Baldwin’s Harlem Through A Child’s Eyes

Gabrielle Bellot writes: ‘In 1976, James Baldwin released what is perhaps his most novel—and most often forgotten—book: Little Man, Little Man, a curious, hybrid-genre composition without precedent in his body of work. A few years earlier, his little nephew, Tejan, had asked Baldwin—Uncle Jimmy—to write a book about him on one of Baldwin’s visits to New York to see Tejan’s family at 137 West 71st Street. At the time, Baldwin was spending most of his days in a residence in the southern French village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, so whenever he made the transatlantic trip to drop by his American family’s home, friends, kin, and strangers would simply appear at

the door like moths to a lantern, seeking an audience with the great writer, and soon the apartment’s air would be thick with the sound of voices and music and sweet-pungent with the scent of whiskeys and wines.’

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