Next Up: Go Tell It On The Mountain
“Temple of the Fire Baptized.”
That’s the name of the church featured in Go Tell it on the Mountain. And that name–”Temple of the Fire Baptized”–tells me some serious hellfire and brimstone preaching is going on up in there. Some shouting, some dancing, some flat out getting down.
Go Tell it on the Mountain is a semi-autobiographical novel written by James Baldwin. The book examines the role of the church in the lives of African-Americans in Harlem in the 1930s. Having grown up in the church–albeit not an African-American church–I’m definitely intrigued by this novel.
Some quick facts:
- Published in 1953, Go Tell it on the Mountain was James Baldwin’s first novel.
- A made-for-television film, based on the novel, was released in 1984.
- The novel is a bildungsroman, a fancy literary term which means it follows the growth of the protagonist from youth to adulthood.
- James Baldwin was a prolific author, writing 19 books–including other novels, plays, essays, poems, and short stories.
- Baldwin was a social and political activist who was very involved in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement.
- He also heavily influenced the works of Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou.