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James Baldwin
James Baldwin James Baldwin


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James Baldwin was born in Harlem in 1924 The oldest of nine children, he grew up in poverty, developing a troubled relationship with his strict, religious father As a child, he cast about for a way to escape his circumstances As he recalls, I knew I was black, of course, but I also knew I was smart I didn’t know how I would use my mind, or even if I could, but that was the only thing I had to use By the time he was fourteen, Baldwin was spending much of his time in libraries and had found his passion for writing During this early part of his life, he followed in his father’s footsteps and became a preacher Of those teen years, Baldwin recalled, Those three years in the pulpit — I didn’t realize it then — that is what turned me into a writer, really, dealing with all that anguish and that despair and that beauty Many have noted the strong influence of the language of the church on Baldwin’s style, its cadences and tone Eager to move on, Baldwin knew that if he left the pulpit he must also leave home, so at eighteen he took a job working for the New Jersey railroad.

After working for a short while with the railroad, Baldwin moved to Greenwich Village, where he came into contact with the well-known writer Richard Wright Baldwin worked for a number of years as a freelance writer, working primarily on book reviews Though Baldwin had not yet finished a novel, Wright helped to secure him a grant with which he could support himself as a writer in Paris So, in 1948 Baldwin left for Paris, where he would find enough distance from the American society he grew up in to write about it After writing a number of pieces that were published in various magazines, Baldwin went to Switzerland to finish his first novel Go Tell It on the Mountain, published in 1953, was an autobiographical work about growing up in Harlem The passion and depth with which he described the struggles of black Americans was unlike anything that had been written Though not instantly recognized as such, Go Tell It on the Mountain has long been considered an American classic Throughout the rest of the decade, Baldwin moved from Paris to New York to Istanbul, writing Notes of a Native Son (1955) and Giovanni’s Room (1956) Dealing with taboo themes in both books (interracial relationships and homosexuality, respectively), Baldwin was creating socially relevant and psychologically penetrating literature.

Being abroad gave Baldwin a perspective on his life and a solitary freedom to pursue his craft “Once you find yourself in another civilization,” he notes, “you’re forced to examine your own” In a sense, Baldwin’s travels brought him even closer to the social concerns of contemporary America In the early 1960s, overwhelmed with a responsibility to the times, Baldwin returned to take part in the civil rights movement Traveling throughout the South, he began work on an explosive work about black identity and the state of racial struggle, The Fire Next Time (1963) For many, Notes of a Native Son and The Fire Next Time were an early and primary voice in the civil rights movement Though at times criticized for his pacifist stance, Baldwin remained throughout the 1960s an important figure in that struggle After the assassinations of his friends Medgar Evers, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr, and Malcolm X, Baldwin returned to France where he worked on a book about the disillusionment of the times, If Beale Street Could Talk (1974) Many responded to the harsh tone of If Beale Street Could Talk with accusations of bitterness.

But, even if Baldwin had encapsulated much of the anger of the times in his book, he always remained a constant advocate for universal love and brotherhood During the last ten years of his life, Baldwin produced a number of important works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, and turned to teaching as a new way of connecting with the young By his death in 1987, James Baldwin had become one of the most important and vocal advocates for equality From Go Tell It on the Mountain to The Evidence of Things Not Seen (1985), James Baldwin created works of literary beauty and depth that will remain essential parts of the American canon .



