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Arbeit: Peter, the main character in James Baldwin's short story "Previos Condition" is a black man in his mid-twenties who works as an actor in New York where he is living in a small flat rented for him by a friend.
In his everyday life he is very much concerned of discrimination against him and blacks in general.
In his childhood he was a gang member in his home city New Jersey until he ran away when he was 16. His mother always had problems with handling him and when he was 22 she died.
Now he has two good friends living in New York, too. The first one is Jules Weissman, a jewish guy who always tries to help and defend Peter. He is the one who rented a room for him and to him Peter goes when he is in trouble for example after he got kicked out of his flat because he is black. Jules feels like he can understand Peter very good because he comes from an ethnic minority, too and sometimes is discriminated against. But Peter says that no one can see that Jules is a Jew and therefor it is not so hard for him. He also has a relationship to a woman but you don't get to know if they love each other. Ida is an Irish girl who married a rich man for money ut keeps an affair with Peter.
To sum up one can say that Peter is frustrated by society but in contrast to that dreams of having succes as an actor. It is not easy for Peter to trust somebody und he has a little bit of permanent anger in him towards white people.