James Arthur Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – November 30, 1987) was an American novelist, writer, playwright, poet, essayist, and civil rights activist. Most of Baldwin's work deals with racial and sexual issues in the mid-20th century United States. His novels are notable for the personal way in which they explore questions of identity as well as for the way in which they mine complex social and psychological pressures related to being black and homosexual well before the social, cultural or political equality of these groups could be assumed.
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