Go Tell It On The Mountain By James Baldwin

810 Words 4 Pages
James Baldwin was born in 1924 to a family of African Americans who had previously spent their time as slaves. Growing up in Harlem, New York, Baldwin experienced the struggle of being a black man in America, first hand. The racial tension in the city at the time was at it’s peak throughout his life, as segregation, gentrification, and racial bias were all issues yet to be dealt with. While Baldwin had dealt with many of the implications of racial struggle in his life, it did not stop him from becoming one of the most successful African American authors. During his childhood, his mother divorced his original father, later going on to marry a preacher. The Baldwin family struggled with poverty during this time, steadily moving between houses …show more content…
Instead, he moved to France to continue pursuing writing in a new environment. It was here that Baldwin came to the realization of his African American heritage and sexuality. This was a turning point in much of Baldwin’s work, as he began to explore the unconventional theme of bisexuality in his novels. During this time, he explored themes of sexuality and homosexuality in his novel, Go Tell It On The Mountain. Baldwin’s writing had a focus on theme of sexuality, spirituality, and racial issues. Controversially, Baldwin was one of the few African American authors at the time that was open to discussion and storytelling regarding homosexuality. Challenging the conventional labels of authors at the time, James Baldwin was one of the first notable openly gay and black authors of the time. This was not an easy label to be affiliated with, as both homophobic and racist tendencies were common throughout American culture at the time. The complex theories about gender and sexuality that Baldwin had, were often unheard of at the time. He was a firm believer that sexuality was more fluid and open, than the previous restrictions of either being “straight” or “gay”. These themes were later visited in his novels, specifically, his novel Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been …show more content…
Alongside Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Medgar Evers, he would speak in front of crowds and take part in direct action towards putting a stop to racial segregation and discrimination. After the assassination of Martin Luther King, Baldwin felt demoralized and helpless towards the cause of racial revolution. He later flew back to Paris and began working on several plays and a new novel. In 1987, Baldwin was diagnosed with stomach cancer. At this time, he was very renowned around the world for his literary works and social activism. During his struggle with the disease, he began working on a biography of Martin Luther King, unfortunately he was not able to finish. Despite the long battle with the disease, Baldwin was found dead in France, on the night of December 1st, 1987. After his death, a burial was held in New York City. The literary work of James Baldwin is some of the most fascinating and interesting work to come from the Civil Rights era. It has played an important role, establishing a common ground for homosexual and African American folk. Baldwin stood as one of the most prominent voices for equality throughout his career, allowing victims of societal oppression, sexual discrimination, and racial segregation, to know that they are not alone in their fights against an unjust

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