James Baldwin


Picture of James Baldwin

James Arthur Baldwin (né Jones; August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987) was an American writer and civil rights activist. He garnered acclaim for his work across several forms, including essays, novels, plays, and poems. His first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, was published in 1953; in 2005, Time magazine included the novel on its list of the 100 best English-language novels released since the year of the Time's first publication in 1923. His first essay collection, Notes of a Native Son, was published in 1955.In Baldwin's fiction, he posed fundamental personal questions and dilemmas amid complex social and psychological pressures. Themes of masculinity, sexuality, race, and class intertwine to create intricate narratives that run parallel with some of the major political movements toward social change in mid-twentieth century America, such as the civil rights movement and the gay liberation movement. Baldwin's protagonists are often but not exclusively African American, and gay and bisexual men frequently feature prominently in his literature. These characters often face internal and external obstacles in their search for self- and social acceptance. Such dynamics are prominent in Baldwin's second novel, Giovanni's Room, which was written in 1956, well before the gay liberation movement.His reputation has endured since his death, and his work has been adapted for the screen to great acclaim. An unfinished manuscript, Remember This House, was expanded and adapted for cinema as the documentary film I Am Not Your Negro (2016), which was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 89th Academy Awards. One of his novels, If Beale Street Could Talk, was adapted into the Academy Award–winning film of the same name in 2018.In addition to writing, Baldwin was also a well-known public figure and orator, especially during the civil rights movement in the United States.

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Quotes from James Baldwin


James Baldwin has the following books quoted on Quodid: