James Baldwin

   James Baldwin (1924 – 1987) is an American author best known for his novels and essays about racial conflict in the United States. He was born and raised in the slums of Harlem, in New York City. He went to work in factories after graduating from high school, but he used his evenings for writing. He won a grant in 1948 that enabled him to live and work in Europe. His first book, Go Tell It on the Mountain, was published in 1953, and was an instant success. It is the story of a 14-year-old Negro boy growing up in Harlem. It was followed by a group of essays, Notes of a Native Son (1955).
   Baldwin returned to the U.S in 1957 and became active in the civil rights movement. He also continued to turn out best-selling books such as Nobody Knows My Name (essays) and Another Country (a novel). One of his outstanding collections of es­says, The Fire Next Time, criticizes American society for the way it treats black citizens.