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James Baldwin – “Notes of a Native Son” – Questions 1 and 5 James Baldwin immediately establishes three events that are crucial to the setting and theme of the story in the first paragraph: 1) His father just died, 2) His father’s last child was just born, and 3) A riot broke out in the ghetto of Harlem. This establishes the setting of Harlem in the 1940s and America’s overall condition when it comes to race issues. The race issues of the time also defined a complicated relationship between Baldwin, his father, and the prejudicial society that encompassed them. Baldwin elaborates on his father’s death by explaining his life. Baldwin’s father was incredibly spiteful towards white people and lived his life as a minister in acoma of bitterness. This was because he was a part of the first generation of free black men who still knew what it was like to be a slave, having experienced it first hand. This hatred and