Huffpost Black Voices

Celebrating James Baldwin, As Many Classrooms Ignore Him

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James Baldwin, author of "The Fire Next Time" and "Another Country", at his home, June 3, 1963, New York. (AP Photo/Dave Pickoff) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

James Baldwin’s 1953 novel, “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” about a Harlem teenager’s search for meaning, quickly became a classic, along with his searing essays about race published a decade later in the book “The Fire Next Time.” But in recent years Baldwin’s presence has diminished in many high school classrooms.

In a year that marks the 90th anniversary of his birth, educators offer different reasons for Baldwin’s faded presence there, from the concern that he is too controversial and complex to the perception that he has been eclipsed by other African-American voices. Collectively the explanations illustrate how attitudes about race have changed, along with the way the high school literary experience has evolved according to currents in the field.

Read the whole story at The New York Times