James Baldwin

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Born on August 2, 1924 in New York City’s Harlem, James Baldwin was a quintessential American writer. In 1948, Baldwin moved to Paris where he hoped to find enough distance from America to write about its culture and society. In 1953, Baldwin published his first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, which was an autobiographical work describing his life in Harlem. Although this was not recognized at first, Go Tell It on the Mountain became an American classic because of it vivid description of black American’s struggle in Harlem. Traveling from Paris to New York to Istanbul, James wrote Notes of a Native Son (1955), Nobody Knows My Name (1961), Giovanni’s Room (1956), and Another Country (1962), where the latter two became bestsellers. Mr. Baldwin claimed that traveling gave him a broad perspective on life by stating “Once you find yourself in another civilization, you’re forced to examine your own.” In 1987, at the tender age of 63, Mr. Baldwin died of stomach cancer. He is widely considered one of the most important and vocal advocates of equality.

Published Works