James Baldwin’s FBI File

readers+writers journal

James Baldwin and the FBI Why Did the FBI Spy on Author James Baldwin?

Hannah K. Gold via The Intercept

James Baldwin’s FBI file contains 1,884 pages of documents, collected from 1960 until the early 1970s. During that era of illegal surveillance of American writers, the FBI accumulated 276 pages on Richard Wright, 110 pages on Truman Capote, and just nine pages on Henry Miller. Baldwin’s file was closer in size to activists and radicals of the day — for example, it’s nearly half as thick as Malcolm X’s.

All Those StrangersIn his new biography, All Those Strangers, Douglas Field decodes these files with great literary and historical finesse. Baldwin often said that his relation to politics was that of a “witness,” but he was vehemently stalked, harassed and even censored by the FBI. Field asserts that after looking through Baldwin’s FBI file, it’s clear his phone was tapped and that government agents, posing as publishers…

View original post 545 more words


  1. Hi Lynette, I tried to comment but “error 404” came up and I was unable to. Your end or mine – I don’t know. but thought you would like to know. Question. Would you carry a review of my book The Gift of Memoir: Show Up, Open Up, Write. It’s about 400 words and was written by someone who doesn’t know me for a local magazine in Ontario. I did like it! I’m a multiculturalist, and my book has several references to Black memoirists, Alice Walker for one, as well as Asian, Aboriginal and others. My I send the review to you? – Diane

  2. I would love to carry a review of The Gift of Memoir: Show Up, Open Up, Write! (It’s much easier if it’s already a WordPress post.) I think the error may have been on your end as I received the above comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s