 
James Baldwin Debates William F. Buckley (1965)
Historic debate between James Baldwin v. William F. Buckley Jr. at Cambridge University on the question: "Is the American Dream at the expense of the America...
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BALDWINS NIGGER (James Baldwin and Dick Gregory)
http://malcolmxfiles.blogspot.com/ http://malcolmxfiles.blogspot.com/ http://malcolmxfiles.blogspot.com/ A 1969 conversation with writer James Baldwin and Di...
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JAMES BALDWIN ON MALCOLM X (1 of 3)
http://malcolmxfiles.blogspot.com/ http://malcolmxfiles.blogspot.com/ http://malcolmxfiles.blogspot.com/ James Baldwin in an interview with Kenneth Clark. Fr...
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JAMES BALDWIN: Interview (Florida Forum, Miami)~~1963
Author James Baldwin taped a candid and fascinating studio interview at WCKT - Miami in 1963. Featured in this edition of the long running program, "Florida ...
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James Baldwins National Press Club Speech (1986)
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Malcolm X - Debate with James Baldwin - September 5, 1963
No Description Available
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Who is the Nigger? -James Baldwin (clip)
A clip from, "Take this Hammer"... KQED's mobile film unit follows author and activist James Baldwin in the spring of 1963, as he's driven around San Francis...
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James Baldwin - interview - pt. 1
Author James Baldwin.
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James Baldwin: the Price of the Ticket
To watch the entire documentary, to read background information and to order DVDs, visit: http://newsreel.org/video/JAMES-BALDWIN-THE-PRICE-OF-THE-TICKET Fil...
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James Baldwin Speaks at UC Berkeley in 1974
Part II Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rt2l0sYdNNE James Baldwin, one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century, speaks on race, political struggle,...
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James Baldwin on the Dick Cavett Show
From PBS American Masters James Baldwin, "The Price of the Ticket" Unfortunately comments became derisive and certain viewers resorted to name calling. Very ...
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James Baldwin - The Artists Struggle for Integrity (An Excerpt)
Part of a talk given at the Community Church in New York in 1963. Still trying to find a complete audio file.
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James Baldwin Speech: Living and Growing in a White World (Part One)
Radio Recording of James Baldwin speaking on the function, importance and value of an education and finding self-worth in a white society. "James Baldwin dis...
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James Baldwin on Education
Baldwin gives comments on the education system, public education, education as it pertains to Black children, and education within racist institutions.
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You were Lied to (you were never a Mule) - James Baldwin (Baldwins Nigger)
I discovered this gem last year, I immediately wrote this speech out...an excerpt from Baldwin's Nigger, spoken in 1969 in London about the black experience ...
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James Baldwin on Marriage Equality and Love
An audience member pushes Baldwin hard on interracial marriage. This is his response. One can assume he would express similar feelings on same sex marriage d...
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Bayard Rustin and James Baldwin: Freedom Fighters and Friends
In celebration of Black History Month in Washington DC, Bayard Rustin and James Baldwin: Freedom Fighters & Friends highlights Bayard Rustin and James Baldwi...
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RBG-James Baldwin and Dick Gregory Baldwins Nigger (1969)
FROM RBG Raptivist, Revolutionary Poets, Playwrights and Writers Studies Collection http://www.scribd.com/collections/4203559/RBG-Raptivist-Revolutionary-Poe...
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Civil Rights 1963 - James Baldwin and Marlon Brando
African American Civil Rights Movement.
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James Baldwin 1963 Why did the white man invent the nigger?
James Baldwin 1963 "Why did the white man invent the nigger?"
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James Baldwin - On Being Poor, Black, and Gay
James Baldwin - Poet, prophet and all round prince -responds when being asked what it was like being born poor, black, and gay. See this and other Balwin vid...
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Review of Giovannis Room & Discussion of James Baldwin
Moraine Valley Librarians, Joe, Tish, & Troy discuss the upcoming One Book text, Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin. They consider the literary value of the no...
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James Baldwin - interview - pt. 2
James Baldwin - interview.
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James Baldwin, the Activist Voice, and Views on Privilege in Giovannis Room
MVCC Democracy Commitment Faculty Coordinator, Tamarra Coleman-Hill discusses James Baldwin as an activist with librarians Joe, Tish, and Troy. The discussio...
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Four Great Americans FULL Audiobook - by James Baldwin - U.S. History - Presidents - Civics
George Washington - Benjamin Franklin - Daniel Webster - Abraham Lincoln - SUBSCRIBE to Greatest Audio Books: http://www.youtube.com/GreatestAudioBooks - REA...
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