James Arthur Baldwin was born in New York City’s Harlem Hospital on August 2, 1924, to Emma Berdis Jones; his father was unknown. Jones came to New York from Maryland and worked as a domestic, seeking a better life in the “Promised Land” of the North like many other southern African Americans. When James was two, she married David Baldwin, an older preacher, whom she bore eight more children. Young Jimmy become skilled in childcare and would help support them throughout his life. David Baldwin’s mother, Barbara, had been a slave in New Orleans, and bore fourteen children of black and white ancestry. She spent her last years with the family and deeply impressed Jimmy. Baldwin senior worked as a laborer but could not …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Zaborowska, Magdalena J.. "James Baldwin". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 October 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=229, accessed 28 November 2015.]

Articles on Baldwin's works

  1. Amen Corner
  2. Another Country
  3. Blues for Mr Charlie
  4. Giovanni's Room
  5. Go Tell It On the Mountain
  6. The Fire Next Time

Related Groups

  1. African American Fiction
  2. Queer (GLBT) Literature