James Baldwin  

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"We can't be free until they are all free" --James Baldwin, The Progressive, December 1, 1962

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

James Arthur "Jimmy" Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987) was an American writer and social critic. His essays, as collected in Notes of a Native Son (1955), explore palpable yet unspoken intricacies of racial, sexual, and class distinctions in Western societies, most notably in mid-20th-century America. Some of Baldwin's essays are book-length, for instance The Fire Next Time (1963), No Name in the Street (1972), and The Devil Finds Work (1976). An unfinished manuscript, Remember This House, was expanded upon and adapted for cinema as the Academy Award-nominated documentary film I Am Not Your Negro.

Baldwin's novels and plays fictionalize fundamental personal questions and dilemmas amid complex social and psychological pressures thwarting the equitable integration not only of African Americans, but also of gay and bisexual men, while depicting some internalized obstacles to such individuals' quests for acceptance. Such dynamics are prominent in Baldwin's second novel, Giovanni's Room, written in 1956, well before the gay liberation movement.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "James Baldwin" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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