Top positive review
About the black people of America
Reviewed in India on 26 February 2021
‘Go tell it on the mountain’ by James Baldwin is a semiautobiographical novel. It was published in 1953. The American novelist was an important voice on racism in the mid-20th century.
The novel is about a black family living in Harlem, New York and covers a day in the life of John Grimes. It has many biblical references so non-Christians may find it a hard-read. It deals with deep-rooted social and patriarchal family oppression in the life of fourteen-year-old John.
Baldwin uses flashbacks to tell the story of John’s father, mother and aunt covering the last years of the 19th century into the 1930s. In the last chapter he also uses frames to narrate the transformation of John on the threshing floor of the church. Baldwin’s writing in this last chapter is truly vivid and striking.
He is successful in shouting out from a mountain top about the plight of the black people of America.