This Day in Black History: Aug. 2, 1924

Writer James Baldwin was born on August 2, 1924 in Harlem, New York.

Novelist, essayist and playwright James Baldwin was born on Aug. 2, 1924, in Harlem, New York.

Baldwin’s work is best known for its critical explorations of race relations in America and themes of sexuality and religion.

Baldwin became a preacher at age 14, but after graduating high school and moving out of the strict confines of his parents’ home, he moved to New York’s Greenwich Village and immersed himself in the city’s literary culture.
RELATED: 12 Days of Pride: Celebrating James Baldwin

With the help of friend Richard Wright, Baldwin secured a grant in 1948 that allowed him to move to France and write his first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain.

Some of his most acclaimed works include his play, The Amen Corner, and book-length essay, The Fire Next Time.

Baldwin died on Dec. 1, 1987, in southern France.

(Photo: Jenkins/Getty Images)

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

By clicking subscribe, I agree to receive newsletters, marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers), and other information from BET and the Paramount family of companies. For more information about our data practices, consult our Privacy Policy.