Archive of James Baldwin's Social and Activist Correspondence
Collection of approximately 20 mostly typed letters and notes to and from African-American novelist, essayist, and social critic James Baldwin, including: a letter from Baldwin to author William Styron; three letters from John E. Thorne, lawyer of George Jackson, member of the Black Panthers; a note from George Jackson's mother; four letters regarding the rape trial and imprisonment of Tony Maynard; four letters from the Committee of Arts to Free Angela Davis; one letter on letterheaded paper "Justice for Huey P. Newton and the Black Panthers Party"; a thank-you note signed by Coretta Scott King; and three items regarding the case of Amiri Barka; together with five black-and-white portrait photographs of James Baldwin, two by Willy Maywald and three by Simone Jaworski. Various sizes, letters mostly 8.5 by 11 inches, photos 4.5 by 7.5 inches and 9.25 by 12 inches. Contents loose, currently housed in a new archival photo album. Various cities, circa 1970-1980. Born and raised in Harlem, James Baldwin moved to Paris at the age of 24 as a result of his disillusionment with America's treatment of blacks and gays. He became involved in the radical cultural scene of the Left Bank, and when he returned stateside in 1957, became active in the Civil Rights Movement and other areas of social and political activism. He met Dr. Martin Luther King, conducted interviews, and even gave lecture tours. By the spring of 1963, he was seen as a spokesman for the Civil Rights Movement as a whole, and was put on the cover of Time Magazine. He also participated in the March on Washington of August 28, 1963, and the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in March of 1965. He passed away in 1987 and left a legacy of six novels, two plays, poems, countless essays, and friendships with people as diverse as Malcolm X, Richard Avedon, Jean Genet, Josephine Baker, Toni Morrison, and Maya Angelou. (Inventory #: 48513)
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