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Portraits of James Baldwin

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Civics +3 Age Level High School (16 to 18 years old)

This student activity begins with an analysis of two portraits of James Baldwin by different artists. Then, students are asked to create their own portrait of Baldwin by remixing source material from this collection. Student portraits should answer the following questions:

1. How do you think James Baldwin should be remembered?

2. What are Baldwin's contributions to American life and culture?

Students may need to do additional research on Baldwin and his life in order to complete this assessment. This is an opportunity for students to learn about and explore the life of a revolutionary writer who presents a unique view of the civil rights movement and status of African-Americans in the United States.

James Baldwin

National Portrait Gallery

James Baldwin

National Portrait Gallery

James Baldwin

National Portrait Gallery

James Baldwin

National Portrait Gallery

James Baldwin

National Portrait Gallery

James Baldwin, Istanbul 1964

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Photograph of James Baldwin standing in front of a mural

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Photograph of James Baldwin seated at his work table

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Photograph of James Baldwin and friends sitting outside around a table

National Museum of African American History and Culture

James Baldwin and Joan Baez in Selma

National Museum of African American History and Culture

James Baldwin feeding pigeons, Eminonu, Istanbul, 1965

National Museum of African American History and Culture

James Baldwin by His Typewriter, Istanbul 1966

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Photograph of James Baldwin and Paula Baldwin

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Handwritten notes by James Baldwin

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Check to SNCC from James Baldwin

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Check to SCLC from James Baldwin

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Letter to James Baldwin from Julian Bond

National Museum of African American History and Culture

United States passport belonging to James Baldwin

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Press release from Howard University for the premiere of "The Amen Corner"

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Program from the first performance of "The Amen Corner"

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Looking for the Bicentennial Man

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Poem written to Paula Baldwin by James Baldwin

National Museum of African American History and Culture