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Twenty-seven interviews reprinted here come from a variety of sources—newspapers, radio, journals, and review—and show this celebrated author in all his eloquence, anger, and perception of racial, social, and literary situations in America.
Over the years Baldwin proved to be an easily accessible and cooperative subject for interviews, both in the United States and abroad. He frequently referred to himself as “a kind of trans-Atlantic commuter.” Whether candidly discussing his own ghetto origins, his literary mission and achievements, his role in the civil rights movement, or his views on world affairs, black and white relations, Vietnam, Christianity, and fellow writers, Baldwin was always both popular and controversial.
Baldwin: Yes. The death of my father. Until my father died, I thought I could do something else. I had wanted to be a musician, thought of being a painter, thought of being an actor. This was all before I was nineteen.