Boekverslag : James Baldwin - If Beale Street Could Talk
De taal ervan is Engels en het aantal woorden bedraagt 619 woorden.


If Beale Street could talk

Year of first publication



Tish is a young girl who lives in Harlem with her parents. Harlem is an area in New York where many Negroes live. She tells about her youth with Fonny. Fonny has been her friend for years, and now she is pregnant of him. They decide to marry too.

Tish often visits the family Hunt (family of Fonny), because she likes Fonny and his father. Fonny has two sisters, but Tish does not like them, and neither his mother.

In Harlem are many racists. Almost none of them like the Negroes. A friend of Fonny and Tish tells about how he gets in trouble because of that racism.

Fonny gets in trouble too, by a woman (Ms. Rogers) who is raped by a man. She says that Fonny raped her, and a white policeman attached that. The policeman has some pictures, and there is only one black man. Ms. Rogers accuses Fonny (because Fonny is black too), and he goes innocently in jail.

The two families have a lawyer, Mr. Hayward, who has the order to get Fonny out of jail. This lawyer says that this goal will be very difficult. Hayward has to prove that Fonny is innocent.

The families do everything they can to get Fonny out of prison. Sharon, the mother of Tish, goes to search for Ms. Rogers. Ms. Rogers has gone to Puerto Rico, and Sharon travels to Puerto Rico to look there for her. Sharon finds Ms. Rogers, but Ms. Rogers does not want to help in any way. The other family works very hard to earn money to get Fonny out of jail. They are successful, but then by the awful circumstance, Fonny's father commits suicide.

On the end of the story, the baby is finally born and Fonny is out of jail.


Tish (Clementine Rivers)

She is a young black girl about twenty years old. She lives with her family in Harlem (many Negroes live there). Tish is the main character in this book, and she also tells the story. She thinks very badly about people. She also thinks that that is the reason Fonny is in jail.

Fonny (Alonzo Hunt)

Fonny is also black and about twenty years old. He is a sculptor, and the future father of the baby of Tish. He is beloved by his family and of course by Tish. Everyone helps him (and Tish) to get him out of prison.


The theme is the racism against Negroes. In addition, the Negroes cannot do anything about the fact that they are the scapegoat in the society.

This is the theme because the book shows me the relation between Negroes and white people. Both of the groups have prejudices about each other. The white people dominate the black, and the Negroes have to live with that fact. It is a terrible thing to see how the white people put the black in jail because of their colour. It is just the same as a fisherman who catches a fish.


I want to explain the difficult title. Beale Street is the street where Fonny and Tish grew up. In that street lives many Negroes. 'If Beale Street could talk' refers that if there is no more racism, and the black people get a place in the society, the world will be a better place to live.


It is a touching story and a nice book to read. If you read it, you really think that the story is real. In addition, you think that it must be terrible to be the main character.
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