The Impact of James Baldwin's Writing on the Civil Rights Movement

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James Baldwin is looked upon by many as the first of the great Black writers to have had a significant impact on the Civil Rights movement. James Baldwin work was very important to the civil rights movement and he was influenced by the civil rights movement. Born in 1924, Baldwin moved to Paris, France in his early twenties and it was from there that he did most of his important writing (Boyd). Baldwin began his writing career as a novelist and his personal goal was always to attain a status as a respected novelist but it was his contributions as an essayist that provided him with his greatest level of respect. Beginning in the mid-1950s and continuing through the 60s, Baldwin wrote a series of essays that were not only critically acclaimed but were also considered to have significant impact on the Civil Rights movement in the United States. In a ten year period that also coincides with the most significant changes in the Civil Rights movement Baldwin published three collections of essays that fueled the fire that propelled the movement. These three essay collections: "Notes of a Native Son (Baldwin)" (1955), "Nobody Knows My Name (Baldwin, Nobody Knows My Name)" (1961) and "The Fire Next Time (Baldwin, The Fire Next Time)" (1963) each provided a perspective on the plight of Black Americans that was personal and insightful. Baldwin's viewpoints were often too vivid and seemingly one-sided but for a movement that sometimes seemed on the verge of stalling out Baldwin's
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