The Tricky Allure of Becoming a Black American Expatriate


Kimberly Springer | The Atlantic

In his 1960 short story “This Morning, This Evening, So Soon,” which was first published in The Atlantic, James Baldwin describes the pervasive feeling that informed his expatriatism: the bitter push of American racism versus the sweet pull of life elsewhere. When the story’s main character—a black American expat who lives in France with his Swedish wife and their French-born son—wonders whether his kid would want to “see the country in which his father and his father’s fathers were born,” he concludes, “Why should he want to cross all that water just to be called a nigger? America never gave him anything.”

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