James Baldwin


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

Baldwin, James,

1924–87, American author, b. New York City. He spent an impoverished boyhood in Harlem, became a Pentecostal preacher at 14, and left the church three years later. He moved to Paris in 1947 and his first two novels, Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953), reflecting his experience as a young preacher, and Giovanni's Room (1956), which dealt with his homosexuality, as well as the intensely personal, racially charged essay collection Notes of a Native Son (1955), were written while he lived there. Baldwin returned to the United States in 1957 and participated in the civil-rights movement, later returning to France where he lived for the remainder of his life. Another Country (1962), a bitter novel about sexual relations and racial tension, received critical acclaim, as did the perceptive essays in what is probably his most celebrated book, The Fire Next Time (1963). His eloquence and unsparing honesty made Baldwin one of the most influential authors of his time. Other works include the play Blues for Mr. Charlie (1964); a volume of short stories, Going to Meet the Man (1964); and the novels If Beale Street Could Talk (1974), the story of a young black couple victimized by the judicial system, and Just above My Head (1979). Collections of essays include Nobody Knows My Name (1961), No Name in the Street (1972), and The Price of a Ticket (1985). His Collected Essays was published in 1998 and The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings in 2010.

Bibliography

See biographies by W. J. Wetherby (1989), J. Campbell (1991), and D. Leeming (1994); interviews in James Baldwin: The Legacy (1989, ed. by Q. Troupe) and Conversations with James Baldwin (1989, ed. by F. L. Standley and L. H. Pratt); studies by L. H. Pratt (1985), H. A. Porter (1989), D. A. McBride, ed. (1999), D. Q. Miller (2000), L. O. Scott (2002), H. Bloom, ed. (2006), D. Field, ed. (2009), and M. J. Zaborowska (2009).

Baldwin, James (Arthur)

(1924–87) writer; born in Harlem, N.Y. Son of a preacher, as a teenager he himself was a preacher in a Harlem pentecostal church. After high school he began publishing polemical essays on the black experience in journals including The Nation and Commentary. Supported largely by fellowships, he began writing fiction in Paris (1948–56). His first novels, the autobiographical Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953) and Giovanni's Room (1956) established him as a promising novelist and anticipated some of the themes dealt with in later works, such as racism and homosexuality. In the U.S.A. (1957–1970s) he became a civil rights activist, and, through his essays, plays, and lectures, something of a celebrity as a spokesman for angry African-Americans. His novels include Another Country (1962), Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone (1968), and Just Above My Head (1979). His essays were collected in several volumes including Notes of a Native Son (1955), Nobody Knows My Name (1961), The Fire Next Time (1963), and The Price of a Ticket (1985). His plays include The Amen Corner (produced 1955), Blues for Mister Charlie (1964). He lived in France during his last years, although he returned to the U.S.A. to hold special academic appointments.
References in periodicals archive ?
He had changed not only his style but his whole outlook: James Baldwin would later note that in Paris "Beauford's paintings underwent a most striking metamorphosis into freedom.
James Baldwin and Validus Prep are among the 26 new small high schools slated to open next fall as part of the City's new small high school initiative.
Wright favored Les Deux Magots--he met James Baldwin there when Baldwin first arrived in Paris in 1948.
Jackson and other gay rights detractors would likewise do well to remember the pivotal role played in the civil rights movement by a gay African-American writer named James Baldwin, whose novel Another Country and essay "The Fire Next Time" were the most widely read texts of the civil rights era.
In addition there are downright sloppy readings, as in the Acknowledgments, where Quincy Troupe's name is mentioned twice--or as on page 205, where Bigger Thomas's name is substituted for that of James Baldwin.
Sign at least two starting pitchers from the pool of Chan Ho Park, Terry Adams and James Baldwin.
Friday, June 18 - JazzDance by Danny Buraczeski, a Minneapolis-based company will make their South Florida debut with the Miami premiere of "Ezekiel's Wheel," Buraczeski's latest work inspired by the life and writings of James Baldwin (1924-1987), an African-American writer of power and grace whose voice became a crucible in 1960s America for issues of equality and identity -- between races, sexes and generations.
But his explorations also provide cameos in Gilbert's story by characters such as James Baldwin, Josephine Baker, Sidney Bechet, Countee Cullen, F.
Throughout this glorious book, we revisit important figures like James Baldwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, and Emmett Till.
In the 1957 essay "Princes and Powers," James Baldwin ruminated on the difference between black Americans and colonized people: "[We] had been made and mangled by, another machinery altogether.
They also have a $115 payroll that ranks behind only the Yankees and Boston, and Chan Ho Park, James Baldwin and Terry Adams all are free agents after the season.