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Chapter 14 - Segregation and the South

from Part 2 - Social and Cultural Contexts

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 July 2019

D. Quentin Miller
Affiliation:
Suffolk University, Massachusetts
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Summary

Throughout his long and celebrated literary career, and as one of this country’s most preeminent black writers and public intellectuals of the civil rights era, James Baldwin consistently returned to the American South as a central geographical and imaginative space in which to explore issues. In a 1963 interview with psychologist and civil rights activist Kenneth B. Clark, James Baldwin famously said: “I am, in all but in technical legal fact, a Southerner. My father was born in the South—My mother was born in the South and if they had waited two more seconds I might have been born in the South. But that means I was raised by families whose roots were essentially southern rural and whose relationship to the church was very direct because it was the only means they had of expressing their pain and despair.”

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James Baldwin in Context , pp. 147 - 156
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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