🏳️‍🌈 + 🖤 Person #4: James Baldwin

James Baldwin was an American novelist, essayist, poet, and activist. He was born in Harlem in 1924. He had a harsh step-father growing up. This, along with his intelligence, caused him to spend a lot of time at the public library. James realized he was gay in his teenage years. When he was 24, he moved to Paris because of racism in the United States. James wanted to see himself and his writing outside of the African American context. James returned to the U.S. in 1957 to participate in the civil rights movement, which inspired his next set of essays and a novel. James inspired the work of many other writers, including Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, and many others. James lost his battle to stomach cancer in 1987. He was living in the south of France at the time but is buried in New York.

Michael Fransen @michaelfransen