James BaldwinCivil Rights Figure / Writer
Born: 2 August 1924
Died: 1 December 1987 (stomach cancer)
Birthplace: New York City, New York
Best known as: Author of Go Tell It On The Mountain
James Baldwin established his reputation with his first novel, Go Tell It On The Mountain
(1953), an autobiographical tale of growing up in Harlem. He became one of the leading African-American authors of his generation, known for novels and essays that tackled black-white and hetero-homosexual relationships. He was particularly a noted essayist during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Baldwin turned to writing after being encouraged by Richard Wright
, and, like Wright, left the U.S. after World War II and moved to France. His novels, including Giovanni's Room
(1956), Another Country
(1962) and Just Above My Head
(1979), all deal with the struggle for individuality against intolerance. He also wrote several plays, including Blues For Mister Charlie
(1964), and Evidence of Things Not Seen
(1986), a book about racially-motivated child murders in Atlanta.
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