08/08/2011 04:43 pm ET Updated Oct 08, 2011

A Look Black: James Baldwin In Black And White (Slideshow)

In an ongoing series for HuffPost BlackVoices, we will look at archival images of figures, places, movements and memories from mid-century black America. We launch the series with a gallery of photographs from the life of the Harlem-born novelist, playwright, essayist and activist James Baldwin, who was tireless in his self-reflection and in his examination of what it means to be black, gay and gifted in America. "To accept one’s past – one’s history – is not the same thing as drowning in it," Baldwin wrote, "it is learning how to use it. An invented past can never be used; it cracks and crumbles under the pressures of life like clay in a season of drought."

James Baldwin In Black And White