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James Baldwin having a drink with his brother at a Broadway bar, New York City. 1965 “Many who saw Jimmy on television remember him as a scold. But if you knew him, he was the most tender, affectionate friend. He warned America that we were on the brink of racial chaos and we must find our way back to each other — hopefully through love. He could preach. And could he ever write. In a not-totally-sober moment, he confided that he became a writer because he thought he was ugly: The only way he could communicate with people was if they didn’t see him. Paradoxically, he became one of the most visible writers in the world, and nobody appreciated the irony of that more than Jimmy.”