In the fall of 1957, nearly a year after the end of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and three years after the landmark Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education declared segregation unconstitutional, African American writer James Baldwin (1924-1987) embarked on a trip through the South, interviewing activists, students, and families about their experiences with the early stages of school desegregation. Baldwin’s travels would be recorded in several published essays, but he also sent several letters to his friend, Mary Garin-Painter, that more vividly describe his terror and his concern for his country. This microexhibit explores Baldwin’s experience with chronicling the story of a country in turmoil.
Carl Van Vechten Papers JWJ MSS 1050
Walter O. Evans Collection JWJ MSS 107
Suggested Further Reading
Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin
Nobody Knows My Name by James Baldwin
Curated by Brittany Levingston, PhD, English and African American Studies
Please find exhibit here.