James Baldwin: Amherst

James Baldwin: Amherst

  • <p>Photograph of James Baldwin</p>

“The paradox of education is precisely this - that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated.”

James Baldwin, a renowned novelist and essayist, was the epitomic advocate-author. He published over twenty major works, including Go Tell It On the Mountain, Nobody Knows My Name, and The Fire Next Time.

As a writer about race relations he played a prominent role in the Civil Rights movement, and later criticized American involvement in Vietnam and discrimination against homosexuals.

In 1983 he became a professor of Literature and Afro-American Studies in the Five College network in Amherst, Massachusetts, teaching at Hampshire College and at the the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at UMass, based in the storied New Africa House. The building houses departmental offices and classrooms.

During his time in Amherst, Baldwin collaborated with artist and Gehenna Press publisher Leonard Baskin to createGypsy and Other Poems, a significant artistic collaboration which was commemorated by UMass Amherst Librariesas its 4 millionth acquisition.