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FBI Spied on African American Novelist James Baldwin for More Than Decade

James Baldwin/Wikipedia

James Baldwin/Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

James Baldwin, a famous African American writer, was pursued for more than a decade by the FBI because of paranoia about his politics, according to a new biography, “All the Strangers” by Douglas Field.

Baldwin, who is best known for his novels, “Go Tell It On The Mountain” and “Another Country,” was pursued by the FBI during the era of illegal surveillance, The Intercept reports. 

Intercept writes:

Why did the FBI spy on Baldwin? He was a novelist, essayist and critic, one of the most distinguished writers and thinkers of his time. His skin was black, his sexuality fluid, and his politics tended toward the left, a combination that was enough to turn him into a target for the FBI.

Agents began spying on Baldwin in 1960 because of fears he was “connected to several Communist Party front groups.” His role in civil rights also caught the attention of the FBI.


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