James Baldwin's D.O.BJames Arthur Baldwin was born in Harlem, New York, New York. He was raised by his mother, Emma Berdis Jones, and his step-father David Baldwin. He was the oldest of 9 siblings so since he was small he's had the responsibility of being a role model to his younger siblings. He wasn't that close with his dad because he was very strict.
Elementary SchoolJames Baldwin attended Public School 24 in Harlem, New York when he was 5 years old. There he met a young white teacher named Orilla Miller. She was a big influential figure in his life. She directed his 1st play and took him to the theatre as well. She showed James that not all white people were bad.
Middle SchoolJames Baldwin attended Frederic Douglass Junior High at the age of 11. Here he met a teacher named Countee Collen who was a poet as well and he influenced his life in a big way. He got James into literary club which further established his love for reading. Colle also became a father figure for the lonely James.
James Starts PreachingJames Baldwin started preaching in the summer at Fireside Pentecostal Assembly. This is an important event because it helped him develop his speaking skills which would help him in the future. Martin Luther King Jr. also did this.
High SchoolJames Baldwin went to De Witt Clinton High School and here is where he started developing his activist skills because he joined the school newspaper. Most of his white classmates came from liberal families which means they were more focused on his skills than his skin color. This helped his morale a lot because he made friends.
Early Love LifeBaldwin met Eugene Worth in December and became friends with him. They went through the same struggles and this caused James to fall in love. This was when he was finding his sexual identity. Eugene committed suicide before he could reveal his feelings. This caused James to write about sexual oppression.
David Baldwin's DeathDavid Baldwin's death affected James in a big way. James used to despise his dad for being so sour and strict. After his death James started to feel the same things his dad felt. He noticed that his dad just had gone mad with the world and this caused James to take a different course of action.
1st Trip to FranceJames Baldwin moved to Paris, France to look for clarity. There he found his 1st real home where he felt completely free and where he was able to be himself. He lived in a neighborhood filled with artists which helped him find a new vision in the world and meet people who thought like him. This trip to France helped him release his creativity and look for different solutions.
Notes of a Native SonJames Baldwin released Notes of a Native Son which was is most famous piece of work. This book compiles 10 different of his essays that talk about race issues in Europe and America. Most of the book also focuses on the relationship that he had with his dad. What I found interesting is that I read an essay of the book last year.
The Murder of Emmet TillEmmet Till was a 14-year-old boy murdered by 2 white males, Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam for allegedly whistling at Bryant's wife. During the trial, the 2 guys were found not guilty which caused uproar in the black community especially, young black adults. This was one of the key events that caused the movement to grow.
Baldwin Meets MLK Jr.James Baldwin first meets Martin Luther King Jr. when Mr. King is giving a sermon. Baldwin is impressed by his oral abilities. He was also impressed by how he inspired belief while withstanding white oppression.
James Baldwin Debate with Malcolm XIn this debate James Baldwin and Malcolm X showed the black community that they don't have to agree on everything to prosper together and achieve a common goal. James was in between MLK and Malcolm X meaning he wanted direct action but wanted to maintain the peaceful protesting.
Blues for Mr. CharlieInspired by the Emmet Till murder case, James Baldwin's Blues for Mr. Charlie talks about a black male named Richard Henry being murdered by white bigot Lyle Britten for not knowing his place. The play is a tragedy and it focuses in the case and how the justice deems the lives of black people as disposable. It helped illiterate black people.
James Baldwin's DeathJames died of stomach cancer in Saint-Paul-de-Vance, France. He was buried in the Ferncliff Cemetery located in New York. He never married or had children but he left a legacy that helped raise awareness for racial and sexual oppression.