Baldwin explains how his paranoid and angered father died of tuberculosis when he himself was 19 years old. Prior to that Baldwin had been taken to the theater by a white teacher of his, and his parents had let him go because she was a teacher. Later he worked in New Jersey and was often turned down in segregated places—once he hurled a cup half full of water at a waitress in a diner. He goes on to say that blacks doing the military service in the South often got abused. Finally, he recounts his father's death which occurred just before his mother gave birth to one of his sisters; his father's funeral was on his 19th birthday and the Harlem Riot of 1943 . This essay is an attempt to do away with the hatred and despair he feels towards his father.