Read/review the following resources for this activity:
- Textbook: “Sonny’s Blues”
- File (PDF): Presentation
- Minimum of 1 peer-reviewed library resource for initial post
“Sonny’s Blues,” by James Baldwin, is the story of drug – and music – addiction, in the inner city’s black ghetto. Two brothers with strong African-American culture and family values experience racism in America.
Initial Post Instructions
Examine James Baldwin’s comment on the blues Sonny plays with Creole and the two other musicians at the end of the story:
Creole began to tell us what the blues were all about. They were not about anything very new. He and his boys up there were keeping it new, at the risk of ruin, destruction, madness, and death, in order to find new ways to make us listen. For, while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard. There isn’t any other tale to tell, it’s the only light we’ve got in all this darkness (1957/2015, p. 52).
Baldwin’s subject is the music, of course, but he is also talking about other forms of creation. What might they be? Use specific examples/quotes from the text to illustrate your claims.
Do NOT use Sparksnotes, eNotes, Wikipedia, or similar websites, as these are not academic in nature. If you do so, you will earn an automatic F. Your discussion may be submitted to Turnitin, so please use the University library or .org and .edu resources.
Baldwin, J. (2015). Sonny’s blues. In A. Charters (Ed.). The story and its writer: An introduction to short fiction (Compact 9th ed.). Boston: Bedford St. Martin’s. (Original work published 1957)
Secondary Post Instructions
When responding to your peers, consider how music could be interpreted as one of Sonny’s “addictions” as well as heroin. How does this help your perception of the story?
- In addition to one initial post, respond to at least two peers.
- Initial Post Length: at least 250 words