This is an excerpt from NPR’s story on James Baldwin. I have been been intrigued by Baldwin. His writing lures me.
As an openly gay, African-American writer living through the battle for civil rights, Baldwin had reason to be afraid — and yet, he wasn’t. A television interviewer once asked Baldwin to describe the challenges he faced starting his career as “a black, impoverished homosexual,” to which Baldwin laughed and replied: “I thought I’d hit the jackpot.”
Several of Baldwin’s essays, speeches and articles are collected in a new book called The Cross of Redemption. Randall Kenan, who edited the collection, talks to NPR’s Steve Inskeep about Baldwin’s complicated identity — and how his work challenged black and white readers alike.”