Notes of a Native Son is a collection of essays written and published by the African-American author James Baldwin. The collection of essays was published in 1955 and, even though Baldwin had written a number of books before it, relatively few of them were successful.
Baldwin was born in the 1920s, and while he was not a slave, his grandparents were. As a result, his parents were affected directly by the slavery and the events they experienced in their youth influenced their lives. Baldwin also experienced racism first hand as he was living in a society still affected by racist views. What is more, Baldwin had the opportunity to travel in Europe and he was able to come into contact with other cultures and with other views about his race.
In his essays, Baldwin analyzes everything from books to movies, from communities to entire countries and focuses on showing how black people and black communities were treated. Baldwin also analyzes the way the black community was influenced and how they ended up adopting some of the views the whites had about them.
The collection is important not only for its literary value, but for its historical and sociological value as well. The collection is also what made Baldwin famous and the book that opened for many the way for discussing sensible subjects.