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James Baldwin Illustration

James Baldwin Centenary

Celebrate 100 years of James Baldwin, the literary legend and civil rights champion.

James Baldwin, an iconic writer and activist, explored the complexities of race, identity, love, and class with searing insight. Join us as we celebrate 100 years of Baldwin--one of the most important writers of the 20th century. Baldwin’s legacy as a writer and civil rights activist has left an indelible mark on history, and his wisdom and courage continue to inspire generations. 

Artwork by Ernesto Yerena based on the original photo by Allan Warren. Logo includes "James Baldwin on the Galata Bridge," Istanbul, Turkey 1964 © Sedat Pakay |, used with permission.

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

The Fire Next Time

James Baldwin

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The book that galvanized the nation, gave voice to the emerging civil rights movementin the 1960s—and still lights the way to understanding race in America today. • "The finest essay I’ve ever read.” —Ta-Nehisi Coates

At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document from the iconic author of If Beale Street Could Talk and Go Tell It on the Mountain. It consists of two "letters," written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism. 

Described by The New York Times Book Review as "sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle … all presented in searing, brilliant prose," The Fire Next Time stands as a classic of literature.

Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin

Giovanni's Room

James Baldwin

Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

Go Tell It on the Mountain

James Baldwin

If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin

If Beale Street Could Talk

James Baldwin

About the Author

James Baldwin
Photo: © The Granger Collection

James Baldwin

James Baldwin (1924–1987) was a novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic. His first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, appeared in 1953 to excellent reviews, and his essay collections Notes of a Native Son and The Fire Next Time were bestsellers that made him an influential figure in the growing civil rights movement. Baldwin spent much of his life in France, where he moved to escape the racism and homophobia of the United States. He died in France in 1987, a year after being made a Commander of the French Legion of Honor.

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