The Year of James Baldwin: Kick-Off Event and Programming

By Grace D. RSS Mon, February 5, 2024

Join the Education, Philosophy, and Religion Department on Saturday, February 17 at 11 a.m. for Inaugurating the Year of James Baldwin: God’s Revolutionary Voice. The event will take place in the Skyline Room on the Fourth Floor of Parkway Central Library

The inaugural event will include speakers, documentary footage screenings, and intercivilizational cultural performances.

In celebration of 100 years of the American essayist, novelist, playwright, poet, and activist, the Free Library of Philadelphia is partnering with the Saturday Free School for Philosophy and Black Liberation to kick off a year-long celebration of the life and work of James Baldwin. The Saturday Free School envisioned the Year of Baldwin as part of their mission to develop learning spaces outside academic institutions for the political education of Philadelphians. Read the full vision statement and additional information about the Year of James Baldwin at


The Year of James Baldwin event flier


Programming for the Year of James Baldwin will continue throughout the year with Philadelphia Reads James Baldwin bi-weekly reading groups, film screenings, exhibitions, and more. Philadelphia Reads James Baldwin includes reading groups throughout the city at churches, schools, and other community organizations like The Black Writers Museum.

The Free Library reading group will meet every other week beginning Thursday, March 7 at 5:30 p.m. at Parkway Central Library, Room 108, and will focus on essays by James Baldwin. All readings will be provided and time for group reading will be incorporated into each evening.

The Free Library is also excited to provide reading materials for South Philadelphia High School and West Philadelphia High School for a for-credit reading group.

This intergenerational celebration of the life, work, and legacy of James Baldwin will continue throughout the city in 2024, with additional programming and events to be announced.

Have a question for Free Library staff? Please submit it to our Ask a Librarian page and receive a response within two business days.

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This is excellent!
Glenn Bady - Philadelphia
Friday, February 9, 2024

Tried several times to rsvp for James Baldwin, next Saturday........... system not working .......
Janice - Parkway
Saturday, February 10, 2024

I am so excited to see this type of programming! I can't wait to participate
Sunday, February 11, 2024

Is Baldwin program livestreamed? Would love to view!
Carol Black
Saturday, February 17, 2024