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Baldwins early essays have been described as an unequaled meditation on what it means to be black in America. This rich and stimulating collection contains Fifth Avenue. Uptown: a Letter from Harlem. polemical pieces on the tragedies inflicted by racial segregation and a poignant account of his first journey to the Old Country. the Southern states. Yet equally compelling are his Notes for a Hypothetical Novel and personal reflections on being American. on other major artists – Ingmar Bergman and Andre Gide. Norman Mailer and Richard Wright – and on the first great conference of African Writers and Artists in Paris.