.

And I think that we can carry it much further,

I don't, I don't associate with Christian religion.

I associate it with something else. I associate it with the auction [[??]] and I'm not concerned with the Pope, at all.

I don't care what white Christians do ether, that's their problem. I really don't care.

But I do, care, that we,

we, Black Americans, in moving into the future, do not deny our past, that's what I [[inaudible]]


{audience member 2}
Mr. Baldwin, in a number of ways

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