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James Baldwin

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BUSINESS
June 24, 1997 | MELINDA FULMER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
A Superior Court jury in Los Angeles has awarded $2.5 million to a former executive of bankrupt Newport Beach home builder Baldwin Co. after finding that the owners reneged on a promise to make him a partner in the company. The jury found that brothers James and Alfred Baldwin breached their contract with Robert B. Burns, who headed their company's Los Angeles-Ventura division. However, the jury awarded damages only against James Baldwin, who directly supervised Burns' division.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 21, 2014 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
[ This story has been corrected. See bottom of post for details .] National Poetry Month is almost over, but we'd be remiss to overlook “Jimmy's Blues and Other Poems” by James Baldwin (Beacon: 94 pp., $16 paper), which collects all 25 poems the essayist and novelist published before his death in 1987 at age 63. If you didn't know Baldwin was a poet, you're not alone - although it makes sense because his prose was always visionary and poetic, built on a torrent, a flow of words.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 21, 2014 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
[ This story has been corrected. See bottom of post for details .] National Poetry Month is almost over, but we'd be remiss to overlook “Jimmy's Blues and Other Poems” by James Baldwin (Beacon: 94 pp., $16 paper), which collects all 25 poems the essayist and novelist published before his death in 1987 at age 63. If you didn't know Baldwin was a poet, you're not alone - although it makes sense because his prose was always visionary and poetic, built on a torrent, a flow of words.
OPINION
April 11, 2014 | Diana Wagman
Reading is such an improbable idea -- a miracle, really. Yet simple squiggles on a page, arranged just so, can convey ideas that change the way we think or introduce to us characters we love for a lifetime. In celebration of reading -- and of this weekend's Los Angeles Times Festival of Books -- we asked four readers (who also happen to be writers) to celebrate books that mattered in their lives. In 1975, when I was young, I went to hear James Baldwin speak. Afterward, I waited in a long line and finally got to stand before him. I told him that his book "Giovanni's Room" had made me want to be a writer.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 22, 2010 | By Lynell George, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The Cross of Redemption Uncollected Writings James Baldwin, edited by Randall Kenan Pantheon: 308 pp. $26.95 Not infrequently, James Baldwin found himself quite publicly fielding a deeply presuming question. Though versions varied over time, the rough paraphrase was this: "Was being born black, gay and poor a 'burden'?" Did he ever wonder, "Why me?" A dynamic, trailblazing presence on erudite TV chat shows as well as a de facto talking head booked to parse the complex territory of the Negro Problem, Baldwin was always ready with the not-so-inscrutable smile, then the ice-water answer: "No. I thought I'd hit the jackpot.
MAGAZINE
February 4, 2007
The rapper Common, who claims to "really like having some substance and culture" and to "love" James Baldwin's writing, seems to know little about the writer and writing that he claims "influenced" him ("Common on Looking 'Live,'" by Elizabeth Khuri, Style, Jan. 14). Born in Harlem in 1924, Baldwin missed participating in the Harlem Renaissance, which began in the early 1920s and ended in the early 1930s, by several years. One of the most compelling essayists of the 1950s, Baldwin also wrote powerful novels (among the major titles are "Go Tell It on the Mountain," 1953; "Giovanni's Room," 1956; "Another Country," 1962; and "Just Above My Head," 1979)
NEWS
December 1, 1987 | Times Wire Services
James Baldwin, whose first novel "Go Tell It on the Mountain" established him as a major American writer and helped awaken the consciousness of American whites to the plight of blacks, has died at age 63. Relatives said the writer died overnight at his home in southern France after a long struggle against cancer that forced the removal of half his stomach earlier this year.
BOOKS
September 26, 2004 | Adrienne Rich, Adrienne Rich is the author of 15 volumes of poetry, including "The School Among the Ruins: Poems 2000-2004," and four nonfiction books. She has received numerous awards and prizes, including the 1999 Lannan Foundation lifetime achievement award and the 2003 Bollingen Prize. She is the editor, most recently, of a volume of Muriel Rukeyser's poetry for the Library of America.
A few days before the Republican National Convention in New York, I received a letter bearing the new James Baldwin stamp -- a lived-in, unsmiling face against the impressionistic depiction of a Harlem street. I wondered at first why it had turned up in August, not February, which is designated Black History Month ("the shortest month in the year," as it's said). Writers and artists, certainly black ones, are not so common on our postage. In fact, the stamp commemorates Baldwin's birthday, Aug.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 26, 2004 | Lynell George, Times Staff Writer
At first glimpse, the main stage at the Actors Studio theater on Sunset Boulevard looks eerily like a Day of the Dead altar cluttered with midcentury knickknacks, keepsakes to honor a departed spirit.
