James Baldwin

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Hate: The Life and Works of James Baldwin “I imagine that one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, that they will be forced to deal with pain” (Baldwin, 2012/1955, p. 745). James Baldwin is one of the most thought inducing writers of his time. Marked by his experiences in the realms of racial, sexual, and religious struggles Baldwin’s life and works have opened the eyes of the American people, as well as many others, to these sensitive subjects that we have struggled with. James Arthur Baldwin was born James Arthur Jones in 1924, in Harlem, to Emma Berdis Jones. Baldwin never knew the identity of his biological father. Emma Berdis Jones later met and married David Baldwin, who…show more content…
David Baldwin was a strict disciplinarian. James would later describe his relationship with David Baldwin when in his essay “Notes of a Native Son” he wrote, “I had not known my father very well. We had got on badly, partly because we shared, in our different fashions, the vice of stubborn pride.” (Baldwin, 2012/1955, p.737). James attended elementary school at P.S. 24 where he met Orilla Miller who took him under her wing (Goodman Theatre, n.d.) In “Notes of a Native Son” he writes, When I was around nine or ten I wrote a play which was directed by a young, white schoolteacher, a woman, who then took an interest in me, and gave me books to read and, in order to corroborate my theatrical bent, decided to take me to what she somewhat tactlessly referred to as “real” plays (Baldwin,2012/1955, p. 739). Baldwin attended Frederick Douglass Junior High School where he served as the editor for the school’s newspaper The Douglass Pilot. (Goodman Theatre, n.d.) It was during this time, around the age of 14, that Baldwin began attending a Pentecostal church in Harlem. It was here that would be saved and begin preaching under the pastor there known as Mother Horn. Mother Horn would be the inspiration for a character in Baldwin’s first “real” play The Amen Corner. This period in his life would also be the inspiration he need for his debut novel Go Tell it on The Mountain (Hempton,2008). He would later describe this experience when he
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