Sunday, August 2, 2015

Remembering James Baldwin

James Arthur Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987)
I read my first James Baldwin Novel when I was about eight years old.  I have no memory of what it was about.   I'm fairly certain it was "Go Tell It On the Mountain."  It belonged to my sister who was more than ten years older.

I was a voracious reader and read at an early age.  And I read whatever I could get my hands on.  You can only read fairy tales so many times, and then you have to broaden your tastes.  And with a limited library in my home, that meant "borrowing" books from whomever.  In this case, my big sister.  I'm fairly certain she never even knew I borrowed or read it.  That's the thing about little kids.  They're so much smarter than we give them credit for being.

When I found out it was James Baldwin's birthday today, I noticed that he was born in 1924.  It made me giggle.  My mother was born in 1924.  And almost certain that my mother never read anything by James Baldwin.

We must continue to expand our study of black history beyond the classroom, and most definitely, beyond February.  

Happy Birthday, James Baldwin.  We are very lucky that you live on in your literature.

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