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Explore the Constellation

James Baldwin’s Passport

Immigration & Migration


This passport is symbolic of James Baldwin’s life as a global citizen. Born in Harlem, New York in 1924, Baldwin moved to France at age 24 to escape legal segregation and the debilitating effects of racism; he also sought to experience artistic freedom and explore his sexual and human identity. Referring to himself as a “transatlantic commuter,” Baldwin frequently returned to the United States to participate in the Civil Rights Movement, meet with publishers, and visit family. With France as his permanent residence, he traveled throughout Europe and parts of West Africa, and he spent a decade in Istanbul, Turkey.