It's important to highlight the challenges that the LGBTQ+ community have endured in their past, in order to help understand and support the modern community that continues to thrive today. Today we celebrate the life of James Baldwin.
Who was James Baldwin?
1924 - 1987
Born in New York city, James was a writer and civil rights activist. Although rejecting the label “civil rights activist” instead agreeing with Malcom X’s assertion that if one is a citizen, one should not have to fight for one’s civil rights.?
His work helped raise public awareness into racial and sexual oppression. Baldwin was a firm believer that sexuality was fluid and should not be divided by strict categories.
As a candid observer he branched into creative pathways, such as writing poetry and screenplays. His work includes themes of masculinity, sexuality, race, and class to create intricate narratives that run parallel with some of the major political movements toward social change in mid-twentieth century America, such as the civil rights movement and the gay liberation movement.
Baldwin’s novels feature African American, gay and bisexual men, highlighting the intersectionality between race and sexuality. With his novels later being adapted for screen, James Baldwin’s work continues to resonate with audiences all over the world.
To find out more about what's happening this month, visit our LGBTQ+ History Month hub!