BOOKS
February 15, 1998 | JULIUS LESTER, Julius Lester is the author of 27 books for children and adults. He is a professor in the Judaic studies department and adjunct professor in the English and history departments at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Now in its 16th year, The Library of America series has produced 98 volumes of what constitutes the canon of American letters. James Baldwin is the fifth black writer to be accorded such status, the others having been W.E.B. DuBois, Richard Wright, Frederick Douglass and Zora Neale Hurston. Among 20th century black writers, none was more influential and important than Wright, Ralph Ellison and Baldwin.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 22, 2010 | By Lynell George, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The Cross of Redemption Uncollected Writings James Baldwin, edited by Randall Kenan Pantheon: 308 pp. $26.95 Not infrequently, James Baldwin found himself quite publicly fielding a deeply presuming question. Though versions varied over time, the rough paraphrase was this: "Was being born black, gay and poor a 'burden'?" Did he ever wonder, "Why me?" A dynamic, trailblazing presence on erudite TV chat shows as well as a de facto talking head booked to parse the complex territory of the Negro Problem, Baldwin was always ready with the not-so-inscrutable smile, then the ice-water answer: "No. I thought I'd hit the jackpot.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 12, 2010
Berlin film fest opens The Berlin film festival opened Thursday with a premiere from Chinese director Wang Quan'an that follows the bittersweet reunion of a couple divided for decades across the Taiwan Strait. "Apart Together" marked Wang's return to Berlin after winning the festival's top Golden Bear award with "Tuya's Marriage" in 2007. It is the first of 20 movies competing for honors at the event's 60th edition -- the first of the year's major European film festivals.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 13, 2009 | Elaine Woo
Harold Norse, a San Francisco poet often associated with the Beats, who was mentor or peer to many of the greatest talents in 20th century American literature, including Tennessee Williams, James Baldwin, Allen Ginsberg and Charles Bukowski, has died. He was 92. Norse died of natural causes Monday at an assisted-living facility in San Francisco, according to his conservator, attorney Mark Vermeulen.
MAGAZINE
February 4, 2007
The rapper Common, who claims to "really like having some substance and culture" and to "love" James Baldwin's writing, seems to know little about the writer and writing that he claims "influenced" him ("Common on Looking 'Live,'" by Elizabeth Khuri, Style, Jan. 14). Born in Harlem in 1924, Baldwin missed participating in the Harlem Renaissance, which began in the early 1920s and ended in the early 1930s, by several years. One of the most compelling essayists of the 1950s, Baldwin also wrote powerful novels (among the major titles are "Go Tell It on the Mountain," 1953; "Giovanni's Room," 1956; "Another Country," 1962; and "Just Above My Head," 1979)
BOOKS
September 26, 2004 | Adrienne Rich, Adrienne Rich is the author of 15 volumes of poetry, including "The School Among the Ruins: Poems 2000-2004," and four nonfiction books. She has received numerous awards and prizes, including the 1999 Lannan Foundation lifetime achievement award and the 2003 Bollingen Prize. She is the editor, most recently, of a volume of Muriel Rukeyser's poetry for the Library of America.
A few days before the Republican National Convention in New York, I received a letter bearing the new James Baldwin stamp -- a lived-in, unsmiling face against the impressionistic depiction of a Harlem street. I wondered at first why it had turned up in August, not February, which is designated Black History Month ("the shortest month in the year," as it's said). Writers and artists, certainly black ones, are not so common on our postage. In fact, the stamp commemorates Baldwin's birthday, Aug.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 26, 2004 | Lynell George, Times Staff Writer
At first glimpse, the main stage at the Actors Studio theater on Sunset Boulevard looks eerily like a Day of the Dead altar cluttered with midcentury knickknacks, keepsakes to honor a departed spirit.
BOOKS
April 30, 1989 | Clancy Sigal, Sigal's last novel was "Zone of the Interior." He commutes between London and Los Angeles, where he teaches at USC Journalism School. and
"Is that the writer of 'The Fire Next Time' I read in prison--that QUEEN?" a young black man once angrily exclaimed on meeting James Baldwin. His friend replied, "He's more of a man than most, you know." This exchange, quoted in W. J. Weatherby's affectionate, intensely readable portrait of Baldwin, dramatizes one of the central contradictions in the tumultuous life of a great American preacher-cum-blues singer who just also happened to be a fine writer. Baldwin--novelist ("Go Tell It on the Mountain")
BOOKS
December 1, 1985 | James A. Snead, Snead, professor of English at Yale University, is the author of the forthcoming "Figures of Division: William Faulkner's Major Novels" (Methuen, 1986). and
It may well be that 40 years from now James Baldwin will be called the finest American essayist of his generation. He has certainly been, over the last 40 years, the most prolific and most durable. The patented Baldwin style--comma-filled and intricately digressive with its asides, refinements, anecdotes, sudden tirades--builds over time into an almost Pentecostal routine of internal 'call-and-response.'
NEWS
August 26, 2004 | David C. Nichols
"James Baldwin -- Down From the Mountaintop": Impressive purpose distinguishes writer-performer Calvin Levels' acclaimed solo show. It evokes the great author-activist in a docudrama that fills in its academic contours with vivid detail. To the flashes of Danny Truxaw's subtle lighting, Baldwin (Levels) materializes, returned from the ether to make his case in a conversation with an audience to whom he relates as though to one person.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 13, 2004 | David C. Nichols;Lynne Heffley;Rob Kendt
Impressive purpose distinguishes "James Baldwin -- Down From the Mountaintop" in its return engagement at the Sunset Millennium (formerly the Tiffany Theater). Writer-performer Calvin Levels' acclaimed solo show evokes the great author-activist in a docudrama that fills in its academic contours with vivid detail.
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