Celebrating Black History Month at the VCU Libraries
Reviewed by Robert Johnson, Education Services Librarian, Tompkins-McCaw Library
Set over a period of two days and one night, the action in Go Tell It on the Mountain happens primarily in the past. Ostensibly a bildungsroman exploring 14-yr-old John Grimes' supposed spiritual awakening, author James Baldwin creates a novel of greater depth than that description affords. Baldwin uses the "coming of age" form to compose a narrative involving religious hypocrisy, personal sacrifice, the Great Depression, homosexuality, and the exodus of African Americans from their Southern rural homes to Northern, urban dwellings.