Literature Study GuidesNotes Of A Native Son

Notes of a Native Son | Study Guide

James Baldwin

Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "Notes of a Native Son Study Guide." Course Hero. 29 Mar. 2019. Web. 7 July 2020. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2019, March 29). Notes of a Native Son Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved July 7, 2020, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2019)



Course Hero. "Notes of a Native Son Study Guide." March 29, 2019. Accessed July 7, 2020.


Course Hero, "Notes of a Native Son Study Guide," March 29, 2019, accessed July 7, 2020,



James Baldwin

Year Published





Autobiography, Nonfiction

At a Glance

James Baldwin wrote Notes of a Native Son as a critique of race relations in America and Europe in the middle of the 20th century He tackles everything from African American literature and film to political figures, race riots, and living abroad. At the heart of his criticism is an investigation of identity—both his own and that of African Americans at large. At times his essays are deeply autobiographical in nature, and he uses his own experience as a jumping off point to examine larger racial issues. The scope of the essays in the book remains as relevant today as it was over a half century ago, as the reader is forced to examine how much or how little race relations have changed.

About the Title

Notes of a Native Son makes reference to the title of an historic 1940 novel by the African American writer Richard Wright called Native Son. Baldwin refers to the novel throughout an essay on race, yet Notes of a Native Son may also refer to how Baldwin sees both himself and other African Americans in relation to their country.


This study guide for James Baldwin's Notes of a Native Son offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

Buy this book from
Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Notes of a Native Son? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!

Stuck? We have tutors online 24/7 who can help you get unstuck.
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors You can ask You can ask You can ask (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes