This article is discussing James Baldwin’s work fading from classrooms. I myself have never taught Baldwin, but I think he’s a beautiful writer. I still remember getting introduced to him my senior year of high school in an AP English course. We read “Sonny’s Blues,” and it resonated with me on a level that only good literature and my grandmother’s cooking can do.
It would be five years before I read another one of his works. I bought Go Tell it on the Mountain on a whim because the college bookstore near my apartment was selling a used copy for $3.00. Hating my first teaching job, that book fortified me as I read it on the 2, 4, and 5 trains. I was no longer tired during the 45 minute commute, just entering the world Baldwin created. In my mind, it was my first NYC book not because it’s based in NYC but because it could pull me out of the hectic city and into another place. It was the first book I read in NYC that could do that. For that reason, I’ll forever love Baldwin. Before I stop teaching I’ll have to teach one of his pieces. It’ll be my small way of saying thank you to a bold man and a literary great.