Fly in Buttermilk
James Baldwin is a very perceptive man and usually gets his point across pretty well. In his excerpt “A Fly in Buttermilk”, Baldwin discusses his encounter with a southern family. This family includes a young black male who is enrolled in an all white high school. He asks of the boy’s troubles and discusses his responses.
For the very first words of this excerpt Baldwin states “You can take the child out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the child.” This bases on the whole excerpt. For my own interpretation I took this as a self-reflection upon one own environment. I know personally from my own experiences that the environments in which I was raised in from my parents and friends to my living in a city and a suburb reflect my opinion of what others speak of. What you are accustomed to become the normal and what you are not accustomed to become the odd. For example, in this excerpt Baldwin talks to an old man of the south. Baldwin tells of how he has seen picture of people being hung in the south, but this old man has actually experienced it. These horrible genocides were happening to this old mans friends and family. This could have even been him had he made one wrong step. Baldwin does not know of this and will never know of it. These two are obviously going to have different perspectives on the situation.
When Baldwin talks to the mother and son in the excerpt, he mentions that he had felt that he had not heard the whole truth. For example, the boy tells him that on the first day of school there was merely some name-calling and nothing else. He also neglects to mention any of the names to which he was called. The boy is very quite and studious,...