Hardly any author has contributed to my desire to write more than James Baldwin, the Giant of Literature!
On my blog there´s a small contribution on that influence in German, which was waiting since long to be translated into English (as much as I like to write in both languages I´m always lazy to translate): http://tinyurl.com/jywwwsd
To honour the Giant but still being lazy to translate here I use most of my comment on an article (which gave now again inspiration to me) about the great man on this fine Blog: https://moorbey.wordpress.com/2016/05/05/why-james-baldwin-still-matterz/#comment-10837
How did this influence of Baldwin come about with a relatively pale Hamburg boy like me?
1963 – me and my family had just moved to a part of Hamburg called Altona – I had fallen for the natural daughter of a Black WW II veteran living in a German family just round the corner. Unfortunately those days that was a very one sided affair (she loved me just like one would love a Mosqito), notwithstanding the fact that now since almost two decades I´m harmoniously living together with exactly that Lady. But those days my love for the teeny sharpened my already existing sensibility for racism in my own society as well as in the US and worldwide. On basis of that sensibility I got across Baldwin´s works. I think it was in 1966 that I had the pleasure to see Baldwin life presenting his „Amen Corner“ at Hamburg University. But the clou came with his book „The Fire Next Time“ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fire_Next_Time). I remember myself well in summer 1967 sitting in a Café at the banks of River Elbe and writing a small essay for our school newsletter (unfortunately disappeared). I can rightfully say that his book instilled into me the eagerness of writing. And it had considerably contributed to my eagerness studying intensively everything about Racism, Colonialism, Imperialism and about the Powers that (shouldn´t) be in the US and elsewhere.
I must say I owe this man a lot!
Video with James Baldwin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryuAW_gnjYQ
My articles on the USA: https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/list-of-my-articles-on-the-usa/