In 1959, James Baldwin was already recognized as a talented writer, but he needed financial support to finish a novel he was working on, which explored issues of race, homosexuality, and the urban environment.
The Ford Foundation had recently created a Humanities and Arts program, and awarded Baldwin a $12,000 creative writers’ fellowship.Foundation-Administered Project (FAP) #05900121. Program for Creative Writers. Ford Foundation grants FA732C, RAC.
The result was the long acclaimed and path-breaking novel, Another Country. A 1962 letter preserved in the archives spells out the significance of this gesture of support to Baldwin’s life and career.Baldwin, James. Ford Foundation records, American Literary Manuscripts FA718, Box 1, Folder 1, RAC.
“[H]ad it not been for the Ford Grant, I would either be tearing up until now, or I would have abandoned it. […] An abandoned novel can act as an obstruction which will destroy one’s writing life. For a writer, the destruction of his writing life is exactly the same thing as the destruction of his life.”
Rachel Wimpee is Assistant Director of Research & Education at the Rockefeller Archive Center. She holds an interdisciplinary PhD in French literature and French studies, with research interests in gender, cultural representation, and the role private giving plays in social change.
In this edition of the series, the authors have used the papers of Nelson A. Rockefeller and John D. Rockefeller 3rd, the records of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Ford Foundation, and the Taconic Foundation, as well as archival materials from the Office of the Messrs. Rockefeller.
This media literacy classroom activity centers on a video we developed with the RAC’s Audiovisual Archivist Brent Phillips. It includes clips of audiovisual documents related to voter education, which can serve as primary sources to view, analyze, and discuss in a classroom setting. The classroom activity guide below is available as a PDF download at…
In this edition of the series, the authors have used the papers of Nelson A. Rockefeller, the records of the National Committee on United States-China Relations, the Ford Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation, as well as archival materials from the Office of the Messrs. Rockefeller.