Amiri Baraka: Our Man Jimmy

This excerpt is part of the Twentieth-Century Masters Tribute to James Baldwin, sponsored by PEN American Center and Lincoln Center, with The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture… More

Grand Tour

In America I’m not really a private person. No, I’m a public person. And a public person cannot write. More

Freedom Fighter

As an international organization dedicated to the advancement of literature, PEN works to spread literacy in all communities, and to defend freedom of expression. For that reason it is… More

On the Avenue

I didn’t know him, but he knew me. He knew Harlem, he knew poetry, he knew Jesus, and he knew my mother. He knew sin. I did not know… More

Nikki Giovanni: Making James Baldwin

This excerpt is part of the Twentieth-Century Masters Tribute to James Baldwin, sponsored by PEN American Center and Lincoln Center, with The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture… More

To Change the World

Though I never met James Baldwin in person, and never even saw him at a public event, he is nonetheless to me like a father, or a beloved uncle,… More

The Day I Finally Met Baldwin

The 1960s opened propitiously for me, and for my country, Nigeria. In 1960 Nigeria freed itself, at last, from British colonial rule. I published my second novel, and proved… More

The White Problem

In Go Tell It on the Mountain, the young protagonist, John Grimes, stands on a hill in Central Park: “He felt like a long-awaited conqueror, at whose feet flowers… More

On Solid Ground

When I first met the wide smile of James Baldwin face to face, I just burst into tears. In less than a heartbeat, he opened his arms as wide… More