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Events in 2011 and Forthcoming Book Strengthen Author James Baldwin's Legacy
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(1958 photo of James Baldwin by Motike Weissman)

Earlier this year, August 2, numerous individuals and institutions acknowledged the eighty-seventh anniversary of the birth of American author James Baldwin, and on December 1 observers noted the twenty-fourth anniversary of his death at the age of sixty-three.

Interest in Baldwin’s novels, plays, essays, and life has been on the upswing since the 2010 publication of previously uncollected writings by him in The Cross of Redemption (edited by Randall Kenan). That interest grew stronger throughout 2011 as commentaries surfaced on the Internet regarding Baldwin’s 1963 prediction that the United States would one day have an African-American president.

An American Public Intellectual’s Legacy

In addition, adding to author and public intellectual’s legacy have been such events as: the multi-site James Baldwin’s Global Imagination event held in New York in February; the world premier of Jewelle Gomez’s dream play on Baldwin, entitled Waiting for Giovanni, in August at the New Conservatory Theatre Center in San Francisco; and Baldwin’s induction in November into the American Poets’ Corner at New York City’s Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.

For more on Baldwin’s induction a new book about him please click here 

by Aberjhani