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Chapter 20 - Baldwin and the Black Arts Movement

from Part 3 - Literary Contexts

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 July 2019

D. Quentin Miller
Affiliation:
Suffolk University, Massachusetts
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Summary

I first encountered the writings of James Baldwin in the fall of 1967, in the aftermath of the Detroit Rebellion, when I entered Western Michigan University as a freshman. Because I was only seventeen years old and conflicted by the eruption of civil unrest in my hometown, it was a difficult and contentious period. James Baldwin’s book The Fire Next Time (1963) answered unspoken questions and thoughts that I had about reaching adulthood as a black person pursuing writing. In many ways, Baldwin is responsible for my becoming a writer during a volatile political period that resulted in a rich literary movement that nurtured and challenged me as a writer. Hence, it was affirming to present a paper at “‘A Language to Dwell In’: James Baldwin, Paris and International Visions,” a commemorative conference held at the American University of Paris in 2016.

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James Baldwin in Context , pp. 211 - 220
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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