Tag Archives: James Baldwin

In 1968, Baldwin took her to a dinner party at the cartoonist Jules Feiffer’s house. Angelou charmed guests with stories of her childhood; the next day, Feiffer’s wife called editor Robert Loomis at Random House and said that he should get Angelou to write a memoir. When he brought it up, Angelou said, “Absolutely not.” Loomis replied, “It’s just as well, because to write an autobiography as literature is just about impossible.” Angelou, who liked a challenge, said, “I’ll start tomorrow.” (1969)

Literature Supporters Club

Searing. James Baldwin called it “a Biblical study of life in the midst of death”. I KNOW WHY A CAGED BIRD SINGS by Maya Angelou

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On a voyage of self-discovery: James Baldwin. Photograph: Ralph Gatti/AFP/Getty Images On a voyage of self-discovery: James Baldwin. Photograph: Ralph Gatti/AFP/Getty Images

Baldwin’s landmark collection of essays explores, in telling language, what it means to be a black man in modern America

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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…

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