(855) 4-ESSAYS

Type a new keyword(s) and press Enter to search

The Life and Influence of James Baldwin

            James Baldwin is considered one of the most important African American writer of novels, poetry, short stories and essays, as well as a civil right activist. He was born in New York City's Harlem in 1924 (Smith 235). Due to his mother's inaccessibility and his stepfather's stern and remote manner, Baldwin felt isolated and retreated into the world of literature. He grew up in poverty, developing a troubled relationship with his stepfather. As a child, he tries to find a way to escape his circumstances. Baldwin spent much of his time in libraries and found his passion for writing (236).
             After elementary school, Baldwin went to Frederic Douglas Junior high school. It was here that he met Countee Cullen, who is an American poet, and Herman W. Porter, both of whom were teachers at the school during the years that Baldwin attend, and both would have a lasting impact on his life. Cullen encouraged Baldwin to participate in the school's literary club, which he was the advisor of Baldwin was enchanted by Cullen's warmth (Smith 236). "According to Boyd, although Baldwin rarely spoke or wrote about his relationship with Cullen, the poet was one of the early influences in Baldwin life, preparing him to move beyond the boundaries of Harlem" (236). .
             When his stepfather dies in 1943, Baldwin moved to Greenwich Village to pursue his literary dreams. Baldwin had his first novel, "Go Tell It on the Mountain," published in 1953. This novel focused on the life of a young man growing up in Harlem grappling with father issues and his religion. It is represented "Baldwin's passionate gesture of identification with his people" (Armengol 671). In 1954, "Giovanni's Room," "Baldwin's second novel moved away from his African American culture and heritage" (671). Set in Paris, this novel tells the story of a love affair between a white American student and an Italian bartender.

Essays Related to The Life and Influence of James Baldwin

Got a writing question? Ask our professional writer!
Submit My Question