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'Go Tell It On The Mountain' Quotes

By

Go Tell It On The Mountain

Go Tell It On The Mountain

Knopf
Go Tell It On The Mountain is a semi-autobiographical novel by James Baldwin. This story of a black American family was first published in 1953. Here are a few quotes from the novel.
  • "Everyone had always said that John would be a preacher when he grew up, just like his father. It had been said so often that John, without ever thinking about it, had come to believe it himself."
    - James Baldwin, Go Tell It On The Mountain

  • "He awoke on this birthday morning with the feeling that there was a menace in the air around him - that something irrevocable had occurred in him."
    - James Baldwin, Go Tell It On The Mountain

  • "He lived for the day when his father would be dying and he, John, would curse him on his death-bed. And this was why, though he had been born in the faith and had been surrounded all his life by the saints and by their prayers and their rejoicing, and though the tabernacle in which they worshipped was more completely real to him than the several precarious homes in which he and his family had lived, John's heart was hardened against the Lord. His father was God's minister, the ambassador of the King of Heaven, and John could not bow before the throne of grace without first kneeling to his father."
    - James Baldwin, Go Tell It On The Mountain

  • "John and his father stared at each other, struck dumb and still and with something come to life between them - while the Holy Ghost spoke. Gabriel had never seen such a look on John's face before; Satan, at that moment, stared out of John's eyes while the Spirit spoke; and yet John's staring eyes to-nigh reminded Gabriel of other eyes; of his mother's eyes when she beat him, of Florence's eyes when she mocked him, of Deborah's eyes when she prayed for him, of Esther's eyes and Royal's eyes, and Elizabeth's eyes to-night before Roy cursed him, and of Roy's eyes when Roy said: 'You black bastard.' And John did not drop his eyes, but seemed to want to stare for ever into the bottom of Gabriel's soul."
    - James Baldwin, Go Tell It On The Mountain

  • "It was he who had told her to weep, when she wept, alone; never to let the world see, never to ask for mercy; if one had to die, to go ahead and die, but never to let oneself be beaten."
    - James Baldwin, Go Tell It On The Mountain

  • "On the threshing-floor, in the centre of the crying, singing saints, John lay astonished beneath the power of the Lord."
    - James Baldwin, Go Tell It On The Mountain

  • "Then John knew that a curse was renewed from moment to moment, from father to son. Time was indifferent, like snow and ice; but the heart, crazed wanderer in the driving waste, carried the curse for ever."
    - James Baldwin, Go Tell It On The Mountain

  • "'Praise the Lord,' said his father. He did not move to touch him, did not kiss him, did not smile. They stood before each other in silence, while the saints rejoiced; and John struggled to speak the authoritative, the living word that would conquer the great division between his father and himself. But it did not come, the living word; in the silence something died in John, and something came alive."
    - James Baldwin, Go Tell It On The Mountain

  • "And her smile remained unreadable; he could not tell what it hid. And to escape her eyes, he kissed her, saying; 'Yes Mama. I'm coming.'"
    - James Baldwin, Go Tell It On The Mountain

  • " 'Elisha,' he said, 'no matter what happens to me, where I go, what folks say about me, no matter what anybody says, you remember - please remember - I was saved. I was there.'"
    - James Baldwin, Go Tell It On The Mountain

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