Happy Birthday, James Baldwin!

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Happy birthday to James Baldwin, who would have been 89 today.

A pioneering author of fiction, essays, plays, and poetry, Baldwin explored what it meant to be black and gay long before such themes became acceptable to the mainstream.

He left behind a legacy of bravery and political activism, as well as classic works like Go Tell It on the Mountain and Giovanni’s Room.


Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →