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Biography James Baldwin

James Baldwin

James Baldwin was born in Harlem in 1924. Baldwin’s many novels include his debut, Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953), considered an American classic. He was also a poet and a playwright, but is most well known and remembered as an essayist and social critic. Baldwin’s nonfiction collections include Notes from a Native Son (1955), the bestseller Nobody Knows My Name: More Notes of a Native Son (1961), as well as The Fire Next Time (1963). He served as a leader in the Civil Rights movement, and as such was featured on the cover of Time magazine; the magazine stated, “There is not another writer who expresses with such poignancy and abrasiveness the dark realities of the racial ferment in North and South.” Baldwin’s work dealt with the complex pressures rising from the integration of not only African Americans, but also gays and bisexual men. James Baldwin died in 1987.

Audio Recordings with James Baldwin

Selected Works at the Library of Congress