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James Baldwin (1924 – 1987)

The American writer and activist published a varied collection of essays, novels, plays, and poems, from the period spanning 1953 to 1985. The revolutionary author’s focus on themes of masculinity, sexuality, race, and class, made him an important voice during the civil rights movement, as well as a significant reference to today’s Black queer community. According to Charles Stephens, executive director of the Counter Narrative Project (CNP), ‘Black gay men, in particular, have found in Baldwin a kind of father figure. There isn’t a single Black gay writer of literary fiction or nonfiction that has not been influenced by James Baldwin on some level.’