A 90th BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION | Naming of "James Baldwin Place" in Harlem

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  • James Baldwin
Photo / Carl Van Vechten
Courtesy of the Van Vechten Trust
HARLEM WEEK, INC., New Heritage Theatre Group, National Black Theatre and Columbia University School of the Arts Office of Community Outreach & Education, are pleased to announce “The Year of James Baldwin: A 90th BIRTHDAY  CELEBRATION” (1924-1987). This celebration is part of The Year of James Baldwin, a partnership of Harlem Stage, New York Live Arts, and Columbia University School of the Arts. This commemoration of James Baldwin on the occasion of his 90th birthday will take place on Saturday, August 2, 2014, 12 Noon, culminating in the renaming of a section of West 128th Street as “James Baldwin Place,” in honor of the work, life, and legacies of one of the greatest writers and thinkers of the past century.

The day will begin at 10:30 AM with a photo call with 25 members of the Baldwin Family at the Apollo Theater, 253 West 125th Street, NYC, underneath the famous marquee, which will read “Happy 90th Birthday James Baldwin,” as we mark the anniversary of this remarkable son of Harlem. The celebration will then continue at the very school where James Baldwin and his siblings attended P.S. 24 (now, the Harlem Renaissance High School) at 128th between Fifth and Madison Avenues.

At 12 Noon there will be a special tribute to James Baldwin led by Councilmember Inez Dickens who spearheaded the campaign in the New York City Council to honor the legendary author and activist. Leading figures in theater, film, Baldwin’s family members, and community organizations will salute America’s great novelist and essayist.

The street renaming will end with a musical procession towards National Black Theatre, [NBT], 2031 Fifth Avenue, where there will be readings from Baldwin’sThe Fire Next Time and testimonials from those who knew him well and those who were inspired by his life and work. This portion of the celebration will begin at 3:00 at NBT. There will also be an exhibition curated by NBT that will remain on view for the month of August and feature works contributed by New York Live Arts and artist Maureen Kelleher.

This event is free and open to all, (there is a suggested donation of $10 at NBT only). The events are organized by HARLEM WEEK, INC, New Heritage Theatre Group, National Black Theatre and Columbia University, School of the Arts Office of Community Outreach & Education.


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