Sunday, August 2, 2015

Today is James Baldwin's birthday

He was born in Harlem in 1924, became an accomplished writer in his twenties, moved to France and got involved in the cultural radicalism of the Left Bank, achieved massive success in his thirties with Go Tell It on the Mountain and Giovanni's Room, returned to the United States and became a social and political activist. Aside from novels, Baldwin wrote tons of essays, plays, and poetry during his lifetime. He died from Esophageal cancer in 1987 in Saint-Paul-de-Vence and was buried in New York.

To commemorate Baldwin's birthday, here's I Heard It Through the Grapevine, a free-form, feature-length documentary produced in 1982. The film, made by Dick Fontaine and Pat Hartley, follows the writer as he revisits the settings of civil rights struggles of the 1960s in the Deep South and reexamines the movement's ideals twenty years later. 

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