Only a boy preacher who had grown up to become one of America's most eminent writers could have produced a play like The Amen Corner. To his first work for the theater, James Baldwin brought all the fervor and majestic rhetoric of the storefront churches of his childhood, along with an unwavering awareness of the price those churches exacted from their worshipers.  

For years Sister Margaret Alexander has moved her Harlem congregation with a mixture of personal charisma and ferocious piety.  When Margaret's estranged husband, a scapegrace jazz musician, comes home to die, she is in danger of losing both her standing in the church and the son she has tried to keep on the godly path.

The Amen Corner is a play about faith and family, about the gulf between black men and black women, black fathers and black sons. It is a scalding, uplifting, sorrowful and exultant masterpiece of the modern American theater.
James Baldwin (1924–1987) was a novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic. His first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, appeared in 1953 to excellent reviews, and his essay collections Notes of a Native Son and The Fire Next Time were bestsellers that made him an influential figure in the growing civil rights movement. Baldwin spent much of his life in France, where he moved to escape the racism and homophobia of the United States. He died in France in 1987, a year after being made a Commander of the French Legion of Honor. View titles by James Baldwin

About

Only a boy preacher who had grown up to become one of America's most eminent writers could have produced a play like The Amen Corner. To his first work for the theater, James Baldwin brought all the fervor and majestic rhetoric of the storefront churches of his childhood, along with an unwavering awareness of the price those churches exacted from their worshipers.  

For years Sister Margaret Alexander has moved her Harlem congregation with a mixture of personal charisma and ferocious piety.  When Margaret's estranged husband, a scapegrace jazz musician, comes home to die, she is in danger of losing both her standing in the church and the son she has tried to keep on the godly path.

The Amen Corner is a play about faith and family, about the gulf between black men and black women, black fathers and black sons. It is a scalding, uplifting, sorrowful and exultant masterpiece of the modern American theater.

Author

James Baldwin (1924–1987) was a novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic. His first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, appeared in 1953 to excellent reviews, and his essay collections Notes of a Native Son and The Fire Next Time were bestsellers that made him an influential figure in the growing civil rights movement. Baldwin spent much of his life in France, where he moved to escape the racism and homophobia of the United States. He died in France in 1987, a year after being made a Commander of the French Legion of Honor. View titles by James Baldwin

Books for Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Every May we celebrate the rich history and culture of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. Browse a curated selection of fiction and nonfiction books by AANHPI creators that we think your students will love. Find our full collection of titles for Higher Education here.

Read more