Baldwin’s Struggles- Born in Harlem in 1924 to a single woman.- Stepfather was a Preacher.- Raised in a household of 9, taught at an early age life would not be fair.- Finding his identity as a gay, African American was difficult.- Very spiritual individual- struggled to find a place in religion.
Religion in Baldwin’sLife.- Baldwin’s strong spirituality was instilled in him at a young age, as his stepfather (whose name he took) was a Preacher.- “At the age of 14, he discovered a talent for public speaking and gained notoriety as a young minister in several Harlem churches.”
Religion in Baldwin’sLife- Baldwin was later accepted to a private High School in the Bronx where he gained his first experience writing for a magazine.- “He tried to work through his divided loyalty between church and school in the poems, plays and stories that he contributed to the magazine.”
Religion in Baldwin’sLife.- “His budding awarenessof his homosexuality andhis growing love of the artscaused Baldwin to leavehis church in 1940.”
Religious struggle andits effect on his work.- InBaldwin’s first novel,Go Tell It on theMountain, “Theprotagonist stronglyresembles the youngBaldwin wrestling withhis paternal andreligious demons…”
Tyrkus, Michael J., and Michael Bronski. "James Baldwin." Gay & Lesbian Biography (1997). Literature Resource Center. Web. 9 July 2012. "James Baldwin: About the Author." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 10 July 2012. <http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters /episodes/james-baldwin/about-the- author/59/>.